June 6th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez
HBO RETURNS TO SUMMER PAY PER VIEW
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.
MARTINEZ FIGHTING IN CARLOS MONZON SHADOW
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.
REMEMBER MARTINEZ-PAUL WILLIAMS HEIST?
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.
BEAT UP “SO-SO” GUYS BEFORE J.C. CHAVEZ
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.
CHAVEZ LOSES 11 ROUNDS & ALMOST WINS
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.
SERGIO NEEDING BOXING VIAGRA NEAR 40?
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.
PUERTO RICAN AS “RELAXED” AS FIGHTERS COME
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.
MIGUEL NOT ON GREATS OF RUNS
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.
BANKING ON THE ROACH EDGE
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.
COTTO IS LIKE BOXER ON VALIUM
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.
LEGS OF COTTO TO PLAY LARGE ROLE
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.
NO “LIFE AND DEATH MATCHES” FOR COTTO
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.
NO “LIFE AND DEATH MATCHES” FOR COTTO II
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.
MARTINEZ NEVER CAUGHT ON
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.
KEYS TO VICTORY FOR ARGENTINE
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.
BOILS DOWN TO BODY SHOTS VS SOUTHPAW STANCE
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!