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Cotto-Mayorga: Ricardo will prove that Miguel is a paper champion on 3/12

Miguel Cotto Ricardo MayorgaBy Dan Ambrose: WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KO’s) has lost two out of his last five fights, and you can make a good argument that Cotto should have lost three out of his last fight bouts, because one of his victories was a questionable 12 round decision over Joshua Clottey in June 2009. I saw the fight, and like many boxing fans, I felt that Cotto lost that fight and looked like he was ready to quit when the going got tough. On March 12th, Cotto is taking on Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KO’s) at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mayorga, 37, is still a very gifted and powerful fighter more than capable of beating up and stopping the 30-year-old Cotto. Cotto’s promoter Bob Arum has done his best trying to keep Cotto from getting brutally knocked out again like he was against Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Cotto was put in with the feather-fisted Yuri Foreman in his last fight and still ended up taking punishment. And now Arum has chosen Mayorga, a fighter with a name but who is considered to be old and over the hill.

However, Mayorga showed in his last fight against Michael Walker last December that he still has a lot left in the tank. Even though he’s not the same fighter he once was, Mayorga is like a loaded shell that’s been found under the ground after many years. He’s still capable of exploding if you don’t handle him with the utmost care. Perhaps this is why Cotto’s trainer Emanuel Steward is giving Cotto instructions to box Mayorga at all costs and avoid slugging with him. But Cotto isn’t capable of following instructions for a long term fight.

Cotto invariably falls back into his old slugging role no matter what Steward tells him. You can’t take the slugger out of Cotto. That’s not a good thing because it’s been established that Cotto’s skin breaks down quickly when he’s punched, and his face swells up to the point where it looks like a fright mask. It doesn’t take a lot for Cotto to swell up, bust up and bleed all over the place. Mayorga won’t have to do much to have Cotto looking like he just escaped a terrible car wreck on March 12th. All Mayorga has to do is load up with everything for five or six rounds and Cotto’s skin will do the rest by busting up and bleeding.

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