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Miguel Cotto Can Make a Fight of it Against Mayweather


by Charles Jay

One of our colleagues here supports a boycott of the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, which is scheduled for May 5. Certainly one can understand the rationale behind that, as there is undoubtedly some frustration with the inability to come to terms on a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Maybe he is “Floyd the Avoid” and maybe he isn’t. But it is safe to say that more people would like to see Mayweather-Pacquiao than Mayweather-Cotto.

Would fans keep their hands out of their pockets on May 5? Well, in the end, fans are probably going to do what they want to do, regardless of any organized effort that would discourage them from doing so. They’ll make the decision that is in their best interests, as they see it at that moment.

If a boycott was really successful, could it move Mayweather in any way? That’s a decent question, but considering that there is a narcissistic streak running through him, rather than get the message, he’d probably wind up blaming it on the fans themselves.

Certainly one can deduce that part of the genesis for a prospective boycott is the proposition that this is not a very competitive fight; that Mayweather would walk through this guy like a knife through butter.

That may not necessarily be the case.

It’s not that Mayweather shouldn’t be a big favorite to win. But in terms of this particular matchup, there may be more to it than just the result.

If you want to draw fans on pay-per-view – and we have said this before – the promise of action and entertainment value needs to be very discernible. In all likelihood, you have some of those elements present here.

Cotto is not the type who is going to back down. We saw that in a gallant effort against Pacquiao. He is going to come forward, sensing that Mayweather does not want to be pressured to the point where he has to work for every minute of every round. If Cotto has the stamina to do it, this could become a battle of attrition. Cotto is coming into the fight with the requisite amount of confidence, having just gotten revenge, in a very big way, against the man who had probably cost him the most hurt and pain in his career – Antonio Margarito. And Cotto realizes there is nothing to lose and everything to gain in this situation.

Cotto is also not likely to cheat anyone with his effort. In fact, that is the reason why he is a good draw, with the Latin crowd and otherwise, and, in essence, why he is in this fight. So it can be safely said that fans are going to get the best he’s got to give.

Maybe the best isn’t good enough. Others have come along and put some pressure on Mayweather and have gone away vanquished. But few of them were potentially as effective at is as Cotto. No, he doesn’t have the pure boxing skills that Mayweather has, but he is not devoid of skills either. In other words, no one should be mistaking this for Mayweather’s fight with the late Arturo Gatti, where there was such a gap in terms of ability that it just looked like a gross mismatch (to knowledgeable people anyway) from the time the fight was announced.

This fight is likely to be different. If Cotto is not shy about coming forward and heaping pressure upon Mayweather, and if he were to mix that in with some boxing (which is to be distinguished from the concept of “running”), AND he has enough chin to survive getting hit with some clean shots, which are invariably going to land because of the speed edge Mayweather has, then there is no reason to believe this won’t be a very entertaining fight while it lasts.

And it could last a while.

So we’re not telling you to boycott Mayweather-Cotto and we’re not telling you NOT to. Maybe we’re suggesting you think about a compromise. If you want to contribute to a “statement” about wanting to see Mayweather-Pacquiao over and above everything else, but you want to see that fight with Cotto anyway, then belly up to the bar at one of your local sports bars, or go to a race track or casino where they might be showing it. That way, you don’t have to pay “full boat.”

So at least you won’t be a “Boy-Cotto.” Maybe you can call yourself a “Fair-Weather Fan.”

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