Floyd Mayweather is undefeated, sometimes untouchable. While there’s no doubt Cotto will tag him a time or two and who knows, maybe even more, it’s hard to find anyone willing to put their money on the Puerto Rican WBA Light Middleweight champion to come out on top in his fight with the popular pick for P4P king.
It’s hard to actually remember when Mayweather was actually tested, truly, in a fight. He did get hit by two big shots from Shane Mosley (who will be on the co-headliner, but real under-card, facing Saul Alvarez) in their May 2010 fight, but it was Mayweather the rest of the way. His fight with Oscar De La Hoya was probably the closest thing to a Mayweather loss since his second Castillo bout in 2002.
That fight with De La Hoya was the biggest fight, financially, in the history of the sport, and probably won’t be eclipsed anytime soon unless Mayweather and Pacquiao find themselves in the ring, pitted against each other. Some say the Golden Boy deserved the decision to go his way. However, Mayweather won on a split decision, the only one of his career. He is 42-0, with 26 knockouts.
Cotto hasn’t been flawless in his career, with a 37-2 record, including 30 knockouts. He suffered quite a low point in his career between 2008 and 2009, losing… well butchered by Antonio Margarito in 2008, a fight that turned out to be, allegedly, illegal, due to Margarito using plaster inside his gloves. He was caught red handed before the Mosley fight, which he lost. Cotto, and many others, Margarito won their first fight because of cheating. His rapid decline might suggest that is the truth.
Two wins later but with shaken confidence came the Manny Pacquiao fight. Cotto lasted till the 12th round, but he couldn’t match up to Pac-Man’s relentlessness, losing in a 12th round TKO. Cotto hasn’t complained about that fight and the rumors revolving Pacquiao’s Performance Enhancing Drug use, but you have Mayweather for that. As with his Ortiz fight, Mayweather used Pacquiao to promote. Praising Cotto was a surprise to some.
The others say Mayweather keeps building up Cotto because he needs to build up the fight, thinking too many believe it’s going to be too easy for him. And that’s where the belief part comes in. Cotto’s frame of mind, and backing up his words of finding out a way to beat Floyd Mayweather, who has hardly ever been knocked down.
Cotto is a changed man these days. After the loss to Pacquiao, he moved up to Light-Middleweight, where he’s less powerful but regained his dominance, beating Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito in his ultimate revenge fight.
Margarito has a strong chin, no one will deny, but he was bloodied and badgered that night in New York. Cotto had his proof, had his revenge. Many say he finally has his peace of mind, and a fighter many thought was on the slippery slope away from the big nights and big fights, is back near the top.
But against Mayweather, even your best isn’t always enough. Mayweather knows how to pick fighters, and although it’s hard to see anyone that’s actually good enough to put up a real challenge for ‘Money’ besides Pacquiao, Cotto is probably the next best thing. Not just because of his name and ability, with Mayweather ‘conceding’ to fight in the 154 area, which he has done before against De La Hoya. Cotto is the third or fourth biggest PPV draw in the sport, bringing in 600,000 buys against Margarito. Mayweather is counting on a huge Cinco De Mayo box office.
Can Cotto do it? A neutral stand point wants him to. He seems the more humble guy, and someone needs to shut up Floyd. But even if you hate Mayweather, and many do, he’s just too good, too fast, too conditioned to be caught unawares.
The only chance for Cotto is to come out firing from the first bell and maybe catch Mayweather with a powerful blow. Mayweather is usually more dominant as the fight grows longer. It won’t be any different this time. He knows, and will be ready, for Cotto blasting out of the gates. Despite the natural stance of cheering for the underdog, it’s hard to see Mayweather losing this one.
Maybe if Cotto actually goes the other way around, saving his strength to the later rounds, he can actually surprise the undefeated Mayweather. It’s a risk, but Mayweather might be a bit more fatigues with the extra pounds, maybe even less comfortable. Long shot, but maybe worth a try.