Cotto - Malignaggi: Sharks 2; Jets 0

12.06.06 - By Eddie Velez: Those familiar with the 1961 Classic West Side Story know that after the smoke settle the “Sharks” had lost one guy and the Jets had lost 2. Now those who want to argue and try to count Tony's nailing of Maria as a victory have a legit argument. But at the end of the day the Sharks Won..

On June 10 in Madison Square Garden was the site of West Side Story Part II. The staring characters were Miguel Cotto and Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi. At the end of this show, there was only one victim and that was Paulie Malignaggi, who after the fight had a face only a Mother could Love (Malignaggi sustained a broken nose, dislocated jaw and a fractured cheekbone not to mention a nice gash above his left eye). As Cotto prepared for the post fight interviews, Malignaggi prepared for a trip to the hospital.

Before the fight, I was amazed at how many boxing writers/experts were picking Malignaggi, and at one point, I was actually questioning my original pick (By the way, that would be Cotto). If Malignaggi doesn't make it as a top fighter, he definitely has a career as a salesman because he sold himself like very few fighters ever had (Kudos to him). However, in this life one must be careful for what one asks for as Paulie found out the hard way.

Now, unless I live on another planet, Cotto is a guy who has an extensive amateur pedigree, has fought much better competion and has shown to have so many more tools then Paulie. Then way were so many people choosing Malignaggi? Well, they do call him the Magic Man and Paulie was trying to pull off his greatest trick but as we all know Magic isn't real and Paulie could not make Cotto disappear.

Now, after the fight, the majority of the internet chatter was about how brave Paulie was and what heart he had. Were I come from, Paulie got his butt kicked plain and simple. He fought against a Cotto who was dead at that weight and was probably fighting at 75%; to top it off he also injured his left hand. If Cotto would have been at 100% Paulie would have been seriously hurt. So what will the Cotto haters now say? Well, Paulie wasn't ready.. Wait until he fights Hatton. Blah Blah Blah...

Come on, Folks, Love Him or Hate Him. Cotto comes to fight and has dominated his opposition. He has face 4 undefeated fighters (Malignaggi, Torres, Pinto and Maussa) and has taken there 0"s. He's defended his title now 6 times and has shown tremendous heart in his two moments of crisis. Cotto is for real! Now I must not be so biased and critize Cotto as well. Bottom line, Cotto must move up to 147, because he looked like he was dying the day of the weigh-in, and, at times, was very lethargic. The few rounds that Malignaggi won were because Cotto wasn't fighting. People were saying, "oh, Cotto will be so much stronger," but there were times in the clinches that Malignaggi was pushing Cotto around. So much for Cotto being stronger then Paulie. The weight loss is actually weakening him. Top Rank must see this and need to move him up ASAP!

Speaking of clinches, shame on Referee Steve Smoger, who did not give Malignaggi one single warning for clinching. Paulie cliched, wrestle and held Cotto countless of times. While I'm at it, shame on Lou Dibella for throwing Malignaggi to the “Sharks” (No pun intended). Hey, Lou, a promoters job is to look out for your young fighter as much as possible, and not send him to his execution. Paulie took a beating and will need at least 7-8 months before even thinking of stepping back into the ring. Over all, The West Side Story Part II was a good card with some decent fights. Cotto will move on and Paulie will be back. Cotto is one “Shark” that has eaten and we continue to eat up a lot of fighters and hopefully one day gets the respect he deserves.

Article posted on 12.06.2006

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