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Cotto beats Mayorga, but fails to show he deserves Pacquiao rematch

Miguel Cotto Ricardo MayorgaBy Jason Kim: WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) did what he had to do to stop 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KO’s) in the 12th round last Saturday night in Cotto’s tune-up bout at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fighting for the first time since last June, Cotto faced an aging Mayorga, who came into the fight a whopping 10-1 underdog. Mayorga didn’t fight like someone with those kinds of odds going against him, as he really took the fight to the much younger 30-year-old Cotto and had him on the run for most of the fight.

It’s always odd sight when you see a fighter near 40-years-old chasing around a champion who is supposed to be one of the top fighters in the division. Cotto was able to keep out of the way of Mayorga just enough to build up a lead and then stop him in the 12th after a now desperate Mayorga left his guard down while trying to pull off a last round knockout. The fight was stopped after Mayorga was unable to continue because of an injury to his left hand.

Cotto got the win but in doing so, he didn’t impress to the point where you would want to see him fight a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. While some boxing fans might want to see that fight, the way that Cotto looked last night, I couldn’t see any real improvement in Cotto’s game. He looked just as vulnerable last night against Mayorga as he did in the Pacquiao fight. Cotto makes no secret of his desire to fight Pacquiao again. Cotto has a fight coming up against Antonio Margarito in July, but unless Cotto looks a whole lot better in that fight, I can’t see the point of his promoter Bob Arum putting him back in with Pacquiao.

It would be too much of a mismatch. Cotto is jabbing more now, but as we saw last night, Mayorga was able to get past Cotto’s jab again and again without any problems. I’d hate to think what Pacquiao would be able to do to Cotto once he got in close. It wouldn’t be pretty. I’m hoping Arum lets Cotto fight Margarito and if successful in that fight, have him prove himself against at least two more good fighters – Alfredo Angulo and Saul Alvarez – before putting him back in with Pacquiao. If we must see this mismatch, at least Arum needs to prove that Cotto has improved enough for fans to want to purchase their rematch on pay-per-view.

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