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Cotto beat Mayorga the only way he could by fighting defensively

By Dan Ambrose: Since his recent hard fought 12th round knockout win over the tough Ricardo Mayorga last Saturday night at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada, there has been a lot of questions about why WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-1, 29 KO’s) didn’t fight more aggressively in the fight to try and take Mayorga out earlier.

That sounds great but the thing of it is Cotto wasn’t the stronger fighter and wasn’t the bigger puncher in that fight. It was Mayorga. Cotto fought the only fight he can with his limited 5’7” size.

He didn’t have a good enough chin or the toughest skin in order to stand in front of Mayorga all night long the way that a younger Cotto would have done. Had Cotto fought like he used to before his 11th round knockout loss to Antonio Margarito, Cotto would have likely been beaten up and knocked out by Mayorga last Saturday night.

Cotto did what he had to do to get the win. I don’t blame him for dancing around the ring in order to survive. He wouldn’t last long if he had stood and traded with Mayorga one spot. It would have been brutal, another Margarito-esque beating. Rightly or wrongly, Cotto’s fighting style has been changed by his trainer Emanuel Steward to get more mileage out of him.

I don’t see Cotto ever going back to his old style of fighting nor would I advise him to. He’s too small and vulnerable at junior middleweight to fight the way he used to. The only way Cotto has any chance to beat the bigger fighters in this weight class like Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland is to run around the ring and throw jabs and occasional power shots.

By the way, I don’t think Cotto can beat Angulo or Kirkland no matter how much running he does, but his only chance against those guys is if he runs. Don’t worry, Cotto won’t be fighting either those guys anytime soon and probably never. His promoter isn’t about to throw Cotto into what would be almost guaranteed knockout loss.

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