Cotto And Mosley Ready For Battle

06.11.07 - By Matthew Hurley: “I’m expecting a hard, rugged fight.” So says Shane Mosley, 44-4 with 37 KOs of his upcoming bout with Miguel Cotto, 30-0 with 25 KOs. The two are set to square off at Madison Square Garden on November 10th for Cotto’s World Boxing Association welterweight title. The match up is one of the year’s most anticipated fights because of the contrast in styles. Promoters have labeled this contest “Fast and Furious” and fans expect nothing less than a scintillating fight between two of boxing’s most exciting warriors..

If there are any questions coming into the fight about the two fighters they would probably center on Mosley’s age and Cotto’s chin. But both will probably turn out to be non-issues because despite what critics of both fighters may maintain, Mosley appears to be one of those rare, ageless fighters and Cotto may have been stunned and knocked down by opponents in the past but no one has been able to keep him down. His recuperative powers are much stronger than he’s given credit for, and Mosley himself believes that Cotto’s chinny reputation came from something he himself experienced – draining himself to make weight.

“I think Cotto got hurt at 140 because he had trouble making weight,” he says. “I remember when I fought at lightweight and while I never got wobbled I could feel the shots a little more as I got older so I knew I had to leave before something bad happened. I was so drained from making the weight. I have to worry about it a little bit now because I’m coming down (to 147) but not so much.”

Cotto himself waves off questions about his chin. It’s obvious the soft spoken fighter agrees with Mosley’s sentiment about weight issues and he understands that he is not as graceful in the ring as his opponent. But his tenacity is such that he breaks the will of the fighter in front of him. He never stops coming forward and even if he gets buzzed or knocked down he clears his head and trudges ever onward. It’s that relentless aggression that Mosley will have to deal with.

“I am not the most skilled boxer in the world,” he admits, “but with hard work I have always reached my goals. I will do the same for this fight. Everyone knows my style and what I bring to the fight. I work the body to make my opponent tired. I’ll do the same with Mosley. Will he be able to withstand that? He was a great fighter but it is now my time.”

The issue of body punching is two-fold in this bout because it is often forgotten what a tremendous body puncher Mosley is. With Cotto the left hook to the rib cage is his bread and butter punch. It is the complete center of his attack. Mosley, because of his speed and flashy combinations sometimes neglects to work the body as much as he should but when he has it has paid off handsomely. It was body shots in the later rounds of his rematch with Oscar De La Hoya that sealed the victory for him. Mosley, despite his boxing grace, loves to mix it up and get in the trenches with his opponent, but he still has the ability to dart out and circle his prey with a technician’s grace.

“Sometimes I don’t body punch like I should and I’m a really good body puncher. I’ll definitely use it in this fight. I can take it to the body as well. John John Molina (former opponent) went to the body a lot. My sparring partner hits me to the body all the time. I should be all right. And growing up in California and sparring with the Mexican fighters helped me to absorb body punches better.”

Mosley then adds that sometimes tremendous body punchers such as Cotto don’t like it to the body in return. “I think he doesn’t like it to the body too much. But I’m going to hit him everywhere – the body, the head, his arms, everywhere.”

Cotto understands and accepts his limitations in the ring. He uses that knowledge to his advantage through that endlessly aggressive attack. Just when his opponent thinks he has him on the verge of defeat the proud Puerto Rican keeps coming forward. He understands, particularly in this fight, that at some point, probably early, Mosley will expose his deficiencies and he will have to respond with that steely resolve that his carried him to thirty victories without a defeat.

“Shane is a very great fighter,” he says, stone-faced. “But he will not be the better fighter on November 10th. I will be leaving the ring the same way I will be entering it, undefeated and still the world champion.”

Writer’s note: Miguel Cotto is a -150 betting favorite against +120 Shane Mosley.

Article posted on 07.11.2007

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