RingSide Report

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By Geno McGahee

This Saturday, in Las Vegas, Nevada, two of the best fighters in the world collide in a high stakes PPV showdown. In one corner, the WBA Light Middleweight Champion, Miguel Cotto, 37-2, 30 KO’s, and across the ring stands the pound for pound best in the game, Floyd Mayweather, JR., 42-0, 26 KO’s.

The build up to this fight has been electric. HBO has done a great job in publicizing this fight and bringing the viewer into the lives of each fighter through their 24/7 series. Floyd’s flashy life is on display, as he throws around money and dismisses his opponent. Cotto’s determination and amazing training are also shown, giving the indication that we are not looking at a man that will go down without the fight of his life.

Floyd Mayweather, JR., has proven his greatness in the ring, using his style and talent to defeat Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya, Diego Corrales, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Jose Luis Castillo. Not only has he defeated these great fighters, but for the most part, he has dominated them. He has the ability to adjust and can take a pretty good shot. He doesn’t give his opponents many chances, with his approach to boxing being the same as it is to business. He is careful in what he does.

Miguel Cotto has a tremendous track record too, defeating Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Ricardo Mayorga, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, and has also faced in a losing effort, Manny Pacquiao. Cotto has been a big draw with a pay per view sale rate listing third, just behind Mayweather and Pacquiao. If Manny didn’t want the fight, Cotto was the next logical opponent and, style wise, has a much better chance to pull an upset then the PacMan did.

In this fight, the emphasis is on Cotto. Mayweather will stay in the middle of the ring, pot-shot, win rounds with accuracy and will stay the course. Cotto has to overcome his tendency of getting discouraged. If he isn’t winning the early rounds, he must adjust and maintain focus. If not, we could see what many expect to see…a wide UD for Floyd.

The Cotto jab is something that could be very useful in this fight. When he faced Shane Mosley in 2007, the jab was the difference. He really pounded that jab into the face of Sugar Shane and if he can do it here with Floyd, it may be enough to throw off his game.

Another tactic for Cotto would be a mixture of aggression and movement as he did with Margarito in the rematch. Many expect Cotto to be aggressive from the start, but the one-dimensional approach will be easily solved by Floyd. He must switch up and mix pressure with movement, allowing Floyd to follow him around, creating openings for the Puerto Rican superstar.

Floyd Mayweather, JR., isn’t as quick as he once was, as evident by his showings against Victor Ortiz and Shane Mosley. He fights once a year, looking to cash in rather than to stay active and fresh. Ortiz found openings and so did Mosley, and that is the hope for Team Cotto.

Floyd will be using his jab and timing, mixed with his defense to confuse and control the champion. He will try to get his opponent discouraged as soon as possible, keep him in a shell and cruise to a decision win. All of this talk about knocking Cotto out is just talk. Although Floyd has a punch, he will not chance anything in this fight. Slow and steady will win this race.

Expect the best Cotto we’ve seen in years this Saturday night. Will it be enough to overcome the immense talent and incredible defense of Floyd Mayweather? It’s unlikely, but not impossible. Expect Cotto to come out early, shock Floyd a few times and take control a few times as well, but the ability to adjust is going to be the killer here. Floyd can adjust to anything and if he’s losing, he will find a way to regain his footing and pile on the points en route to a win. Don’t expect a one-sided affair, but the expectation should be another win for Floyd by scores of 116-112.

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