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People say ‘This fight should have happened five years ago’. I retort ‘The Cotto of five years ago is not the same Cotto that will be facing Mayweather this evening’.
The Cotto of five years ago was an undefeated monster at welterweight; he was giving solid, talented fighters hard nights, which resulted in them sinking slowly against an oncoming tide, until he met Margarito. That loss has since been avenged and the general consensus is that Margarito didn't have standard handwraps, but still, that night took something from Cotto.
He had an aura of invincibility about him, like Mayweather has now. Unlike Mayweather though, he was a far more exciting fighter to watch. Sure Mayweather is fast, flashy, skillful, generally excellent in all areas, but it doesn’t always make a crowd pleasing fight; one mans total domination of another.
Cotto has showed us his heart on more than one occasion, and has been in some wars, sometimes to his detriment. When he was at junior welter, and a bit drained, he was getting caught and put down by the likes of Ricardo Torres or Demarcus Corley. He got up, rallied back and stopped them in spectacular fashion.
Think of one boring or bad fight he has been in...now ask yourself that same question about Floyd.
Had that Cotto fought Mayweather five years ago and won, Cotto may be where Mayweather is now. Along the way, he may have fought Ricky Hatton instead of Margarito…which Cotto would have won in a great fight, and not suffered that brutal loss instead against Margarito.
Then we wouldn’t get to see Mayweather vs Pacquiao, which is what we all want right now, lets be honest. Instead, we would be seeing Cotto vs. Pacquiao, and we know the ending to that one.
So, in conclusion we should be happy that the two fighter’s paths have rolled out like they have.
There are too many variables to how Cotto vs. Mayweather in 2007 could have worked out, personally I like this fight now, not five years ago.
Cotto is at a weight he is far more comfortable at now, and although that night against Margarito he had something stolen from him, he is not a shot fighter by any means.
He will undoubtedly present a threat to Mayweather, who, had it not been for Ortiz as his last opponent, an argument could be made that Mayweather hasn’t been tested in a while. Whilst Ortiz was a live wire, by the end of the third round it looked as if Mayweather had his number and started picking him apart, on the back foot.
Ortiz only shared four rounds with Mayweather, and had the head butting incident not occurred, the same result would have happened…just a few rounds later.
The Zab Judah and Jose Luis Castillo fights were Mayweather's his last real tests. Floyd adjusted well to Judah but with Castillo he was in deep water, gut check time. Floyd did what he had to do to win down the stretch but he didn’t look comfortable.
Victoriano Sosa, Phillip N’Dou, Demarcus Corley, Henry Bruseles, Arturo Gatti, Sharmba Mitchell and Ricky Hatton fall in to the ‘Too Limited’ range of Mayweather's opponents.
Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya fall into the ‘Too old, no where near their best’ category, Juan Manuel Marquez was too small and Carlos Baldomir was too old and too limited.
Or am I not giving Mayweather enough credit for making these fighters look old, or limited?
Either way you cannot deny his brilliance and craftsmanship in the ring. Whatever category the aforementioned fighters fall into, the one thing they have in common is that they stepped in that ring to beat Floyd Mayweather and they failed.
As mentioned, he is fast of hand and foot, brilliant defensively and when he wants to stand and fight he can and will.
He is especially clever at making opponents fight at his pace, Judah and De La Hoya had some limited success in the first few rounds but in the middle rounds started fighting at Mayweather's pace and he began timing them onto shots.
Castillo didn’t fight at Floyd’s pace; he was having none of it, pressure, pressure, pressure, and he gave Floyd nightmares.
If Cotto comes out and puts it on Floyd from the opening bell, with that ramrod of a converted southpaw jab, he could have some success, also if he can pin Mayweather on the ropes and let rip, he could do damage.
When tagged though, he will fight fire with fire and Mayweather is a natural counter puncher. Against Pacquiao, Cotto was knocked down and hurt badly when he opened up to fire back after an exchange and was caught square on the chin.
Mayweather will look to do this all night long if he can. Cotto’s defence can also be questionable. He does get hit. Look at his face after his two losses, it was busted up. He cuts and he swells.
Cotto will come out fighting, he is the fighter who will make this bout exciting, as he always does, and he does stand a chance of putting his exceptionally heavy hands on Mayweather. With 30 KO’s coming from 37 wins, he hits harder than Mayweather.
Common opponents are Mosley, Judah, Corley, and Sosa.
Mayweather went the distance with Judah, while Cotto stopped him in the eleventh. Both men comfortably beat Mosley on points. Mayweather also went the distance with Corley and Sosa. Cotto didn’t let either fighter see six rounds.
This should be a real test for Floyd, Cotto is never a fighter who should be ruled out, he could pose some real problems to Mayweather but it’s whether or not he will end up waging the wrong fight and at Floyd’s pace, going down the same road as Mosley and De La Hoya and Judah…doing good work early and then letting Floyd take over, I say ‘letting’ but they couldn’t stop him.
Mayweather is going to tag Cotto all night, with lead right hands and lead left hooks and when he stands inside he is going to work those uppercuts, and although on a personal basis I would love Cotto to throw his hat back in the mix, put the cat amongst the pigeons for the fabled Pacquiao vs Mayweather mega fight, and take Mayweather's all important 0. I doubt it will happen.
Mayweather keeps his 0, probably over the distance, but on another note, Pacquiao said to the world of Cotto ‘I can beat this guy inside twelve rounds’ Mayweather may want to say to the world…’I can do better than that’.