Why Mayweather will fight Cotto

by Yero Moody: The desire to be great and to be the absolute best has driven many champions to unimagineable levels of greatness. We've all witnessed their awe inspiring moves and incredible plays that made them legendary. What seperates an elite champion from a good champion is their willingness to go the extra mile, consistency at the top, and level of competition defeated..

Three of my favorite athletes that personify these attributes are Micheal Jordan, Jerry Rice and the late, great Walter Payton. I picked these three athletes in particular because of what they are all known for when the cameras are off and no one was there cheering them on. Their training regiment. Very few athletes wanted to train with these men because their training was so rigorous and intense. They trained alone long after their team members had packed it in.

I illustrate this to speak of a deep down desire that all elite champions have that drives them to such high levels. The desire to be the best. No athlete in competitive sports wants to be second best or mediocre. Floyd Mayweather is no different. He too has a training regiment that is legendary amongst boxers. Sparring 20 rds. with light heavyweights bringing in a fresh sparring partner for every round, training late at night when most boxers are sleeping, throwing 10,000+ punches a day, etc. The force is strong in him Master Yoda!

The results speak for themselves. 39-0, 25 ko's and huge purses. Yet, with all the accomplishments like all great champions, the desire to be the best still drives him on. We've all heard the retirement talks but lets face it do we really believe it? I for one didn't buy it the first time and I'm not buying it now. Mayweather said he wants to be remembered as the greatest fighter ever. To do that he must fight and defeat the very best. So let us examine the possible candidates and see who offers the best competition combined with the best payoff for Mayweather and his legend seeking status.

The most obvious fighter is Miguel Cotto coming off a huge win over Shane Mosley in which he was the underdog. He's a champion, young, undefeated and in his prime. What makes this fight so compelling in the eyes of many is that Cotto has the abilty to win no matter what. Despite being dominted early by the much smaller Demarcus Corley he came back to won by TKO in 5 rounds. He was virtually beaten by Ricardo Torres and came back to win by KO in in the 7th rd. He has shown chinks in his armor but he still manages to win convincingly. Many people don't realize that Bob Arum once promoted both Mayweather and Cotto at 140lbs. This is a fight that could have happened years ago but Bob Arum stated that he would not let Cotto in the ring with Mayweather at that time due to his skill level. Mayweather has always stated that he would fight Cotto. Much has changed since then and Cotto and Arum are poised and eager to make the fight.

Number 2 would have to be Paul Williams whose surprising win and dominant performance over rising star Antonio Margarito caused all doubters to take notice. He is also a champion, young, undefeated and in his prime. He is also freakishly big for a welterweight which would give any fighter problems. I picked Williams to defeat Margarito because he is the superior boxer but aginst Mayweather he wouldn't be and his resume is mediocre at best which gives Mayweather really nothing to gain. The naysayers will always say he was still to green with only one big win. A few more big wins and in my opinion Williams will be the best welter in the division after Mayweather retires for good.

Number 3 Shane Mosley who could be a rematch away from being the top contender for Mayweather. Even now it would be a huge fight. It is a toss up in my mind because he is clearly a better all around fight right now than Paul Williams and Miguel Cotto but Williams and Cotto are young and undefeated and most importantly champions. Mosley is unique because he has the style that in my opinion represents the most danger to Mayweather. He has the speed to match Mayweather, he can apply pressure and throw fast combinations landing from all angles. Mosley put up a hell of a fight against Cotto but his age is really beginning to show. I would love to see that rematch because he could very well beat Cotto if he brings his A game.

Number 4 Antonio Margarito, number 5 Kermit Cintron, number 6 a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya and finally number 7 Andre Berto. I lump the these fighters together because clearly they are these least competitive and least lucrative for Mayweather. Magarito is going to have to avenge his loss to Williams before his stock can rise again or beat a big, named opponent. The only draw would come from those fans of Margarito's and naysayers of Mayweather who actually believe that Mayweather is afraid to face Margarito. For what I have no clue and I'm still waiting for a legitimate answer. Margarito has proven time and time again to be very limited fighter. Cintron is non-compelling and he his lower ranked than Margarito. He looked average at best in has last fight in November. Mayweather would get no credit for beating up on Cintron. He is fighter Mayweather is supposed to beat. De La Hoya would only be considered because of his huge fan base, the purse and the event that it brings. Mayweather, if he's smart, would make De La Hoya come to him at 147lbs. and beat him even worse. Mayweather's premiuim weight is 147lbs. De La Hoya has always has problems with slick, fast boxers even in his prime. Andre Berto is way too green and is not a draw at all. Its not even worth mentioning really at this point. Berto has no big wins as of yet and putting him in there against Mayweather could do damage to him as a fighter and his career. That is exactly what happened to David Reid when he fought Tito Trinidad. He was too green, took a brutal loss and was never the same.

Mayweather recognizes that if he is to be considered the best of all time he needs to ride off in the sunset with at least one or two more big wins. Cotto presents the biggest and best challenge right now hands down. He doesn't necessarily need to fight Cotto for his Hall of Fame legacy has already been cemented but he does if he wants to considred the pound for pound best fighter ever. In my opinion he'll never surpass what Sugar Ray Robinson did simply because he fought so many fights back to back but he can make a strong argument for number two if he beats Cotto.

For those of us who are capable of looking at Mayweather in an objective light we can see he is clearly the best fighter on the planet right now bar none! What fighter puts together a defense and an offense that can rival Mayweather's? Sadly, as I've pointed out many times that Mayweather "haters" are never going to give him credit for his accomplishments simply because they don't like him. Many called him a "cherrypicker" before he signed to fight De La Hoya so when he signed that fight those same people were predicting how De La Hoya was too big and strong for Mayweather to handle. De La Hoya was too experienced in big fights for "cherrypicking" Mayweather to win. After the fight those same people said Mayweather beat an old past his prime fighter and he needs to fight a young, prime top contender like Hatton, Margarito or Cotto. Then Margarito loses and he fights Hatton and I remember reading Hatton has the style to beat him. Finally Mayweather will be tested by a legitimate threat. Hooray! Now in the post "check hook" era those same haters are saying that Hatton was really a blown up light welter and shoudn't have fought at welter. Now, would they have been saying that if Hatton won? Things that make you go hmmm....

Now the cry is Mayweather needs to fight a legit top welter, like Cotto, Margarito or Cintron with Cotto being number one of course. Cotto is a great fight make no mistake about it but as I watch Cotto I see too many flaws that can and will be exposed by Mayweather quite easily. That is exactly why Mayweather is baiting the public and letting us think he's done so when the time is right he'll go for Cotto much like he did with Hatton.

After he beats Cotto in stunning fashion again the Mayweather "haters" will have something to say. I've found that the most venom spewing haters are the ones who picked against Mayweather at some point in time. They are aching for Mayweather to lose. So no matter who he beats they'll always have someone else he should fight. So to them I ask, when does it end?

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Article posted on 14.12.2007

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