By Geno McGahee
Floyd Mayweather, JR., 42-0, 26 KO’s, is heading into his big showdown with Miguel Cotto, 37-2, 30 KO’s, and either the business side of Floyd is working or he is overlooking his opponent.
On May 5th, the two will go to war in Las Vegas and this will be the last chance for Cotto to make the point that he is an elite fighter. He has beaten the rest, but he lost to Pacquiao in a one-sided fight and the prognosis for this upcoming battle isn’t so good for him. He must fight better than he’s ever fought before and he is facing a boxer that has been able to adjust to everything he has seen and dominate everyone he has faced.
Floyd may be the closest thing to perfect, but as good as he is, he is not impossible to defeat. A shot Shane Mosley landed a right hand counter on him that stunned him and although Cotto is not known for his right hand, he does possess a pretty good one. If he can open up with a barrage of punches if he catches lightning in a bottle, he could possibly drive Mayweather to the floor.
One of the biggest problems for Cotto is that he does get discouraged and is not a strong fighter in the later rounds. Against a feather-fisted Paulie Malignaggi, he took a lot of shots in rounds 11 and 12 because he was totally exhausted. He was pounded into submission in the last round against Manny Pacquiao. He lost in 11 to Antonio Margarito. When he took on Joshua Clottey, he also showed his lack of later round quality. Should he get the lead on Floyd, he’d better do enough damage to stop him from coming on later on in the fight.
In his fight with Victor Ortiz, Mayweather showed some signs that father time was catching up with him. Either his inactivity or age has made him easier to hit or he is more willing to exchange. This is good news for Cotto. If he stands in the middle of ring and tries to outbox Floyd, the show will be over before it starts. Floyd knows how to generate a lead and sit on it. If Miguel follows him around the ring, he will follow him to a 120-108 loss. If he pushes the issue, which he must, he will create opportunities.
A big emphasis has been placed on the psyche of Cotto. When he was thoroughly beaten by a plaster-fisted Antonio Margarito, he wasn’t the same fighter on the return. He looked shot, but to his credit, he picked up a title and easily avenged the loss to Margarito when the playing field was even. Did that avenging victory reset Cotto’s psyche or do the demons still haunt him? That’s a question that could dictate how this fight turns out.
As this fight nears, the demeanor of Cotto is promising. As Floyd treats this fight like just another stroll in the park, Cotto is looking at it historically. What will this mean to him, his career, his legacy, and to his fans. I have a feeling that we will see the best Cotto we have seen in a long time and although you must favor Floyd to win this, I suspect that this will not be a one-sided wash.
On May 5th, the two will go to war and if Floyd does his “walk down” of Cotto, he could potentially be stepping into a minefield, especially if Cotto is mentally right. This PPV card is shaping up and is a much better draw then the mismatch of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley the next month. Here, there is a chance of an upset and the shaking of the boxing world. Pacquiao is taking NO chances with his opponent. So, if you’re deciding with PPV to buy, go with Floyd.