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Miguel Cotto- Our era’s true warrior

By Adam Iqbal: Miguel Cotto first came onto the scene as a power punching body snatcher, who a mike Tyson-esque about him, a come-forward, intelligent, strong and powerful puncher who always came back.

I still remember watching his fight with Ricardo Torres, where Miguel Cotto got badly hurt and looked like he was all but gone, but being the warrior he is, he came back and knocked him out, just like he has done many times in his career.

Miguel Cotto will no doubt go into the hall of fame one day having beaten many world champions such as Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Zab Judah, Ricardo Mayorga, Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, Yuri Foreman, Joshua Clottey, Demarcus Corley and Randall Bailey. And of course, he also faces another world champion in Austin Trout in December, which again shows Cotto’s willingness to fight anyone. However, even in his losses, Miguel Cotto always showed signs of being a warrior, in his questionable loss to Antonio Margarito, which of course was avenged by knockout, a loss to Manny Pacquiao in which Miguel Cotto was forced to fight a lower weight, or in more normal terms, a catch weight, and finally his most recent fight with Floyd Mayweather, which Floyd later proclaimed to be the ‘toughest fight’ in his whole career.

As it has been written countless times on boxing websites, magazines and any other outlay, the Margarito defeat was a very damaging defeat, both physically and mentally for Cotto. He threw everything at him, but it wasn’t enough, Antonio Margarito kept coming forward all night and that worked to his advantage. However the handwraps issue was of course made apparent at the beginning of the Shane Mosley fight, which changed everyone’s perspective of the first fight with Margarito, and everyone forgave Miguel Cotto for the defeat. Miguel Cotto, as many people feel, was cheated that night at the MGM Grand, it was not fair, it was disturbing, brutal, and most importantly, it was a crime.

The saddest element of this fight was that Miguel Cotto looked absolutely amazing in the first 6 rounds, untouchable, like he was on a completely different level to all the other boxers on the planet. It looked like Miguel Cotto had reached his prime and was at the peak of his career. However, the sad thing about this fight was, that Miguel Cotto also lost his peak on the very same night. A very rare thing to happen to any athlete in whatever sport, to reach their prime and then lose it on the very same night, which of course is made even more upsetting with the allegations that Antonio Margarito cheated in the fight by using illegal handwraps.

Antonio Margarito could have killed Cotto that night, but Cotto survived it, he may not have been the same fighter ever again, but like he always does, he came back. He came back and became world champion again, he came back and gave Floyd Mayweather, who will do down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time, the toughest fighter of his entire career.

I think people sometimes forget just how good Miguel Cotto really is, and how much of an impact he has had on the sport of boxing. A die-hard fan base, a warrior heart, a likeable personality, and of course, a genuinely exciting fighter to watch, who is never in a dull fight.

It seems that nowadays, all that people talk about is Mayweather vs Pacquaio, and that Manny Pacquiao is the man who will inflict Floyd Mayweather with the first defeat of his career, even though the fight itself has lost a lot of its luster, due to the inability of both fighters willing to fight each other.
However I believe, as do many boxing experts and fans of the sport, Miguel Cotto in his prime, the same Miguel Cotto that fought Antonio Margarito for the first 6 rounds before being overwhelmed by the illegal padding/handwraps, was the guy to beat Floyd Mayweather.

As everyone would have seen from the fight between Mayweather and Cotto, which in many people opinion’s happened too late, and should have taken place in either 2007 or 2008, it was not a prime Miguel Cotto. However, even in the fight that they had, Cotto hurt Mayweather with his jab many times in the fight, hurt with him left hooks to the body and right hands to the head, Mayweather was bloody, uncomfortable, and looked like he actually wanted the fight to end as quick as possible by the 9th round when Miguel was coming on strong. A prime Miguel Cotto would not have slowed down, he would not have stopped punching, he would not have stopped throwing punches to the body and would have kept on going.

A prime Miguel Cotto would have been beaten any version of Floyd Mayweather.
But then again, if there is a re-match any time soon, I would pick Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto realized that Floyd hates being punched to the body, and panics when he gets pushed into a corner and has punches in bunches thrown at him.

Watch this space. Miguel Cotto vs Floyd Mayweather 2. Madison Square Garden, New York.

And next time, it will be a different result.

Adam Iqbal
Boxing News 24




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