Does Cotto have a chance against Mayweather Jr.?

Miguel CottoRobert Jackson: As Boxing historian Bert Sugar likes to say about a fighters chances “slim and none and slim is out of town” – this indeed may be the mantra surrounding Miguel Cotto’s chances. Elite Boxing Trainer Freddie Roach once said that as a young fighter he would spar with the late Alexis Arguello and Arguello would know what he (Roach) was going to do before he did it. One would have to say that Mayweather is also that class of fighter – he knows what you’re going to do before you do it. And even if he doesn’t know he has the quickness (quickness is in the mind, speed is in the body) to figure things out and do something to render it ineffective.

This Mayweather trait is the most formidible one that WBA Champion Miguel Cotto will be up against. Because of his quick mind, Mayweather is able to adapt very well against his opponents, within a short period of time. Couple this attribute with the training that Mayweather puts himself thru to prepare for a fight and there you have it..

Another concern of Team Cotto would have to be who they’ll spar with to prepare Miguel, think Stevie Forbes here (or Adrien Bronner). Some experts minimize the importance of sparring as just another exercise a fighter does in the gym to get in shape, face it people, SPARRING is REAL fighting, fighters get HURT sparring. Boxers fight to get ready to fight. And on FIGHT NIGHT a fighter fights in the ring just like he sparred in the gym! And if he sparred slow fighters he will have conditioned his muscle memory to fight slow. Cotto needs to spar with quick, crafty and fast sparring partners. And this is in addition to having the physical conditioning to go 12 rounds, where in the past Cotto has seemed to run out of gas.

Watching and Understanding the Mayweather fight style also does nothing for a fighter – as Mayweather likes to say “it looks easy until you get in the ring”. The Mayweather style is basic while also being complex, his defense first mentality has spared him the ring beatings sustained by other fighters, while opening up opportunitees to counterpunch their every attack with success. The Cotto jab which he successfully used against Shane Mosley will open him up for right hand counters from Mayweather – don’t expect Cotto to jab all night.
The left hook to the body will be caught on the right forearm or elbow and followed up with a right uppercut counter from Mayweather – don’t expect too many left hooks to the body from Miguel. The right hand that Cotto will throw upstairs will be shoulder rolled by Mayweather then countered with his own right hand/left hook combination.

The last thing Team Cotto needs to concern themselves with is Mayweather’s phyiscal strength; to cope with the in-fighting Mayweather has bulked up his body and gained a lot of physical strength in his legs, torso and shoulders, though not considered a power puncher, Mayweather punches with the authority to keep his opponents honest. If they underestimate this Mayweather attribute, they’ve lost already. Cotto’s punch resistance isn’t what it once was and he will be getting hit a lot by Mayweather anyway.

In any case the mountain is high for Team Cotto and ‘slim IS out of town’! Cotto will sustain another beating and be outclassed for 12 rounds losing to the virtuoso by a huge margin or maybe even stopped.

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Article posted on 14.03.2012

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