Cotto vs. Margarito II: Just the facts!

Miguel CottoBy Robert Jackson: This Cotto/Margarito fight has blown up into a BIGGER affair due to Cotto’s gestation's regarding the loaded wraps issue so stay tuned and get another helping of ‘just the facts’!

In the area of trainers the nod has to go to Robert Garcia an ex-champion himself now trainer of several highly touted fighters including Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios and Antonio Margarito who’s entering his 2nd fight under Garcia’s tutelage. Margarito and Garcia didn’t fare so well the 1st time out against P4P King Manny Pacquiao, in a bout where the TJ Tornado suffered major damage to the right side of his head including a broken orbital bone and right eye damage that needed surgery to repair. The eye damage was so severe that Margarito almost wasn’t licensed by the NY Athletic commission to participate in this rematch. At this point in Margarito’s career he’s as complete a fighter is he can be and no amount of new method or technique will change him, the best that Garcia can do is get him in good fighting shape, spar him well in the gym and give him moral support. Antonio is a ‘search and destroy’ fighter , that’s his advantage and disadvantage.

Cotto for this fight is being trained by ex-Cuban Olympic coach Pedro Benitez Ph.D who’s cornering his first pro fight but brings with him years of international boxing experience albeit at the amateur level. Scheduling conflicts between Miguel Cotto and former trainer Emmanuel Steward caused an end to their 2 fight relationship, during which Cotto won the WBA Jr. Middleweight title and successfully defended it once. Under Steward Cotto settled down into his fighting and fought in a very mature style, not wasting anything and fighting more cautiously. Benitez has introduced Cotto to new training methods and techniques and seems to be opening Cotto up adding more versatility and agility to his fighting style, this should bode well for Cotto.

Advantage Trainers: Margarito (only because Coach Benitez is unproven as a Pro trainer – but I think he will do well)

‘Skills pay the bills’ is the mantra we’re all used to hearing nowadays regarding boxing. Cotto in the past has relied primarily on his daunted left hook to get the job done, in a lot of his fights that punch pulled the fight out for him. Recently Miguel has expanded his skillset and now uses an educated jab and decent right hand to supplement his fight ending left hook. Cotto has also improved his balance and foot work to become a more rounded fighter. ‘Variety is the spice of life’ as they say and having this variety in his arsenal is a plus for him.

What more can one say about Antonio Margarito that we don’t already know except he’ll take 5 punches to land one big bomb and then repeat the cycle, slipping and ducking are for other fighters not him. A Margarito fight is not for the faint of heart because by saying ‘skills be damned’ and throwing caution to the wind this guy always has a chance to win and is NEVER in a stinker of a fight. Last time around Margarito took Cotto’s best shots while slowly walking the Puerto Rican down to eventually pummel Cotto into submission in the late rounds of the fight. This fight will be no different than the first.

Advantage Skills: Cotto

Imponderables as defined by Webster say: “incapable of being weighed or evaluated with exactness”. The imponderables here are few but carry much weight, these are, 1) Margarito’s eye – of what I’ve seen his right eye ‘looks’ like a glass eye and I cannot measure how it will hold up under Cotto’s onslaught, 2) Cotto’s making the case for possible cheating by Margarito during their first match – Cotto made a STRONG case and Margarito didn’t respond to Cotto’s assertions well, in my opinion, 3) The devastating outcome of the first fight that saw Margarito walk thru everything that Cotto threw at him TAKING the victory from Cotto – will this affect Cotto mentally.

Advantage Imponderables: Even

The last time around I predicted a late rounds victory for Margarito. This time I predict a victory for Cotto in the middle to late rounds for the simple fact of Margarito’s eye and the brutal beating that Antonio took from Pacquiao not too long ago. Cotto too took a brutal beating from Pacquiao but has had time to recover while also fighting twice since then. This fight will be another brutal affair for Margarito who’ll end up losing by KO or TKO by the middle to late rounds of the fight.

Article posted on 03.12.2011

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