June 6th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez


Miguel Cotto Crackin' Delvin Rodriguez

Miguel Cotto Crackin’ Delvin Rodriguez

San Francisco, CA- If this was 2011, World middleweight (160 lb.) champion Sergio Martinez would be a prohibitive, say 3-1 favorite against Miguel Cotto. Now just hours before the pair duel in front of a sold out Madison Square Garden crowd Saturday evening in New York City, the essentially unbeaten since 2003 Martinez is a slight betting choice at 7-5.


The current middleweight kingpin is 55-2-2, 28 KOs really hasn’t lost since a 2000 fight where he was stopped by Antonio Margarito, even though he was declared a Majority Decision 12 loser in a 2008 match with the retired (via motorcycle) Paul Williams that was the robbery of the year indeed. The Argentine is highly regarded at home, but few if anyone rates him higher than the late Carlos Monzon.


After that, the Argentine native who learned boxing in Spain and now lives in Oxnard, CA, Sergio Martinez upset middleweight king Kelly Pavlik who flat out ran from the now paralyzed Williams and fought Martinez instead in 2009, was handily beaten over 12 rounds. In a rematch, Martinez flattened Paul Williams in round two.


Sergio Drills Wiliams

Sergio Drills Wiliams

After the Williams win Sergio went on a roll by defeating Matthew Macklin (TKO 11), Darren Barker (KO 11) and a TKO 8 over Serhiy Dzinziruk, yawn, yawn and yawn, all the while Martinez was being heralded as one of the top ‘pound for pound’ fighters in the world. But in hindsight, considering the fact that Mackin, Dzinziruk and Barker were fringe contenders at best, Martinez was overrated by myself and a majority of boxing pundits as well.


But the bubble burst in his near shutout over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2012 resulting in a leg injury he suffered in round 12, this while getting knocked down by Chavez and falling wrong. The injury brought about an eight month layoff preceded by surgery before a bout with the thought to be limited Martin Murray.


In that fight Martinez looked old, slow and seemed unable to pull the trigger in his lone 2013 start. Martin would lose a debated decision and go back to England a hero. Old in that his legs have left him and he’s lost a step in hand speed as well, Sergio looked awful.


Miguel Cotto, who had lost to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout in 2012 & 2013, thinks he is reborn with trainer Freddie Roach. Cotto chopped capable Delvin Rodriguez down in his only 2013 fight. That being said, that’s what this fights boils down inactivity on both sides.


Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) has looked “done” at times, having been halted by the then vitamin driven Manny Pacquiao and Antonio “The Cheat” Margarito in addition to points losses to Trout and Floyd.


The mindset is that his being guided by Freddie Roach will take a man who has been with a trainer or two or three to another level. Most of you don’t realize that at one point and time, Cotto was the man near the top of anybody’s ‘pound for pound’ list.


Before he got his cage rattled by convicted cheat Antonio Margarito, prior to that he was one of the most relaxed mechanics that I had ever seen perform in the squared circle thst is a boxing ring. I wrote that he would be Bob Arum’s franchise-like athlete, and his numbers on Pay Per View made him a box office attraction for fans and Cable Networks alike.


Cotto is in a spot where he is ready to walk away should he lose badly. They don’t perceive Martinez as being all that at 33 1/2 to Sergio’s 39 calendar turns. To win Cotto will have to have strong enough lower body that he can push the smallish middleweight champion around when he has to.


As for Miguel Cotto being willing to walk away as I just mentioned, should the kitchen get too hot I think he would not risk it. I believe that of the current crop of Pay Per View superstars, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather is incomplete sans Miguel Cotto…did I mention Mayweather who did less than 1,000,000 homes in his last scrap? Although the list is short, the Puerto Rican is certainly there.


The real reason the devoted husband and father will walk if he is caught in a pugilistic storm is just that, being a devoted husband and father. Cotto has earned and put away a decent chunk of change. The aforementioned family devotion Cotto has is genuine and Cotto will not allow another Margarito I or Manny Pacquiao beat down, meaning he would take a knee.


Sergio is of the opinion that Miguel Cotto is smaller and slower than himself. Entitled to that notion, Cotto was never a 140 lb. fighter, more like a 154 lb. fighter sweating down to 140. Virtually unknown outside of serious fight fans, the world middleweight champion never hit it real big because North American fans are not in awe of Sergio and obviously neither is Team Cotto.


