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Cotto vs. Jennings: Will Miguel’s Chin Hold Up?

Michael Jennings Miguel CottoBy Jim Dower: I think Miguel Cotto is asking for big trouble in taking on a fighter as tough as Michael Jennings (34-1, 16 KOs) this early after Miguel’s 11th round beat down against Antonio Margarito last July. While that may seem like a long time for some people, it’s not long at all when you consider how badly Cotto was beaten in that fight. He took a horrendous beating in that fight, leaving his face, nose and eyes covered in blood.

With that kind of a loss, it would be best to not take chances by fighting someone as good as Jennings quite so soon. Jennings isn’t known for having big guns, but he punches hard in volume and is capable of putting a lot of punches together in a hurry when he wants to. That’s the tricky part about Jennings. He boxes from the outside for a period of time, and the every once in awhile he’ll come at his opponents and land a flurry of power shots to the head and body of his opponent.

Knowing Cotto, he has too much pride to fight smart if he gets hurt, and will likely try to come blazing back and try to win on brute force. He showed that had concrete in his jaw for most of his fight against Margarito, but eventually he was hit with enough big shots once he slowed down later on in the fight to get seriously hurt by Margarito.

Now, Cotto jumps right back in with another quality fighter who may not be as dangerous of a puncher as Margarito, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility for him to score a knockout because Jennings punches almost as hard as Margarito. Where he’s more dangerous is that Jennings has faster hands than Margarito and is able to put a flurry of shots together in a big hurry if he can stun Cotto with one of his volume shots.

Cotto, like always, will try and stand and slug it out with Jennings regardless of the circumstances. This is something that Jennings can count on, and possibly take advantage of, because Cotto, with the exception of his last fight against Margarito, tends to go right after his opponents with his biggest shots from the get go.

Above all, then, Jennings needs to put hands on Cotto and try to land to his head, specifically with a shot to his chin, because that is where Margarito was able to hurt him. Cotto can take normal punches to the head but when he gets hit on the chin with shots, like uppercuts, he has problems.

Margarito hurt him with some hard uppercuts in the 10th and 11th rounds and Cotto was never able to recover from the shots. As it turns out, the uppercut is probably Jennings’ best punch of his arsenal and one that he’s often able to hurt his opponents with in his fights. If Jennings can get close enough to land his uppercuts without taking a big shot from Cotto and getting hurt, we may very well see an upset on February 21st.

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