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Could Miguel Cotto be facing Yuri Foreman next?

Miguel Cotto Yuri ForemanBy Eric Thomas: According to writer Michael Marley of Boxing Confidential , former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s) could be going after newly crowned WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) to try and capture his title. Foreman was linked as a possible alternate opponent for WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao for March 13th.

However, Pacquiao’s management team instead chose former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey instead. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said that he felt that Foreman would have made it difficult for Pacquiao to look good against him because of his spoiling tactics. Foreman moves a lot, clinches and uses the same kind of in and out style of fighting that Pacquiao employs in his fights. Plus, Foreman is five inches taller than Pacquiao. It would have been likely been a tough fight for Pacquiao to win because of Foreman’s elusive style.

Cotto, 29, is coming off a 12th round stoppage loss to Pacquiao in November 2009. Although some boxing fans felt that the fight was stopped prematurely because Cotto was still fighting back at the time that referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight with 56 seconds left in the bout, it was clear that Cotto was going to lose the fight.

Cotto had taken a lot of punishment in the fight and had used movement off and on during the second half of the fight to try and slow Pacquiao down. If Cotto does choose to fight Foreman, the 5’7” Cotto will be giving up four inches in height and five inches in reach to Foreman.

That could be meaningless, however, because Foreman often gets in close to land his shots. Foreman is the bigger fighter and used to fighting larger opponents. What may give Cotto trouble is Foreman’s movement.

Foreman doesn’t give his opponents much of a chance to set up their offense because he doesn’t like to stand and trade in his fights. His whole style is one of movement and hit and run. Cotto has faced a minor version of Foreman’s style in his fight with British fighter Michael Jennings in February 2009.

Jennings moved constantly trying to avoid Cotto and was able to make it to the 5th round before Cotto finally chopped him down. Foreman is a lot more frustrating to fight than Jennings, because he changes direction a lot of the time and dives in at his opponents to punch and clinch. Cotto would have to be ready for him to land before Foreman initiates one of his head first clinches. Cotto would have to watch out for Foreman’s head when Yuri is coming in, because Foreman’s last two bouts have had nasty cuts occur because of a clash of heads.

This would be a tough fight for Cotto, especially given that he’s taken a lot of punishment in three out of his last four fights to Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey and Pacquiao. The good news about Foreman is that he doesn’t have a lot of power, but that bad news is that he may not need it to still beat Cotto.

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