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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; Read the rest of this entry »
With news that Ken Hershman was scooped up by HBO (and away from Showtime) to be the new president of HBO Sports, it makes me feel hopeful that the debacle at HBO Sports and their problems with reaching their budget and forcing some non-PPV worthy fights onto PPV is over.
This hopefulness has me thinking of some fights that I would love to see. Not that any of these fights will or will not be made, just my current wish list.
I want to see two men* in the trenches, pouring their heart and soul into every punch. Refusing to give into the will of their opponent and fight as if it was their last chance in the ring.
*Or women, I don’t discriminate I mean I have watched women fight locally in Sarah Kuhn and Jaci Trivilino in fantastic, hard nosed battles that were extremely enjoyable*
5. Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto
I realize Cotto has a fight on HBO PPV coming up (I see a Cotto KO victory over Margarito, btw), but I don’t care. The styles that both men have would end in nothing less than fireworks. I understand and appreciate a fighter that is over skilled defensively and from time to time it’s a joy to watch someone so skilled in that craft do their work in the ring, but what I really enjoy in a fight above all else is a fight. I think these two have the potential to have a 5-star fight. I have almost no doubt Maravilla would win, but I am also sure that Cotto would give him everything he could handle.
4. Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Gary Russell, Jr.
Russell, Jr. is realistically about three fights away from being ready for someone of Gamboa’s quality. It’s just that to see Russell in the ring now you would think he’s a 10+ year veteran. He looks extremely polished with the whole package at his disposal. The 23-year-old has speed, power, defense and controls the ring like a grizzled veteran.
Gamboa is no slouch though. While I am high on Russell, I think Gamboa is the cream of the featherweight division. He, too, has almost unmatched speed and throws deadly accurate combinations. His major flaw is his ability to disappear for a minute or so in some rounds. He can get away with that against most because he is so superior in talent and quickness, but another grade A fighter would be quick to exploit that weakness. Read the rest of this entry »
Manny Pacquiao is a bad, bad man. Some think he’s overrated. Some think he’s the best fighter since Sugar Ray Robinson.
I disagree on both accounts, but that still doesn’t change the fact that he has left a field of devastation in his wake.
The world of boxing has been raped and pillaged by this man for the last ~8 years.
Since his last loss (a razor thin unanimous decision loss to Erik Morales on 3/19/2005) Pacquiao has gone 13-0 with seven knockouts. Two of those KO’s sent a borderline Boxing Hall of Famer (Ricky Hatton) and a first ballot, 100% guaranteed, HOFer (Oscar De La Hoya) into retirement in extremely violent fashion.
His fight against Miguel Cotto (whom I did think he was going to beat, but not in the way it happened) was just plain hard to watch. With a gathering of people at my house, including some Puerto Rican friends, all of us were pleading with the ref (aka the TV) to stop the fight. Even Manny had looked at the ref on several occasions in effect saying, “Don’t you think he’s had enough?” He took a man that any boxing fan would describe as a warrior and one of the hardest men in the whole sport and he bludgeoned him. My wife, who enjoys boxing, but is a novice, was disheartened by the referee not stopping the fight. She was covering her face with her hands off and on for the last three rounds of the fight. With blood streaming from at least three different spots on Cotto’s face referee Kenny Bayless finally gave the mercy call in the 12th and final round (a little late in my opinion).
The crowd watching at my house resembled the crowd of British civilians watching William Wallace get tortured, begging for his mercy. That’s a Braveheart reference. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should!
Now on May 7, 2011 Shane Mosley is going to be the next to try and break through Pacquiao’s armor (which appears to be nearly indestructible at this point).
It’s not to say that Manny can’t lose, he can and has lost before, it’s just when you look at his body of work since his last loss and how he has performed under the tutelage of Freddie Roach it’s hard to imagine.
As a fan first, I pray that Sugar Shane can muster even a small amount of his old self. Just a little of what he had against Oscar De La Hoya or even against Antonio Margarito (whom he destroyed).
If Mosley goes into that ring like he did against Sergio Mora? Pacquiao will beat him into a bloody pulp.
I don’t want another Cotto-Pacquiao, which was hard enough to watch just once.
We’ll find out May 7.