Ring Kings: Cotto vs. Mayweather

I’m probably more excited than most for this fight. What can I say, I’m a life-long fan of the sport and this sort of event (big PPV matchup between two of the sports best) is something real boxing fans yearn for.

It’s not even the actual fight that gets me all riled up (initially anyway), it’s the build up. The press conferences, the articles, the TV coverage, the weigh-in and then, finally, the “main event of the evening” (said in my best Michael Buffer voice).

When done right, these events collide to build anticipation, an anxiousness that drives you to tell anyone, everyone, “I really cannot wait for this fight…” Or maybe that’s just me. That’s the thing with boxing though. All that build-up, all that talking, all that anticipation and it could all be for naught if the fight is a dud.

A lot of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s (42-0, 26 KO’s) fights are duds these days. It’s mostly a result of his style. A style that he has nearly perfected since moving out of his offensive comfort zone that was 130 lbs. Floyd was never a slugger, but he used to attack, at least try for the kill. He no longer does that. Now he waits. Along with becoming as masterful as you can be defensively, he has become of the greatest counter punchers ever. It all¬†fits into his above 130 lbs style of fighting.

Most of his opponents are forced into a false aggression that usually amounts to very little because when they have a chance to throw, they don’t. The reason being they know how good a counter puncher Floyd is and that he will strike like a viper when given the opportunity. Therein lies what turns his fights from spectacles in the build-up, to dud by the end of the fight. Floyd rarely goes out of his way to be outright offensive and even though everyone he fights knows that aggression is the best way to beat him they refuse to let their hands go when given the opportunity to do so. So Floyd ends up sticking his jab in their face and throwing enough to win every round, while his opponent feints, flinches and flails.

I believe Floyd Mayweather Jr will easily win this fight. My rational brain just keeps telling me there’s no way Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) has what it takes to beat someone so talented.

My emotional heart tells me differently. (This happens often to me.) My rational, logical brain uses reason and common sense, my heart will read into things that aren’t there and imagine, “If he could just do *this* (insert strategy here), he can beat this guy!”

What I have talked myself into this time is that Floyd’s punches, while deadly accurate, don’t hold the power required to discourage Cotto from keeping pressure in his face. I even think Cotto could taste Floyd’s most crisp punch and decide to go balls-to-the-wall after taking the punch and realizing he can absorb what Floyd throws while using his own vaunted body attack.

Cotto is, probably, the best body puncher in boxing. A skill almost no Floyd opponent has successfully applied (to their own detriment). Add that to the fact that Miguel has a very accomplished jab to set up those thudding body shots and we could have ourselves a fight.

If Cotto does manage to degenerate the fight into some sort of war of attrition, how does Floyd handle that? We all know Miguel Cotto has been in more than his fair share of bloody, drag down wars, but Floyd has avoided such fights. In my memory I can only think of two times when Floyd was in real trouble. The first is his first fight with Jose Luis Castillo back in 2002 and in one of his more recent fights against Sugar Shane Mosley. In the second round of his fight with Shane, he took a pair of hard, crisp right hands that shook him and don’t let anyone fool you, he was lucky to survive that round.

My point is that if Miguel Cotto is willing to sacrifice taking punishment to his face in large amounts to beat the shit out of Mayweather’s body, he can turn the fight into something different from a normal Floyd back-pedal fest.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Cotto made this fight close, but I’m going to lean towards the side of common sense and use my brain for my pick;

Floyd Mayweather Jr over Miguel Cotto by wide UD (think 118-110)

(Also, just as a side note; Miguel Cotto will pocket $8 million, while Floyd will walk away with a cool $32 million, and that’s before he gets his cut of the PPV money. Holy shit.)

TV Undercard:
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KO’s) vs. “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KO’s)

I think the young Mexican (he’s only 21-years-old) has too much going for him, especially when you take into account Mosley’s most recent fights where he has looked…uh, less than spectacular. I say this as a long time Mosley fan, but this could and maybe should be his last fight.

There’s no way Mosley doesn’t bring it in this fight, he’ll probably even have a few rounds where he shows flashes of the old Shane, but he won’t be able to string them together. Canelo is as polished at 21, as almost any 21 has ever been. Almost. This is a fight where he can violently shove himself into the big picture with a dominate win over a future HOFer.

The age difference truly is stunning though, Alvarez being 21, Mosley 40. Yikes.

Saul Alvarez over Shane Mosley by UD (think 116-112)

Jessie Vargas (18-0, 9 KO’s) vs. Steve Forbes (35-10, 11 KO’s)

Vargas is a 22-year-old Mayweather mentored fighter on the upswing. Forbes, however, has looked dreadful his last two fights, both in 2011. In February 2011 he lost to someone named Ionut Dan Ion, then in June he lost via TKO10 to semi-prospect Karim Mayfield (coming to Albany for ESPN’s FNF, by the way). In both fights he was fined heavily for weighing in over the contracted weight limit. Vargas should make this easy.

Jessie Vargas over Steve Forbes by KO7

Deandre Latimore (23-3, 17 KO’s) vs. Carlos Quintana (28-3, 22 KO’s)

I like Quintana in this fight. I know Latimore is the younger fighter (26 to Quintana’s 35) and probably has more to prove. It is a tough fight to predict, neither has anything really riding on the fight, neither is on the cusp of a title fight, and both have fought bums the last couple years.

Carlos Quintana over Deandre Latimore by MD

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