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.
It took just under 12 rounds of the fight but Miguel Cotto, 36-2 (29), achieved the knockout he promised to deliver by the end of the final heat, successfully defending his WBA junior middleweight belt and sending former welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga, 29-8-2 (23), into retirement at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Things started off with both Cotto and Mayorga attempting to land solid shots in order to establish who the bigger puncher was. As Cotto landed some clean bombs, Mayorga replied with strong shots of his own.
Mayorga was blasted with a left hook to the jaw and as a result was backed up into the ropes. Mayorga played off his condition by trying to goad Cotto into a power exchange against the ropes. Cotto took his time as he patiently glided into range and unleashed some strong shots.
The tone of the fight was set as Cotto established his range and connected with power jabs that eventually would swell up Mayorga’s right eye. To Mayorga’s credit, he was game and continued gain an advantage but his free-swinging style allowed Cotto to show off some improved defense and balance as he avoided most of the big shots.
Cotto looked great in this one, and Mayorga looked good as well. Not bad for a 10-1 underdog.
Sergio Martinez Stops Sergiy Dzinziruk in Eight, Defends Middleweight Championship
The 2010 “Fighter of the Year” didn’t do anything to take himself out of the running for that honor in 2011.
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez retained his title with an eighth-round stoppage of Sergiy Dzinziruk Saturday at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
Martinez, 47-2-2 (26), dropped Dzinziruk five times in the fight, including three times in the eighth, before referee Arthur Mercante stopped it at 1:43.
“I wanted to nullify his boxing, nullify his punches, nullify his jab,” Martinez said. “Little by little, I did that.”
Dzinziruk, 37-1 (23), fought in a tight defensive shell but kept coming forward, while Martinez kept moving around the ring, letting his hands go more often. In the eighth, Martinez dropped Dzinziruk with right hooks three times, with Dzinziruk landing hard on his shoulder each time.
“I had to open up more and I did, but it didn’t help,” said Dzinziruk. “The knockdowns were not hard punches but they were perfect shots.”
I may missing this fight live, but I think it has the potential to being the most entertaining fight of the year. I am mildly surprised more people aren’t talking about it.
My logic tells me that Mayorga will start the fight fast and Cotto will be hanging on for life in the first three rounds while doing some damage of his own.
In the middle rounds Cotto’s technique and skill will start taking over and seriously touch up Mayorga.
In the late middle rounds, Mayorga will make one last push, and hurt Cotto, and possibly drop him.
By round 10 Cotto should be punishing a bloodied Mayorga on the ropes and the ref should wave it off in a potential for fight of the year honors.
(Keep in mind, this could all happen in a somewhat collapsed time frame.)
The passive boxing fan and boxing writer vastly underestimate Mayorga’s ability (they can only seem to remember him getting chopped up by Oscar De La Hoya. A fight where Mayorga was able to lay some heavy leather). And Cotto’s tendency to be courting disaster at every turn should make this fight worth whatever they are peddling for it.
Mayorga is a 6 to 1 underdog in this one.
However, I have been hearing some rumblings from my sources that he might not be a bad bet (for some reasons I don’t want to publicly mention). But you didn’t hear that from me.
Also, the same night, Sergio ”El Maravilla” Martinez will take on undefeated WBO light middleweight champion Sergiy ”Razor” Dzinziruk of the Ukraine at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut. I don’t know much about Sergiy ”Razor” Dzinziruk, except that he has a win over Joel Julio, so I expect Sergio Martinez to win.
Miguel “Junito” Cotto VS Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga
On March 12th, G Manifesto Hall of Fame members, Miguel “Junito” Cotto and Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga will meet in the ring for what is sure to be a very entertaining battle of Machismo.
The war of words has already begun:
Ricardo Mayorga:“I respect your mother but I don’t want her to suffer anymore. She cannot take any more of those beatings you’ve been taking. I will finish you off and your mother will be in peace at last. This won’t take me long, about four rounds on March 12.”
