Margarito receives doctor clearance, will fight Cotto on 12/3
By Dan Ambrose: Former two time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (28-7, 27 KO’s) has received a doctor’s approval to fight again and will be taking on WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) on December 3rd in a long awaited rematch, barring any injury pro problems from Margarito. On Tuesday, Margarito, 33, verbally agreed to fight Cotto next in a fight that won’t involve a catchweight. There was never any question that Margarito agree to fight Cotto if given the opportunity.
The only issue for Margarito is his right eye, which was badly damaged in a 12 round beating from Manny Pacquiao last year. Margarito has had surgery to correct the problems and things are looking good seven months after his beat down. However, it’s another matter altogether once Margarito starts getting hit in sparring. We could see further problems. But if the fight does take place, it’s likely that Margarito will lose badly. He doesn’t appear to be the same fighter he once was back in 2008 when he beat Cotto by an 11th round TKO. Margarito is slower now, throws fewer punches and doesn’t have his big power anymore.
Cotto isn’t the same fighter either, but he at least has changed his style to avoid getting hit as much as he used to. Cotto should be able to out-box Margarito. Ideally, Margarito’s promoter Bob Arum would put Margarito in a couple of tune-up bouts before placing him back in with Cotto because it’s never a good thing to try and make a big pay per view bout involving a fighter that is coming off of a one-sided loss. There’s something about a fighter being whipped in his last fight that is kind of a repellant for boxing fans when they’re being asked to pay to see that fighter in his next bout.
The Cotto-Margarito bout will no doubt be a PPV fight, and it’s not exactly appealing to think of paying to see this fight with Margarito having lost his last fight and with the serious injury that he sustained in that bout. Margarito has lost two out of his last three fights, and hasn’t won a bout since beating a fringe contender in 2010. Margarito’s promoter Arum is perhaps gambling on boxing fans not carrying about how poorly that Margarito has been looking in the past two years and will gladly pay to see him fight again. I still think Margarito should take a couple of tune-up bouts to ensure that his eye holds together and so that he can at least get some wins under his belt before boxing fans are asked to plunk down big money to see him likely lose to Cotto.