What Some Fighters Could Learn From Miguel Cotto
By: Sean Crose
Make no mistake about it – Miguel Cotto is a great boxer. At least he’s been one. It’s been some time since he’s been in the ring, after all, so the wear and tear may show when he throws down against the exciting – though limited – James Kirkland next month in Texas. Still, there’s no doubt that Cotto is on his way to the Hall of Fame. That sort of thing happens when you battle a who’s who of boxing’s biggest names throughout your career. And if Cotto isn’t exactly looking for big challenges now that his career is winding down – Kirkland’s fun, but he ain’t Pacquiao – there’s little doubt the man’s earned his well regarded reputation.
The funny thing is – Cotto has lost some of his biggest fights. What’s more, the man was never regarded as the best in the business. Yet here he is, pushing forty with a ton of money, a ton of fame and a record that’s impossible not to be impressed with. The point in all this? That some younger fighters could do well to take a lesson from Cotto, a man who lost to the biggest names out there and still emerged on top of the heap.
Those who might feel a loss or two is the be all, end all of a career or of serious consideration within the fight world need only check out Cotto’s resume to see that isn’t the case. The man lost to Mayweather. The man lost to Pacquiao. The man lost to Canelo. Heck, he even lost to Austin Trout. And yet here Cotto is, one of the biggest success stories in boxing. Why? Because he’s been a genuinely great fighter, that’s why. And genuinely great fighters can get by with L’s on their records. That’s a lesson history has taught the boxing world over and over again.
Johnson, Dempsey, Louis, Ali, Robinson, Pep, Tyson, Leonard, Duran, Hagler, Holyfield – the list of all time great fighters with big losses goes on and on. Indeed, few – very few – retired undefeated while remaining at Olympian heights. There’s Marciano and Mayweather of course, but few others outside of those two. The lesson here is that it’s okay to take risks, that if you’re good enough, you can rise above it all. That’s such an obvious fact, that one would think everyone would understand it. Sadly, however, that’s not always the case.
They say Cotto is retiring this year. Hopefully his legacy will include coming back big from some big losses.