Who Suffered The More Damaging Defeat, Cotto Or Pavlik?

Miguel Cottoby James Slater - Two excellent fighters who figured to keep the zero at the end of their records well in place were instead sensationally upset this year - Miguel Cotto and then Kelly Pavlik. Cotto was stopped in the 11th-round of his sensational battle with Antonio Margarito back in July, while Pavlik was all but shut-out over 12-rounds by Bernard Hopkins this past Saturday. What fight fans are now extremely interested in is to see if the two hitherto all-conquering warriors can come back, and if so how successfully. Simply put, who is likely to be affected more by their upset beating, Cotto or Pavlik?

On the one hand, Cotto got stopped - a result not too many people felt they'd see the mighty Puerto Rican fall victim to. Whereas Pavlik can at least say his KO-by defeat percentage is still nought. But then again, Cotto can take solace from the fact that though he was TKO'd, he did succeed in making his losing fight ultra competitive; he was even winning the fight for a period of time. "The Ghost," however, though he never tasted the canvas, was never in his fight with B-Hop. If Cotto were to gain another go at "Tony" he could well make a reasonable argument claiming he'd do things differently in a return and that he would hang on to get a points win this time. But Pavlik would never get anyone to listen to him of he made such a claim, so beaten out of sight was he on October 18th.

So which fighter would you rather be? Both men took a serious amount of punishment in their respective bouts, and both men were busted up to no minor degree also. Cotto, for his part, has said he'd like to go back in with the man who laid so much hurt on him, whereas Pavlik, understandably, is set to drop back down to his more natural haven of middleweight and will never cross paths with "The Executioner" again. This does not make Cotto a braver fighter. If Hopkins were the same weight as Pavlik I'm sure Kelly would take a rematch. Sure, the outcome wouldn't likely be any different, but the gutsy 26-year-old would give it a shot.

Maybe Cotto's pride will see to it that he meets a similar fate to that of Kermit Cintron. He went back in with Margarito after having sustained a beating from the Mexican, only to lose again. And yes, Cotto is arguably a superior fighter to Cintron, but there is a good chance his record will have two losses attached to it if he goes back in with the man who beat him a few months ago. If this is indeed how things transpire it will be Cotto who is looked at as the more damaged fighter between he and Pavlik.

It's always interesting to see how a once formidable world champion (Pavlik still is a champ, of course) comes back from his first loss. Some fighters are never the same, while others become ever greater. It's still way too early to tell which will be the case with Cotto and Pavlik, but I have a feeling both men will in time prove they are far from done yet.

Despite the not to be underestimated physical and mental damage they both suffered this year, Cotto and Pavlik have the kind of background and all-round toughness needed to come back. Perhaps even stronger.

Article posted on 24.10.2008

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