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Cotto-Clottey: Miguel is Vulnerable If Joshua Can Turn It Into a Brawl

By Sean McDaniel: World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs) may be the younger and fresher fighter in Saturday’s bout with Joshua Clottey (35-2, 20 KOs), but it might not matter if Joshua can turn this fight into a war early on and peg Cotto in his sometimes vulnerable chin.

Cotto has improved immensely since his days as a light welterweight where he had some close calls against Ricardo Torres and DeMarcus Corley. Cotto has done well since moving up to welterweight, beating Zab Judah and Shane Mosley, among other fighters.

Clottey, 32, is a step up from Mosley and Judah in terms of power and hand speed. That’s not good news for Cotto, whose head may still be feeling the after effects of his defeat at the hands of Antonio Margarito in July 2008. Clottey, in fact, may even be better than Margarito because of his speed and power.

The difference here is that Clottey doesn’t have the work rate that Margarito has and isn’t as good at pressuring his opponents. It may require for Clottey to try and turn this into a brawl if he wants to beat Cotto, because Cotto is too hard to beat when he only has a little bit of pressure put on him.

Cotto uses a high guard and is difficult to hit to the head with hooks and straight punches. However, as Margarito showed, Cotto has many more problems when he’s crowded and has a lot of punches being thrown at him, especially uppercuts.

Margarito’s uppercuts were able to slice right through Cotto’s high guard and catch him to his vulnerable chin. Cotto will have problems with Clottey if he lets him get in close, because Cotto doesn’t have the hand speed needed to compete with him at close range.

Clottey will have to step up the pace of his attacks, though, for him to give Cotto any kind of problems in the fight. Clottey needs to just make sure he keeps hitting Cotto as hard as possible, because he may be able to put him on the run and wear him out in the process.

Cotto was hurt against both Judah and Margarito with big shots, but only Margarito has the persistence to keep on coming. In Judah’s case, Cotto immediately leveled him with a hard low blow that sent Judah to the canvas. After the low blow, Judah fought passively for the rest of the way. Had he kept up his pressure on Cotto, there’s a chance that Judah would have knocked Cotto out as well.

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