'Call Em Out Fridays': Cotto/Margarito - Step Forward Or Fall Back!

25.07.o8- By Vivek Wallace: In this weeks 'Call Em Out Fridays' segment we perform a first. Typically, we 'Call Out' actual fighters, or other prominent figures in the sport by placing them under the microscope and dissecting their actions and shortcomings for the fight world to see, analyze for themselves, and ultimately decide. This week, rather than calling out the fighters involved in this huge spectacle over the upcoming weekend, we 'call out' the fans.. Both men carry a very strong fan base, and in talking to fans on both sides of the spectrum, neither see their man losing. Well, we all know that both men can't win, so in the end, one group of fans will be wrong. Like every other 'Call Em Out Fridays' segment, we'll analyze both perspectives, I'll give a glimpse at mine, and in the end, we open it up for the readers to go on record with their thoughts and analysis. It should be noted that this will be a shorter than normal 'Call Out' session, designed to take a quick look at each sides perspectives. (Tomorrow's layout featuring Keys To Victory, Strategy, And Predictions will go much farther in-depth about the actual fight itself).

Miguel Cotto - (Fan Supportive Perspective): For a guy that's only been in the ring for 7 years, Cotto has one of the most faithful fanbases known to man. Let Miguel Cotto fans tell it, there's nothing he can't do. He can box, he can brawl, he can bang to the body, and he can bang to the head. To their credit, they're partly right. This is a fighter who has shown constant growth on every level. In times of adversity when few thought Miguel would remain undefeated, he's found a way to answer the call, time and time again. When Colombian slugger Ricardo Torres had Miguel Cotto literally out on his feet like we've never seen before, after backpeddaling, using the ropes, and buying time, Cotto found a way to not only overcome the weariness, but win by a decisive KO himself. When he found himself in the ring against a quick-fisted Shane Mosley who is as seasoned of a veteran as you're gonna find, he found a way once again to not only outsmart the veteran, but he subsequently beat him at his own game by outboxing him which no one thought was a possibility previous to the fight. Cotto fans are passionate and true die-hards because they have no concept of what it would take to see their man actually lose. Many times in the past it seemed he would, but in a 'Birdman' rendition, he figuratively escaped from Alcatraz everytime. Why would this fight be any different? Cotto fans feel that they've never seen him lose and now won't be the first time. When you think about it, the guy is undefeated, can you really blame them?

Antonio Margarito - (Fan Supportive Perspective): In the case of Margarito, things are considerably different. He's not undefeated, he's been beaten, and he's not as physically gifted. Trouble is, Margarito fans would argue that he has basically found a way to come back from all of that adversity and is now better as a result. When you analyze him today compared to yesteryear, it's a bit hard to go against that grain. When he found himself 9-3 and on the brink of becoming a journeyman as a fairly young fighter in the game, he turned it up a notch and ripped 21 opponents in a row before losing on a humbug accidental headbutt. The interesting thing about Margarito is that once you get beyond those early losses and the accidental headbutt decision loss to Daniel Santos, only Paul Williams is credited in defeating him. You have to sort of wonder what that really means considering that Williams is a guy that Cotto and promoter Bob Arum chose not to even entertain due to his awkwardness and sheer ability. Had Cotto faced Williams first, it's not impossible to think that he'd have a loss by now as well. Taking it a step further, Margarito has sense then changed his strategy and put more emphasis on quicker starts. You pair that with a granite chin, a relentless work ethic, and better than average power, and all of a sudden, he seems as formidable as any man one can face. Will it be enough in the end? His fans seem to think so.

Cotto/Margarito (The Neutral Perspective): Both sides have passionate fans and come hell to high water, some point after midnight on Saturday night, one side is gonna be wrong. Cotto's past record and accomplishments make it necessary for him to be respected, and although Margarito has lost five times, Cotto's fans would be ill-advised not to respect what he brings to the table. There's no new spin to put on these two fighters that hasn't already been applied so at this time, I leave parting words with the fans on both sides.

Cotto fans: Your man has been long considered the creme of the crop in the welterweight division due to - and to some prior to - the departure of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Considering that he's been dubbed the best there is to offer, is he prepared to prove it against a man who brings an array of elements he hasn't had to deal with much if at all in the past?

Margarito fans: You've stated that your man is the one to put an end to the Cotto 'train'. You've stated that his iron chin and relentless approach can not be denied. Is your man prepared to deliver such a valiant act under the bright lights he has always craved?

When it all boils down, we can go over a million rhetorical questions, but the one that means the most has to be answered in the ring. Normally when two forces collide, one steps forward and the other falls back. Which role will your man play come Saturday night? Soon we'll all find out.

May the best man win!

(Got Questions or Feedback? Write ESB's Vivek Wallace at or show some love at

Article posted on 25.07.2008

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