For Sergio to win in this battle of promoters, Bob Arum (Cotto) vs. Lou DiBella (Martinez), he will have to impose his will and edge in being a southpaw. Because if you look at the Cotto legend, left handed fighters (Pacquiao & Trout) have given him lots of trouble, although he beat a 29-year old Zab Judah easy in 2007.


Besides strong legs and will, Cotto needs to make Sergio stand and fight and be committed to the risk that is incumbent when you throw body shots. And while Cotto is six years or so younger, it is he that has taken the far greater amount of punishment going into this HBO PPV event. Yet, after one rough scrap that being with Chavez, Sergio looked pedestrian with Murray. Cotto is looking more at cashing and making history as long as there is no high risk involved. Close fight both in ring and on paper!

Pedro Fernandez


  1. This is a no brainer Pedro . Martinez is bigger stronger and faster than a blown up welterweight . Cotto has taken many beatings . Never have seen Martinez get beat up ? Surprised odds are so close ? Martinez stops Cotto in 6 or 7. Bet on it says Vegas Mike

    vegas mike on June 7th, 2014 at 3:14 AM
  2. I like both guys, but really hope Cotto gets the W. This is a suspenseful match up for sure and I hope there is no scoring controversey. I can see Cotto coming on strong late and winning a close decision.

    Let’s go Cotto!

    tommyrenob on June 7th, 2014 at 5:41 AM
  3. Sergio has had some issues with bigger fighters, but Cotto is just too small. Normally the fighter moving up in weight has advantages in speed. Not here. Cotto is a good technical fighter, but to beat Martinez you got to go for broke with volume like Williams, or just be physically imposing. Cotto is almost
    tailor made for Sergio. He will be picked off all night trying to land his punches. Just can’t envision a Cotto win.

    KP on June 7th, 2014 at 6:36 AM
  4. It’s going to take a major physical collapse by Martinez for Cotto to win this fight. Something worse than what happened in the Murray fight.

    Is it possible. Sure, and it would likely be more the result of the extreme demands Martinez makes on his own legs every round rather than anything Cotto could contribute to. It hurts just to WATCH all those excessive bounces, sideways moves, awkward jumps & push-offs.

    The injury factor – and Martinez’ dependence on specific athletic attributes – is what makes this somewhat suspenseful (as opposed to the mismatch it would have been a couple of years ago)

    I fully expect Cotto to get off to a good start and win at least 4 of the first 6 rounds with his jab (he could even sweep them if he’s not too respectful). Martinez has gotten off to slow starts against everyone who’s used an educated jab against him (Cintron, Pavlik, Barker, Dzindziruk & Macklin) and while all those opponents had significant height advantages (and used them very well) I think any opponent with an excellent jab will take Martinez time to adapt to.

    But Martinez always adapts. And if he has anything left, when he turns up the heat in the second half, I don’t think Cotto will be able to take it.

    Barring a major physical breakdown, Martinez stops Cotto around the 9th or 10th round.

    Ten Count on June 7th, 2014 at 7:07 AM
  5. BTW, Martinez may have been slightly overrated, but I’m not willing to revise the view of him as4P lister.

    I think your hindsight on Barker, Macklin & Dzindziruk overlooks the possibility that the damage they suffered from Martinez took a toll on them which carried over into their subsequent performances (as was obviously the case with Williams – not just the KO but the knockdown in the FIRST fight).

    So those guys aren’t exactly HOF er’s but every one of them is a better fighter than the guys Roy Jones defended the 175 title (except Johnson & Tarver) and come to think of it, were Mustapha Hamsho, TOny Sibson, Fully Obelmenjas& Juan Roldan really that much better?

    Ten Count on June 7th, 2014 at 7:29 AM
  6. The only thing I can see here going for Cotto is that he is an underrated technician. On his best times, he had a great ability of timing the adversary punches, nullifying the disadvantage in speed. It will be difficult with an unorthodox boxer like Sergio, but if Cotto can time the punches somehow, he can score here and there. If Cotto’s power punching travels with him as well (big what if!!!) it could be interesting.

    Not likely, but I have seen so many incredible things happening in boxing, that it is not impossible to see a surprise today.