Miguel Cotto:“You have about seven more weeks to talk. Get it all out. Keep talking. Then we will go into the ring. That’s when your talking stops.”
Some pre-fight action:
Frente a frente Cotto y Mayorga
Ricardo Mayorga:“I’m going to make you think about retirement like Margarito should, after Pacquiao took care of him. I’m going to do the same to you and make you think twice about stepping back in that ring. Don’t let your mom and your family suffer anymore by allowing yourself to continue to take beatings in the ring. Stop making them suffer, I’m going to knock him out and prove to everyone in Nicaragua. First time that I’m fighting someone who is as small as a kid. But the pay-per-view and watch the retirement party for Miguel. I’m going to convince him that he should retire.”
“My pants are up higher than Cotto’s. I’m going to be the man, and Cotto will be the woman. On March 12, Puerto Rico is going to be dressed in black for your funeral. I can see fear in your eyes. I will retire you”.
Miguel Cotto:“Welcome all of you to Ricardo Mayorga’s first press conference for his circus,” said Cotto, speaking even as Mayorga continued to taunt him. “When you spoke earlier, I kept my mouth shut, now you remain quiet. I am a professional and with these tiny pants and these tiny hands I beat Shane Mosley. Do you remember Shane Mosley?
“Mayorga’s whole career was a joke. I am a gentleman, you (Mayorga) are a joker and a clown. All your (Mayorga) career you have run off at the mouth and in all the big fights you’ve failed. Just so you know who I am, I am a three-time world champion.”
Miguel Cotto Press Conference-NYC: Cotto vs Mayorga
Margarito did better than I thought. Even though they won’t admit it, plenty of Manny Pacquiao fans were nervous as hell during the first two rounds when Margarito was jabbing and using his size. For a moment or two, I really thought Manny was going to get seriously hurt. It is a true testament to how incredible Manny is that he was able to punish Margarito in such convincing fashion.
Margarito definitely hurt Pacquiao a few times. It was probably the closest one-sided fight I have ever seen.
That being said, Margarito’s corner should have stopped the fight in the 8th or 9th round.
One of the most amazing things Pacquiao does that no one talks about is his ability to never seem hurt. Trust me, this is a great skill to have. And Manny has it. He showed it in the fight with Cotto when Cotto hit him to the body.
And he showed it in this fight the few times Margarito had Pacquiao on the ropes and ripped him with body shots and uppercuts.
Pacquiao should definetly not step up and fight Sergio Martinez. Martinez would kill him. Too big, too athletic and too fast.
Here is why Boxing is Dope:
I still have a soul (HBO Boxing)
That could be the best movie I have seen all year. Short, sweet and inspirational. Only in Boxing can a street kid go from selling cigarettes on the curb to becoming Congressman and a country’s most beloved citizen. For The People.
On another note, The Wall Street Journal had a good article about how Tiger Woods is a dork and Manny Pacquiao is dope:
As a reentry, it was better than Mr. Woods’s stiff round of confessionals last spring, but it still felt choreographed and soaked in self-helpy aphorisms (“I’m not the same man I was a year ago.”) It’s nice to hear Mr. Woods claim he is happier, but was anyone still needing an update? We’re fatigued by the unsolicited amends. We just want to see him play better golf.
Amid Mr. Woods’s strange anniversary celebration, we couldn’t help but think of another superstar athlete, one who appears to be everything Tiger’s fans and enablers hoped he would be, but wasn’t: Manny Pacquiao.
Like Mr. Woods, Mr. Pacquiao is bigger than his sport. Like Tiger, he is a global icon, whose influence and talents are described in hushed tones. Mr. Pacquaio is considered by many to be the dominant fighter of his generation—he’s won eight different titles in eight different weight classes, the latest coming last Saturday, when he dissected Antonio Margarito, who was five inches taller and 17 pounds heavier. Mr. Pacquiao’s only unrealized goal is a date with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., a worthy rival who seems content to delay and self-destruct.
