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Cotto vs. Margarito to take place at Madison Square Garden on 12/3

By Dan Ambrose: In a fight that reeks of a rush job, WBA Super World and World Boxing Board light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) will be fighting Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) in a rematch that will be taking place at the Madison Square Garden, New York, New York.

I say this is a rush job because Margarito had the stuffing beaten out of him in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao last November in a one-sided 12 round decision loss and was badly injured in that fight, suffering an injury to his right eye. Now after surgery a lot of time off, Margarito will be fighting again but instead of a couple of tune-up fights to ensure that he’s still capable of fighting at the top level and to help redeem him in the eyes of boxing fans, Margarito is being thrown in with Cotto.

The timing for this fight is horrible, as if they’re rushing the fight before Margarito suffers yet another loss. With two losses in his last three fights, Margarito really needed to fight four to five times against quality opposition so that the boxing public would have more interest in seeing the Cotto-Margarito rematch. The way it is now, it’s like their promoter Bob Arum has just thrown it together in a heap before either of these guys take another loss.

I guess I can’t blame Arum because Margarito is clearly nearing the end of his career and has very little chance of beating the top fighters at junior middleweight. And with Cotto, he can be beaten at any time. He’s been winning lately, but look at who Arum has been matching him against since he suffered a loss to Margarito three years ago.

Cotto’s wins have come against Michael Jennings, a fighter that really should have been ranked in the 2nd tier, Joshua Clottey, a fight that could have gone either way, Yuri Foreman, a paper champion with no power and who fights for the same Top Rank stable, and 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga. Cotto has been matched lightly since his loss to Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. For that reason, I don’t mind the Cotto-Margarito rematch happening now because both fighters can go at any time once they get put in with someone actually good that can still fight. Cotto eventually will have to face someone good or else get stripped of his title.

The New York venue is was a given and it’s not a surprise. Cotto is from Puerto Rico and the New York area has a lot of Puerto Rican fans. Margarito isn’t a huge draw, so it wouldn’t make sense to put the fight in California, Las Vegas or Texas. The only venue that made sense is New York.

Cotto will win, of course, but only because Margarito is looking shot to pieces and has lost two out of his last three fights. Margarito isn’t the same fighter that beat Cotto three years ago, and obviously neither if Cotto. But Cotto has a bit more left in the tank compared to Margarito. Never the less, Cotto’s time will come eventually when he’s finally put in with some contenders that can actually fight like Alfredo Angulo and Vanes Martirosyan. I see both of them knocking Cotto out. But don’t hold your breath waiting for them to get a shot at him. It’s going to be a while still before they eventually get to fight him and I have doubts they ever will. I can see Cotto vacating before being forced to fight one of them.

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