Miguel Cotto – Adjustments, Set & Go!
By Will Cruz: Anyone who knows even a little about boxing or has followed Miguel Cotto’s career will tell you that one of his strongest qualities as a fighter is his ability to adjust in the fight given what his opponent might bring that night. That is what earned him hard fought victories again the likes of Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosely, and Zab Judah. While many have questioned his events outside the ring, he is no different in that department.
The reports of Miguel starting his training camp early and how impressed his conditioning coach Phil Landman has been, are well know by boxing enthusiasts. What hasn’t been discussed is the non-obvious reasons as to why.
The obvious? This is Cotto’s biggest fight of his career. A fight that will solidify his stake on the mythical P4P list, but more importantly will determine his legacy. With that said, that should be enough to motivate Cotto and Pacquiao as well, to prepare more intensely than any other time in their careers. Ah, but with Cotto there is always something more. If you look at Cotto’s interviews since his lost to Margarito, and put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Cotto knows what a win over Pacquiao means. It means a potential showdown with Mayweather, a fighter that Cotto is confident he can defeat, and more significantly a rematch with Margarito and the opportunity to redeem himself. Then? A ride into the sunset, retiring young, healthy, and on top of the game. Sound ambitious? Sure it does. Is it possible? For Cotto, absolutely! Cotto is as determined a fighter as I have seen in recent years. His dedication is far above his love for the sport. He dedicates himself to achieving success.
Last week Cotto made yet another adjustment. One that should be concerning to Pacman and his corner. He moved his training in Puerto Rico to a gym that provides 20’ X 20’, and 24’ X 24’ rings. The ring they will fight in on November, will indeed be a 20’ X 20’ ring. Miguel Cotto is preparing himself to chase Pacquiao around the ring if needed.
He understands that in order for him to win the fight in Las Vegas, he will have to put a beating on Pacquiao. And he has all the intentions in the world to do just that. If Pacquiao stands in front of Cotto and exchanges power punches, Cotto feels that he will land the one that will end the night. If Pacquiao runs around the ring, Cotto will find him. Another adjustment made by Miguel Cotto with serious intentions.
On November 14, the fastest, most dangerous fighter he has ever faced will step up and give Cotto plenty of work. Many say that Pacquiao’s speed will be the difference in this fight. And that is a very valid point and could be true. However, I would not put my money on that. Cotto’s ability to adjust and find a weakness in his opponent will be the difference in my opinion.
Whether he uses his timing, boxing ability, or his raw strength, he will have done what he wanted to do all along. That is adjust, set up the showdown with Mayweather and Margarito, and go on to retire and never look back. If that is the way Cotto goes out, then here’s to one of the greatest fighters to lace ‘em up in many years. In about 10 weeks we will begin to answer some of these questions.
Will Cotto take the next step to the top, or will he have to adjust again? Either way, as fans we will witness the best fight of the year on November 14. If ever I’ve been so sure about a fight living up to its potential, it is this one. And like Cotto, we too will have to make an adjustment; which fight party to attend on November 14.