Mr. Pacquiao, like Mr. Woods, is a Nike paragon. But in the Pac-Man’s case, the largeness of the image feels earned. As he redefines his sport, Mr. Pacquiao is also serving as a Congressman in the Philippines. This job has been characterized by some as a dilettantish distraction, but those close to the fighter describe him as genuinely torn between the ring and politics. “He takes [Congress] really, really seriously,” Mr. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said recently. “He’s a different person there.”
Look for Celestino “Pelenchin” Caballero too be too much for “The American Boy” Jason Litzau. Andre Berto should stop Freddy Hernandez and Juan Manuel Marquez should finish the brave Michael Katsidis in an all-action brawl.
The Rest is Up to You…
Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life
Fighting for his father, who died in January, for his legion of Puerto Rican fans and for his continued standing among boxing’s elite, Miguel Cotto won the first main-event bout at the new Yankee Stadium on Saturday night and handed Yuri Foreman his first loss.
In front of 20,272 fans, victory came in a fashion both decisive and bizarre.
Cotto (35-2) compiled what his trainer called “the perfect fight,” but triumphed in large part because Foreman (28-1) slipped in the seventh round and limped the rest of the bout.
The referee stopped the fight 42 seconds into the ninth round. Cotto secured the World Boxing Association’s super welterweight belt and his fourth championship. Foreman was not lacking courage, fighting and limping, slipping and punching, until the end.
Many people are saying that because Foreman’s knee gave out that there are many questions left unanswered by the Cotto win. For me, and anyone that really knows boxing, the question is answered. Bottom line, Foreman got broken down. It doesn’t matter if it is a knee, the body or the chin. Broken down is broken down.
And I have always had an affinity for fights that end with left hooks to the body.
Still, this was one of those rare occasions when both fighters stock when up after the fight.
Foreman showed tons of heart in his loss. And very courageously, twice did not take the 5 minute break he could have. For anyone that doesn’t think there have been good Jewish boxers in the past, see: Abe Attell (Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein’s friend), Jack Kid Berg, Battling Levinsky, Maxie “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, Maxie Berger and of course the great Benny “Ghetto Wizard” Leonard, among others.
Cotto on the other hand remains one of boxing’s greatest attractions. He always has very exciting fights, win or lose. I think part of the appeal of Cotto is that it almost seems like disaster is always right around the corner for him. Sort of Gatti-esque.
The sad thing about Cotto is that it does seem like the Margarito fight and possibly loaded gloves took something out of him. We may never know how great he could have been.
I wasn’t able to do my typical prediction on Manny Pacquiao VS Miguel Cotto as I was laying low in the badlands of Norte Baja and swooping girls in Tijuana. I actually watched Manny Pacquiao VS Miguel Cotto in a bar full of crazy Mexicans and have no idea of the commentary for the fight.
(In case you wanted to know, my prediction was Manny Pacquiao in a late round KO. Although, I would have said that Cotto at 3-1 wasn’t a bad bet).
Here are my post fight thoughts:
Manny Pacquiao is a living nightmare to fight. He leads, you punch and he punches more. It is very hard to beat a guy that triples your punch output.
Pacquiao has had an amazing career. Wins over Miguel Angel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales will do that to someone. Hell, he had an amazing career after coming on top of the Barrera and Morales wars.
The only way Cotto could have won was to: get out of the first three rounds unscathed (he didn’t), rough up and foul PacMan (he didn’t), work the body heavy (he did a little). Cotto is a little too much of a gentleman to execute the proper gameplan.
Pacquiao is The Bruce Lee of Boxing. No one has the in and out attack and rhythm of PacMan.
No one is more dangerous than Pacquiao in exchanges. If Cotto didn’t exchange and get knocked down early, the fight would have pretty even going into the 2nd half.