Floyd Mayweather looks to add Miguel “Junito” Cotto to the list
This Saturday 5th May is Cinco De Mayo. An important day, not just culturally; for the tough Latin-American Miguel “Junito” Cotto it will mean a little more this year as he steps into the ring against pound-for-pound king, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr with the WBA Super Welterweight/Light Middleweight title on the line.
The heavy betting favourite, Mayweather Jr, will look to win in a weight class he hasn’t fought in since his 2007 split-decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya.
“I am aware that I will be moving up in weight for the first time since 2007, which not only poses a challenge for me, but it does give Cotto a slight advantage because he will remain at his comfort weight of 154,” Mayweather said.
Make no mistake about it, “Money” Mayweather may be the number one pound-for-pound boxer in the world but, come Saturday night, he’ll know he’s been in a fight.
Cotto is tough. He pushes forward and will keep up the fight against his much-fancied opponent. Since his loss in 2009 to Manny Pacquiao, Cotto has won three straight; the last of which was against Antonio Margarito to avenge an earlier defeat in 2008.
To add to the toughness of Cotto will be the backing of the huge Latin-American population on its biggest day. Cotto will want to give them something big to celebrate – and becoming the first to defeat Mayweather will give them that.
With that said, all eyes will of course be on Floyd Mayweather Jr. The man has sat atop the boxing world for many years and is one half of a boxing match that has eluded fight fans for far too long.
A loss to Cotto on Saturday night and the super-fight with Pacquiao will never be.
However, Mayweather isn’t where he is today by taking risks. He knows Cotto can play right into his rope, a dope-style, and the smart money says the footwork and hand speed of Mayweather will be too much for the determined Cotto.
In his last fight against Victor Ortiz, Mayweather allowed himself to get backed up to the ropes so as to allow Ortiz to work his game. Ortiz needed to trap Mayweather against the ropes to apply pressure, but Floyd proved to be such an elusive target that it was clear that this was Mayweather’s gameplan.
Floyd wanted to frustrate Ortiz by ducking, moving and ultimately winning from a position that should’ve been to the advantage of the much younger Ortiz. Losing from his favoured position caused Ortiz to lose his cool, as I’m sure Mayweather would’ve counted on. The fight ended by knock-out in the fourth.
And that is the greatness of Floyd Mayweather: he will take his opponent’s strength and turn it into their downfall.
Evidence of this can be found against the aforementioned Ortiz as well as Hatton, Marquez and De La Hoya. Being the true pugilistic specialist that he is and working with a defence first mentality, Mayweather will slip and move his way to win number 43 on Saturday night.
After the fight, Mayweather will shortly begin a 90-day jail term for a prior conviction of domestic assault charges.
Thereafter, let’s hope that the verbal sparring and promoter politics that have so far stalled the Mayweather vs Pacquiao super-fight cease; and by the end of 2012 we will know when and where the mega-fight is going to happen.