When a fight like Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez is right around the corner, boxing fans brace themselves for not only a tremendous fight, but a bloody war as well.
Both fighters are thrilling, both have a burning desire for victory, and both are willing to fight each other’s fight. Having said that, there are some clear stylistic and strategic differences in both men, and I believe that it will be the style of boxing that will win this fight for Sergio Martinez.
While we all know Cotto to be an extraordinary warrior with a heart unmatched my most, he is still the type of boxer that requires there to be a brawl, or at least a few power exchanges now and then. Don’t get me wrong, he is as experienced and smart as any, but his hunger and aggression often belittles everything else.
Martinez is a whole other animal. While it is no secret that he has knockout power, what he is more praised for is his skill in the art of the sport. He puts on clinics more often than he brawls. In his fight against Chavez Jr., Martinez made the fight look like a classroom, where the teacher instructs the naïve and inexperienced student. His ability to move around the ring, and his footwork in general is impressive for the fans while frustrating for his rivals.
This is where I feel Cotto will suffer the most. I feel that Cotto will try to fight, while Martinez will create angles from which Cotto would only be capable of throwing sloppy shots. Someone once called Cotto mechanical, although I don’t remember which fight it was in, and often enough, when watching him fight, that quote comes back to me.
Generally, the boxers tend to do better than then brawlers. It is absolutely unfair and dim-witted of me to label Cotto as a brawler, but at this point in his career, he fights more like a brawler than a boxer.
Freddie Roach promises a knockout by Cotto, while Martinez lables that promise as a great joke. Tomorrow is when we find out whether Roach was only kidding, or making an accurate prediction.
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