Cotto, and Sugar Shane Mosley, and Floyd Mayweather Jr! Oh my!

miguel cotto14.06.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani: "Cotto and Sugar and Floyd! Oh my!" Okay, I admit, the title of this article sucks. Itís cheesy and unimaginative and Iím ashamed I was unable to muster up something better than a word-play on the famous Wizard of Oz slogan. Be that as it may, Iím still enthusiastic about the prospects of eventual showdowns between three elite pugilists in the welterweight division.

Of the three aforementioned fighters, the match-up Iím most interested in seeing, and the one that makes most sense, is a showdown between reigning pound-for-pound king, Mayweather, and former pound-for-pound king, Mosley. Ever since Mayweather bested De La Hoya last month, many boxing observers have deemed this a logical follow-up for Floyd.

After all, there isnít another pugilist in this weight range who possesses the unique blend of speed and power of Mosley. As such, this makes Mosley a potential threat, despite his age. Mosleyís recent win over Collazo proved he still has what it takes to remain competitive at the top level.

Mosley usually does well when playing the role of the aggressor. Against Mayweather, there is no doubt heíd be situated in this comfortable role. Mayweather might well be the complete package defensively, but even still, heís never faced a fighter with Mosleyís speed, power, and raw athleticism. Mosley would be quick enough to land against Mayweather, and itís doubtful that Floyd has the power to drop Mosley, let alone stop him.

This means it comes down to a boxing match. If De La Hoya managed to win four or five rounds against Mayweather, is there any doubt that Mosley could win six, seven, or even eight? Keep in mind, unlike De La Hoya, Mosley is a natural aggressor and against Floyd, this bodes well for him. Incidentally, I donít think it matters whether this one takes place at 147 or 154óeither way, itís a good match-up for Mosley.

If heís to have a chance, however, this is a fight that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Although, if Miguel Cotto has any say in the matter, heíd probably prefer facing one of these two himself rather than watching them face off against each other.

This past weekend, Cotto looked sensational when he put on a one-sided exhibition against Zab Judah. Cottoís relentless assault was just too much for Judah. This win further propelled him into consideration as a potential opponent for either Mosley or Mayweather. You could even throw Antonio Margarito into the mix here, but for the purposes of this article, Iím going to stick with the big three. Besides, I personally view Cotto as being a cut above Margarito; ditto for Mosley and Mayweather.

Between Mosley and Mayweather, I think Mosley would make a better opponent for the young Puerto Rican pugilist. To be sure, I think Mosley would stand a good chance against Cotto, much in the same way I think Mayweather would stand a good chance against Mosley. Style-wise, however, I think Cotto is better suited for fighting Mosley than he is for fighting Mayweather.

Cotto is young, relentless, and hungry; he also has impeccable stamina, tremendous power, and a sensational desire to win. Since Mosley does better against less aggressive foes wherein he gets to play the role of the aggressor, Cotto is a much more difficult stylistic challenge for Mosley. In fact, Cottoís effective aggression might be enough to put Mosley into a gun-shy shell, not unlike what we witnessed when he faced Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright. Although Forrest and Wright donít fight the same pressure style as Cotto, both remained active enough to prevent Mosley from settling into his more comfortable role as the aggressor.

Cotto would probably have a much more difficult time trying to chase down Mayweather, who excels when fighting as a defensive counter-puncher. This means Cotto would play the role of the aggressor in a potential Mayweather-Cotto bout, much in the same way Shane would play the aggressor in a potential fight with Floyd. The difference is, Cotto, despite having deceptively fast hands, isnít quite as quick as Mosley and probably isnít quick enough to impose his relentless assault effectively against Mayweather.

I see Mosley being quick enough to land an abundance of meaningful punches against Mayweather, whereas, I think Cotto would have a more difficult time finding the mark. Against Judah, Cotto showed he was vulnerable to lead lefts and straight left counters. Someone like Floyd has the technical prowess to consistently exploit this opening time and time again. This wouldnít bode well for Cotto. Additionally, Mayweatherís tremendous foot speed and ring generalship should afford him the opportunity to step in, land a punch, and back out of harmís way before Cotto has the chance to retaliate.

Of course, Iím not making any definitive predictions on any of these potential match-ups. Iím merely speculating.

Style-wise, it makes sense to me that:

* Mosley matches up well against Mayweather
* Mayweather matches up well against Cotto
* Cotto matches up well against Mosley

All three of these fighters are good enough that any one of them is capable of beating the other two. However, this might well be one of those situations wherein A beats B, B beats C, but A doesnít beat C. Thatís to say, Cotto might beat Mosley, but lose to Mayweather; Mosley might beat Mayweather, but lose to Cotto; and Mayweather might beat Cotto, but lose to Mosley. Or perhaps the inverse possibilities may even prove to be true?

Whatever the case may be, Iím very interested in seeing potential showdowns involving these three fighters. Iím sure many boxing fans share my enthusiasm regarding such prospects. In fact, if HBO does the right thing and tries to make these fights a reality, itís quite possible that boxing fans the world over will be sayingÖ.

ďThereís no place like HomeÖthereís no place like HomeÖthereís no place like Home (Box Office)!Ē

Okay, I know, I know; cheesy and unimaginative.

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Article posted on 14.06.2007

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