Mayweather Jr. to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5th on PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

By Michael Collins: Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) will be moving up in weight on May 5th to challenge WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) for his title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather announced the news at his license hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas.

This ends speculation about Mayweather Jr. possibly fighting WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez, who Mayweather Jr. had been rumored to be fighting. Mayweather wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao but the two fighters were unable to agree to terms. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is still holding out hope to put together a fight between the two stars in November, but it’s not looking good right now for that to happen given Arum’s talk of a four-fighter tournament that will extend into November.

Cotto, 31, brings a lot to the table for a Mayweather fight, as he’s a huge pay-per-view star in his own right and it will be one of the few cases where Mayweather Jr. isn’t expected to carry the entire card with his star appeal. Cotto will help attract a lot of boxing fans to this fight, although this might not have been the best of choices for the May 5th date, as Cotto is Puerto Rican and not Mexican. May 5th is the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo and it might have been better had Mayweather Jr. selected someone like Alvarez or Robert Guerrero instead for this date. But the fight will be huge none the less.

Cotto has won his last three fights against Yuri Foreman, Richardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito and looked improved. He’s using his jab more and moving around the ring and not just looking to slug.

Mayweather Jr. will be the smaller man in this fight, as Cotto has been fighting at junior middleweight since 2010 and has filled out. In his last fight against Margarito last December, Cotto came into the ring weighing over 160 on the night of the fight. It's doubtful that Mayweather Jr. will come in that heavy due to his smaller frame. It likely wouldn't help him anyway because it would have a negative affect on his hand speed. Mayweather Jr. will have to find a way to cope with Cotto's power, because he's arguably a bigger puncher than anyone Mayweather Jr. has faced before. Victor Ortiz, who Mayweather Jr. stopped in the 4th round last September, has power that approaches Cotto's but not at the same level.

Both Cotto and Mayweather have agreed to the full Olympic style blood testing for performance enhancing drugs with cut off dates.

Article posted on 02.02.2012

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