    The Priest on June 7th, 2014 at 8:49 AM
  7. Martinez bludgeons Cotto inside 8. Cotto at one time a very good champion. Both have seen better days and Martinez a smallish middleweight but still much too big for Cotto. If Sergio could handle the sledgehammer fists of Pavlik and Williams and even way back more than held his own with Margarito until succumbing to “hands of stone” (Pun intended) then he has no problem with Cotto whatsoever. Easy way of making some money at the casino here!

    alex on June 7th, 2014 at 10:48 AM
  8. This fight is a farce. Cotto, who started as a junior welterweight, and couldn’t even beat an Austin Trout has NO CHANCE…Martinez will stop Cotto easily.

    Rob Hernandez on June 7th, 2014 at 12:40 PM
  9. @Ten Count, alex
    fully agree with you guys. Cant see a way Cotto beats Martinez, as long as Martinez body doesnt break down completely.

    Also one thing is often neglected – Martinez is one proud mofo and as bad as they come. I say this – somebody who can fight a legit middleweight in front of 50,000 with a raptured knee going into the fight is one bad dude! Also coming back again and again after all those knockdowns – he just refuses to lose!

    Therefore – even if Cotto can drag him into deep waters, dont expect Martinez to be the one drowning.

    And Pedro can say all he wants – Martinez fought some good opposition and he never backed down or did some Mayweather moves to get out of harms way.

    Sven on June 7th, 2014 at 1:46 PM
  10. Martinez went into the Murray fight with a very bad knee and he also broke his left hand in the second round of that fight. I agree that the Martinez of four years ago would have blown Cotto out, but I still think he wins by late TKO or UD 12. The one intangible is that Martinez has much more stamina in the late rounds whereas Cotto gasses late.

    Dick"The Mick" on June 7th, 2014 at 5:34 PM
  11. Priest, you bring up an interesting angle of the weight.

    While I think Cottoc’s power has been a little overrated in the past, tonight he will be fighting at a very comfortable weight. Some guys do beneifit from that. Cotto being a short & thick body type that benefits from weight could possibly show up with more power than ever.

    Just recently, John Molina’s almost-upset of Mathysse, the surprising competitiveness of Marcos Maidana vs. Mayweather and of course Mayweather himself over the past 7 years are just a few of many examples of success fighting at a comfortable weight.

    “Comfortable weight” is becoming the new “In-shape”!

    Having said that, at the weigh in, Martinez looked the much stronger guy. But Martinez style doesnt really drive home a size advantage – he can\t remember the last time he was the bigger fighter – maybe vs. Bunema and even then he fought like the smaller guy.

    But it should not be entirely ruled out that Cotto could go in there hitting harder than we’ve ever seen.

    Ten Count on June 7th, 2014 at 7:09 PM
  12. I do not want to show off now, but I called it out here before the fight ( see my comment above). Cotto is an underrated technician, with a great ability to time the punches of faster fighters, effectively nullifying their speed advantage. I said that if Cotto’s power carried with him to this weight class, all this things together would make it interesting and a recipe for s surprise…

    Man, I was right, or what? Cotto just destroyed a champion I greatly admired.

    Pedro, perhaps I can collaborate in your page with boxing analysis, hahaha

    The Priest on June 7th, 2014 at 9:40 PM
  13. great article even though you seem to delete my comments. lol all these Martinez fans crack me up. you hit it on point, a lazy chavez exploited Martinez that a great trainer in roach was going to exploit again. give credit where it’s due, freddy is an excellent trainer despite his big mouth.

    antonio on June 7th, 2014 at 10:17 PM
  14. OK Priest, 300 to 500 words. When? Flying Nun or Priest. Are you taking this moniker from Ron O’Neal and Superfly? Send me an email and we’ll see if you just wrote a check you can’t cash. ringtalk@yahoo.com

    Pedro Fernandez on June 7th, 2014 at 11:30 PM
  15. Hi Pedro, thanks, I certainly will write to you. Please stay tuned…

    Regarding “The Priest” moniker, I wish I could say I took it from Ron O’Neal. Man, he was very talented on several fields, and I feel he did not have all the success he could based on his potential. I just was raised in Spain, the land of priests and nuns, and probably one of the more liberal countries on earth today. This is a contrast that always make me laugh and that’s why I chose “The Priest”.

    The Priest on June 8th, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Leave a Reply

Powered by Crowd Ignite