If and When Cotto Fights Margarito…

Miguel CottoBy Ted Sares: If they meet, it will give new meaning to the phrase “Mega Fight.” Let’s just call it “Machismo Explosivo.” This fight involves two tough as nails guys meeting in a clash of titans. One is from boxing crazy Puerto Rico; the other from boxing crazy Mexico.

Miguel “Junito” Cotto is 32-0 and slaughtered his last opponent. Antonio Tony Margarito, 36-5, brutalized his last foe. Both have excellent KO percentages and both can render tremendous punishment (Cotto over Carlos Quintana and Margarito over Sebastian Andres Lujan).

Margarito can take you out with one body shot (Cintron) or one head shot (Golden Johnson), but most of all, he is an incoming pressure fighter who uses an incredibly high punch volume to break his opponents down in savage and relentless fashion. When he is good, he is great. When he is bad (Clottey and Santos), he is, well pretty bad. Still, while Tony favors brawling, he also can box well when necessary. And his chin may be the very best in boxing.

Cotto also can dispatch an opponent with one body shot (Mohamad Abdulaev) or one head shot (Kelson Carlos Pinto). He is more consistent and has pretty much (though not entirely) shaken off the weak chin rap. More importantly, he has become a far better boxer improving almost imperceptibly in each outing. He now has better movement and uses the jab much more effectively. He is quickly becoming a complete package and that spells trouble for anyone who fights him.

He Also has fought the better opposition and has beaten former world champions Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, DeMarcus Corley (TKO5), Randall Bailey (TKO6), Carlos Maussa (TKO8), and Cesar Bazan (TKO11). He also has beaten previously undefeated contenders Carlos Quintana (TKO5), Paulie Malignaggi (W12), Ricardo Torres (KO7), and Kelson Pinto (TKO6), as well as contenders Muhammad Abdulaev (TKO9), Victoriano Sosa (TKO4) and Lovemore Ndou (W12).

Cotto reminds of Jake LaMotta with his incoming moves and savage body work, wearing down his prey until they are ready for the kill. Margarito favors a faster kill, and is equally menacing. He too knows how to work the body. Both employ legal assault and battery in their tool chest.

Cotto has been hurt a few times, but managed to recover. If Margarito hurts him, he will not let him off the hook.

Still, if and when they meet, one thing needs to be kept in mind. Cotto savaged the man (Quintana) who soundly beat the man (Paul Williams) who beat the man (Margarito). Given this fact and his steady improvement, I favor Cotto, but only by a razor thin margin--and a draw would not surprise me.

Article posted on 26.04.2008

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