April 30th, 2012 By John Signorella
“SUPER FIGHT” BOXING FINALLY RETURNS!
New York, NY- Millions around the world will be in anticipation of an intriguing battle when WBA super middleweight (154) champion Miguel “Junito” Cotto (37-2-2, 30 KOs) engages top ranked “pound for pound” elite pugilist Floyd “Money” Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) in a proposed 12 round showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, Saturday at 9 PM ET, on HBO PPV.
BAPTISM UNDER FIRE
After Miguel was violently stopped at the (suspect) hands of Antonio Margarito (L TKO 11), unlike most young fighters who administered a terrible beating at the highest level of the sport, a galvanized Cotto rebounded with two impressively fought wins. Just 16 months removed from the Margarito affair, in effort to reclaim the number one “pound for pound” status he was close to capturing before his setback, Cotto agreed to fight one of the sport’s best combatants: Manny Pacquiao. In a commendable effort against Pacquiao, Miguel competitively stood “toe to toe” with the Filipino superstar for as long as he could. Due to the relentless assault reigned upon him, mixed in with the “catch weight” he agreed
to fight at (145 lbs), Cotto eventually broke down and was stopped by the hands of boxing’s most committed banger (L TKO 12). In the aftermath, Miguel had only fought two times in the past two years. Albeit picking up wins and knockouts in each contest against respectable foes, due to the dull fashion in which these battles were fought, questions (from the public) loomed in regard to how much desire and passion Miguel still had for the “sweet science” when he entered the ring in his most recent encounter; a rematch with Antonio Margarito. In an eagerly awaited oncore against Antonio, Miguel beat on Margarito’s left eye like Jon Bonham (drummer of Led Zepplin) pounding a snare drum in the 70’s awarding Cotto his revenge (W TKO 10).
A CLOSER LOOK AT COTTO
Fundamentally, Miguel Cotto doesn’t do one thing great but overall he does everything extremely well. Miguel showcases a hybrid of facets that are important to survive in the pugilistic world. Cotto has the ability to take a punch, has power, decent hand speed, above average foot movement, a savvy boxing I.Q., and greatly timed counter-punching skills. However, Miguel often has a tendency to let emotion dictate his tempo, interrupt his game plan, and allow the war of attrition to take play. This usually is to his undoing and can be extremely hazardous against an opponent such as Mayweather. Conventional wisdom suggests that Cotto will have to call upon his poised brawn in effort of easing his way into convincing Floyd that he is the better man.
LOVE’ EM OR HATE’ EM, NOBODY’S BEATEN FLOYD
Before his first true test at top-level competition against former champion Diego Corrales, Mayweather emerged on the boxing scene destroying his first 24 foes with 18 wins by way of flashy knockout. During his dismantling of the warrior spirited Corrales (W TKO 10), Mayweather commanded the show and demonstrated a virtuoso of brilliant artistic assault. Floyd then went on to easily defend his title two more times before earning a controversial point’s decision victory in a struggle to the finish against veteran brawler Jose Luis Castillo. Immediately thereafter, the boxing public demanded a rematch and Mayweather met and dominated Castillo eight months later (W UD 12). Over his next nine bouts, Mayweather took on formidable opposition, highlighted by a knockout win over gladiator fan favorite Arturo Gatti (W TKO 6). Because of the ease in which Mayweather blasted out his seemingly over matched adversaries, outcry from the boxing world ensued for Mayweather to step up and face a more dangerous and bigger fighter; a demand which brought life to one of the richest fights in the history of the sport. In an intriguing bout on paper, Oscar De La Hoya accepted Floyd’s challenge. The fight failed to live up to expectation, and saw Mayweather win a close boxing exhibition against a seemingly faded once great champion (W SD 12). In the aftermath of the Oscar encounter, Mayweather pursued one of boxing’s biggest attractions Ricky Hatton for a mega fight. In a closely contested bout, Mayweather nailed an overly aggressive Ricky Hatton with a perfectly timed “check hook” which handed Hatton his first defeat and knockout loss (W TKO 10). After a brief retirement, Mayweather commendably came out of a two-year hibernation to easily outpoint one of the sports best competitors; Juan Manuel Marquez. Floyd then went onto to start the “beginning of the end” of the once great “Sugar” Shane Mosley (W 12) and expose naïve former champion Victor Ortiz as a fighter who still has a lot to learn about “protecting yourself” at all times (W KO 4).
A CLOSER LOOK AT “MONEY”
Despite only having fought four professional rounds in the past 2 years, Mayweather brings an enormous amount of attributes to the dance. Floyd possesses exceptional hand and foot speed, accompanied by superb youthful reflexes and tremendous defensive movement. Mayweather’s from a family of decorated fighters and from this he has obtained a brilliant boxing I.Q. that has garnered him consideration to one of the most gifted fighters to ever step into a boxing ring.
I do feel it will a competitive scrap for as long as it lasts. However, at the end of the day; speed kills. Even though Floyd is boxing at the highest weight of his carrer, I feel his natural advantage of being the significantly faster athlete in both the foot and hand speed department will separate him for his opponent as it so often does. Mayweather ( KO 7).
Having an unheard of 40 bouts and capturing a major world title (WBC 154) at just the tender age of 22, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) looks to keep pounding toward world rank supremacy when he faces former belt holder and future “Hall of Famer”, “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) over 12 or less light middleweight rounds.
Note: The sport needs to have more co-features of this nature in the future! What has taken the “suit’s” this long to put together a very worthy appetizer for ta solid main event?
Stay tuned for more exclusive coverage leading up to this exciting event all week long right here at Ring talk!