By Hans Olson
This Saturday’s bout between pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather and 154 lb. champ Miguel Cotto is certain to be a box-office blockbuster: two of boxing’s “Ring Kings” meeting under the MGM Grand’s bright lights in Las Vegas.
Although Floyd lists as a considerable favorite by most fans and pundits alike, Miguel Cotto does have his supporters who feel he could upset the great “Money” Mayweather.
Not sure who to pick?
Let’s take a look at 3 key factors going into this weekend…
1. What does Miguel Cotto have left?
The number one question of many is if Miguel Cotto has enough left in the tank to be competitive with Floyd Mayweather. Although Floyd turned 35 in February, he’s much younger in “ring years” than the 31-year-old Cotto. It’s not that Miguel has fought more fights or more rounds than Floyd—he hasn’t—it’s just what has occurred during the rounds that separates them.
The beatings that Cotto took at the hands of Antonio Margarito in 2008 and Manny Pacquiao in 2009 likely took years off his career.
That’s not to mention the grueling contests he’s had with the likes of Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley. Even recently, fights with Ricardo Mayorga and the rematch with Margarito proved difficult for the Puerto Rican. Against a Floyd Mayweather that hasn’t shown any signs of decline even after long stretches of inactivity, it’s hard to imagine Cotto having success against a sharp Floyd Mayweather who fought just last September.
2. How will the 154 lb. weight affect Floyd Mayweather?
Floyd Mayweather has fought north of the welterweight limit just once, five years ago against Oscar De La Hoya. He weighed in at 150 lb., and one assumes he will weigh in around there this weekend to maintain advantages such as speed and agility.
Cotto himself is a small Jr middleweight. His reach of 67” is bested by Floyd’s 72”, and he is an inch shorter than Mayweather. The Floyd Mayweather of 2012 isn’t afraid to rough it up on the inside, so unless Cotto is able to significantly bully Floyd—and it will be apparent early if he can—don’t look for the weight to be a considerable advantage for Miguel Cotto.
3. Will Floyd’s upcoming jail sentence have an impact on his frame of mind?
When Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa ruled to allow Floyd to begin serving his 90-day jail sentence on June 1 rather than in January, it paved the way for this weekend’s fight to actually happen.
Although it wasn’t until a little later that Miguel Cotto was announced as Mayweather’s opponent, it benefits Floyd that he’s able to fight on the May 5 date (which had been locked in for some time). Floyd has a remarkable ability to focus on the task at hand, and given his 42-0 record and the chaotic life that he’s led up to this point, it would be silly to assume that Floyd is concerned with his upcoming stint behind bars to the point where it would affect his in-ring performance.