Mayweather vs Cotto: The Anticipation Builds for May 5
by Chip Mitchell
Analysis of Ring Kings: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto scheduled to take place May 5, 2012 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Tale of The Tape
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Miguel Cotto
Age 35 31
Current Status Challenger Champion (WBA)
Professional Record 42-0-0, 30 KOs 37-2-0, 30 KOs
Height 5 ft 8 in 5 ft 7 in
Reach 72 in 67 in
Knockout Percentage 61.9% 76.9%
Previous Fight 09/17/2011 12/03/2011
Victoriano Sosa, Justin Juuko, Zab Judah, DeMarcus Corley, Shane Mosley
Miguel “Junito” Cotto
Warrior… Brawler… Vicious body snatcher! Meet Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto is currently the WBA Super Welterweight (Light Middleweight) Champion. The Caguas, Puerto Rico native is a four-time world champion in three weight divisions. Miguel’s boxing career illustrates an athlete with a blue collar style that embodies desire, courage, and a never say die attitude. He’s been down, but always rises up, bestowing proof-positive the aforementioned qualities that make him a champion. Check out his fight with Ricardo Torres on YouTube to see what makes him tick. Miguel is certainly staking his claim for a Hall of Fame enshrinement once he hangs the gloves up for good.
Miguel Cotto has wins over Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley, Paulie Malignaggi, and DeMarcus Corley. With the exception of Margarito, Miguel beat the fighters on this list in the prime of their careers. The fight that stands out to me, however, is the Margarito victory. Miguel had to exorcise some series demons just to step into the ring against a man who broke his will in their first encounter. Miguel exemplified the desire and courage that have defined his career, as he hammered out a TKO victory in his revenge-induced rematch.
Miguel definitely has the age advantage. Even though he’s been hit more often than Floyd in the ring, fighters who begin careers at lower classes start to deteriorate around age 33 or so. Miguel is only 31 years old and looks strong. Another advantage is that Miguel is at his more natural weight of 154 pounds. I remember how solid his body looked in a catch weight fight versus Manny Pacquiao, but how his face suggested he may have been a bit drained. The choice of eight-ounce gloves over ten-ounce gloves seems to give Miguel a slight advantage, considering his higher knockout percentage. Miguel has also been more active than Floyd recently and against firm competition.
Miguel can be hit and Mayweather has a connect percentage that is out of this world. Miguel will definitely need to employ the footwork that new trainer Pedro Diaz brought into the Margarito game plan. There are disadvantages for Miguel in speed, footwork, and defense. However, I can trace this pattern of drawbacks to numerous fights in the past that Miguel found a way to win. Something about that hook to the body stands out…. but I just can’t remember.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
What can I say about this guy? He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a seven-time world champion in five weight classes. His game is to hit and not be hit. It begins with defense, mixes in speed and accuracy, and ends with defense. He will be seeking to become an eight-time champion.
Floyd has wins over Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo (2), DeMarcus Corley, Zab Judah, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De la Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez. The biggest name on Floyd’s resume to date is Oscar De La Hoya. The win was significant for two reasons. First, Oscar was the WBC Champion at the time and Floyd claimed the title. Secondly, it represents Floyd’s only other trip to the 154 pound weight class.
Floyd has significant advantages in foot and hand speed. He also gets the nod in the essentials of defense. I’ll give him the edge as far as conditioning and the chin category. While I give Miguel a slight edge in power punching, I do believe that Floyd is deceptively strong. It will be interesting to see what happens if some in-fighting and pushing and shoving take place.
Age and inactivity immediately come to mind. I’ll start with Father Time. Floyd is 35 years old. Whether it’s Roy Jones, “Too Sharp” Johnson, Leonard, Hagler, or De La Hoya- sooner or later your body can’t do what it used to do. It seems to start around age 33, 34. I look at the Victor Ortiz fight as one example. Even though Floyd clearly won each round, I look at the 1:56 mark of Round 4 where Ortiz landed a solid right hook that drove Floyd to the ropes. He followed it up with about seven punches and backed off. Some landed and some Floyd managed to parry. Floyd walked forward and shook his head ‘no’ as if to say that nothing significant had landed. Ortiz then walked forward again and landed a glancing left followed by a couple of missed shots. Floyd again shook his head ‘no’. A few years prior, those shots that Ortiz landed would have been misses. Floyd is beginning to get hit a bit. Not much, but enough to make things interesting against a younger fighter or someone with decent hand speed and boxing skills. I won’t even mention Round 2 of the Mosley fight. Floyd is still the best defensively, but he’ll more than likely be 36 by the time he fights his opponent after Cotto. His legs don’t allow him to do the things they did in his fight against Carlos Baldomir. Instead of major movement, sometimes he employs a Winky Wright style of standing in pocket range, making you miss, and then countering. Floyd hasn’t exactly been active either. He’s fought four rounds in the past two years and six times in the past six years. FOUR ROUNDS in TWO YEARS! SIX FIGHTS since 2006! Inactivity for a mid-to-late 30s guy who began his career at 130 could mean trouble one day soon.
This fight could’ve happened in 2005. It should’ve happened. For some reason, boxing fans were led to believe that Mayweather ducked Cotto and Margarito around that time. See my story written here and then decide for yourself. I think Top Rank was the culpable party that prevented Mayweather vs. Cotto from moving forward in late 2005. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned that as soon as Miguel Cotto became a free agent, the Mayweather fight was made. No blood testing, weight, or money issues. Floyd and Miguel hammered out a deal seemingly overnight. So what was the problem making it happen in 2005 when it was so easy to make in 2012? Hmm…
Nevertheless, the prediction:
I believe this is a knockout fight. This fight will end in a knockout, whether I am correct or not about the winner. The key to this fight is “Judging Criteria #3: Ring Generalship”. I like both of these fighters and I think each will land punches that hurt the opponent. However, I believe that Floyd Mayweather has the better ability to control the pace and style of this fight. Miguel will not be able to outbox Floyd. If Miguel boxes, he will reach a point where lead rights, left hooks, and uppercuts we haven’t seen since the Jesus Chavez fight will thrash him. If he puts high-volume pressure on Floyd with his signature brawler style, it will give him his best chance. The tradeoff is if Floyd’s punching accuracy, reflexes, and defense are on point, it will be a long night for Miguel Cotto.
My guess is that they will be and that Floyd still has enough in the tank to win. I’m going with Mayweather by TKO somewhere between Rounds 8 and 11.