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Cotto vs. Mayorga: Miguel may be sorry he picked this fight

Miguel Cotto Ricardo MayorgaBy Sean McDaniel: WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KO’s) may be sorry he or his promoter Bob Arum selected Ricard Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KO’s) as his next opponent to fight on March 12th at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is supposed to be a stay busy fight for Cotto, a bout for him to get an easy payday while he gets the rust out from his time off since having shoulder surgery.

Arum obviously wanted a fighter with a name, because this is going to be a pay-per-view bout, but I can’t help thinking that he may have made a mistake by choosing someone a little too good for Cotto to beat. Cotto hasn’t looked like the same fighter he used to be in recent fights against Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey. It seems that the loss that Cotto suffered to Antonio Margarito combined with the subsequent damage he took in his narrow win over Clottey last year, took something away from Cotto and left him a much more vulnerable fighter than he used to be.

Cotto really helped himself by signing up legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, who has greatly improved Cotto’s game by teaching him to use his jab much more and having him move around the ring instead of being so stationary. However, Cotto was still getting hit in his last fight against WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman. Cotto was getting hit flush by Foreman until Yuri injured his right leg in the 7th.

Mayorga is up there in age at 37, but he’s got enough left in the tank to give Cotto pure hell for five or six rounds before he starts to tire out. Even then, Mayorga is still more than a handful. Mayorga showed in his last fight, a 9th round TKO over Michael Walker, that he rest for a little while in then turn it up for 20 to 30 seconds with some blistering shots. If Mayorga goes that against Cotto, he may very well take him out. I think Arum might be really sorry he made this choice if Cotto ends up getting knocked and it ruins Arum’s hopes of putting Cotto back in with Margarito and Manny Pacquiao.

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