Miguel Cotto VS Antonio Margarito II: The Rematch Prediction
Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) will square off with Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 3rd in the latest instalment of the greatest rivalry in all of sport: Puerto Rico VS Mexico in Boxing.
The Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto, is a homegrown product of the legendary Bairoa Gym in Caguas. He has been one of boxing’s most exciting and compelling characters over the last ten years. A skillful boxer, great pressure fighter and vicious body puncher, he almost always seems on the brink of disaster. Which of course, makes him an exciting fighter to watch.
Mexican star Antonio Margarito is a tough as they come. He is a relentless pressure fighter with an iron chin that throws deadly body punches and uppercuts. He isn’t pretty to watch, but his style is straight out of the alleys of Tijuana. He even looks like a border cartel member. He also might sport some of the worst hairstyles in Boxing today, but that is neither drug scales or cocaine rails.
Let’s talk about the handwrap issue for a minute. I am 99% sure that Margarito used loaded handwraps in the first fight. I even remember when I watched the fight, something seemed fishy. But that is boxing. If true, it makes Margarito one of the biggest scumbags in recent boxing history.
I have talked to several fighters that have sparred with Margarito (and this was before the Cotto fight) and I remember them telling me that Margarito “hit like he had bricks in his hands”.
HBO Boxing: Cotto vs. Margarito: Face Off with Max Kellerman
Miguel Cotto Keys to Victory
First off, Cotto needs to control, or try to control the pace of the fight. Which means, he will want the fight to go as slow as possible for as long as he can. He needs to move and avoid “the phonebooth”.
This is really a bad matchup for Cotto “style-wise”. He is at his best when he is moving forward and pressuring opponents. With Margarito, he has to fight moving backwards for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the size differential.
If Cotto gets hit hard, he is going to have to clinch and slow it down. He probably won’t do this though, since Cotto doesn’t really clinch. However, he is going to have to learn.
When Cotto stops moving, he is going to have to throw with leverage. This of course, gives Margarito a chance to land heavy leather, but Cotto needs to make Margarito respect him, and respect him early.
For Cotto, this is really going to be a battle of footwork, and he can’t stay on the ropes. And at all costs, he is going to have to use head movement and make Margarito miss. The less leather landed on Cotto early the better.
He also needs to throw straight punches thru the gloves of Margarito. The clean 1-2 is going to be a key punch for him.
Other punches to watch for Cotto are the short hook inside. Again, he needs to throw that one from the hip with leverage. He really need to get some rotation on it.
Antonio Margarito Keys to Victory
Essentially, Margarito needs to do exactly what he did last time.
The thing he needs to focus on most is cutting off the ring. The more violent and the more the fight turns into a bloodbath, the better it is for Margarito. He needs to keep the fight inside.
And again, Margarito needs to use his size. Because of their statures, Margarito almost seems like a weightclass or two above Cotto.
The punches to watch for Margarito are the uppercuts to the body from both hands on the inside. If he lands those early, expect a long night for Cotto.
Cotto vs Margarito HD Highlights (GP)
Factors in The Fight
Corners: Both men have different corners in this fight. Not sure who’s advantage this is.
Fight Stoppage: I can see this fight getting an earlier than normal stoppage. I don’t expect they will let Cotto take the kind of punishment he did in the first. And if Margarito’s eye acts up, I don’t think they will play around with that one either. Look for the ending to come quick if and when it does.
Low Blows: Both of these guys are heavy body punchers and they don’t like each other. Maybe even hate each other. Look for a potentially Game changing low blow.
Clashing of heads: These guys styles are prone to clash heads. If a big cut opens up, all bets are off.
The Venue: Madison Square Garden. Need I say more? In An Unforgiving Sport (great book by the way), Paul Malignaggi said that fighting Cotto in the Madison Square Garden is like “fighting the Devil in Hell”. And that is coming from a New Yorker. The heavy Puerto Rican crowd should uplift Cotto. And give him a little leeway on the judges cards.
Cotto: “Madison Square Garden for me, New York for me, it’s like home. And I know that’s going to be a huge Puerto Rican night, the night of December 3.”
Margarito: “The square is always the same in any ring. It’ll just be me and him. I’m going to come out with my hand raised as champion of the world.”
Good stare down:
Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito 2-Los Angeles Press Conference Highlights
Questions to be answered?
Is Cotto the same fighter after brutal losses to Margarito and Pacman? I have heard some interesting things on the boxing grapevine that say he isn’t. Which is really a shame if Margarito used loaded gloves.
Is Margarito the same fighter? After all, he hasn’t really set the world on fire after his “win” over Cotto. He got destroyed by Sugar Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao, and has had just one win over Roberto Garcia.
How is Margarito’s eye? Only the fight will answer this one. Margarito says, “As you can see, we keep training like it’s nothing. My eye is in perfect condition, it’s fine. If it weren’t in perfect condition, believe me, I wouldn’t fight.”
How is Cotto’s emotional state? Personally, I think he is convinced that the reason he lost the first fight was cheating. However, that resolve will be tested in rounds 6-12. Cotto says, “No matter what, I’m preparing myself to beat Margarito’s ass. He played with my health. I’m going to play with his.”
Cotto: “I don’t have any respect for him. And I’m going to take advantage of his eye like he took advantage of the plaster.”
Margarito: “Fuck Cotto (or “Cotto can go to hell, depending on how you translate it). If he thinks that I had plaster, it will hurt like I was using plaster. And he will know it.”
It is safe to say that these guys hate each other. And we have potentially the biggest blood war on our hands this Saturday.
I really think this one will be a slaughter house floor for however long it lasts.
If I was betting, I would bet on the underdog. This fight is razor close on paper.
I typically don’t pick sides in boxing matches, I usually just root for what is best for Boxing.
However in this one, you have to want Cotto to get revenge and redemption.
And I guess that would be the best outcome for Boxing as well.
So f*ck it, he is my (first time) biased prediction:
Cotto by bloody and brutal, close Unanimous Decision.
The Rest is Up to You…
Michael Porfirio Mason
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Watch the first fight in full:
Boxing Classics: Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito (HBO)