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Cotto might have lost to Mayorga if not for Steward

By Tim Nielsen: WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto likely would have been knocked out or badly beaten up by 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga if not for his new trainer Emanuel Steward, who has worked wonders in making Cotto a more defensively oriented fighter. Last Saturday night, Cotto took a lot of punishment early on from the determined Mayorga, as he tore into Cotto in rounds one through four.

However, Steward was able to get Cotto focusing more on jabbing and staying away from Mayorga from the 5th round, and that helped Cotto cruise to a 12th round knockout victory. Mayorga continued to have his moments from time to time, but he was much less successful after the 4th round when Cotto began to jab and move.

Before Steward began to train him, Cotto used to brawl with his opponents and try to beat them in a war. Most of the time, Cotto was strong enough to run over his opponents with his raw power. However, Cotto met his match in fights against Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao, because Cotto wasn’t able to overwhelm them with his power like he had other fighters.

Last night, Cotto was facing someone that appeared to be stronger than him and it looked bad for a while there when Mayorga was landing hard combinations and clubbing Cotto with rights while in close. Cotto was able to change things up and avoid brawling with Mayorga after an especially bad 4th which saw Cotto take some really nasty head shots.

Cotto came back in the remaining rounds fighting behind his jab and not trying to out-punch Mayorga. It worked well, but may not have been the most entertaining of styles. Mike Tyson, who was in attendance, wasn’t pleased with the fight and thought that neither of the fighters was trying to knock each other out. Cotto ended up getting a knockout in the end, but it wasn’t as quick as he used to get them.

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