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No catchweight handicap for Cotto in Margarito bout

Antonio Margarito Miguel CottoBy Chris Williams: According to reports, World Boxing Association (WBA) junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) won’t be fighting at a 150 pound catchweight handicap for his December 3rd fight against the struggling Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) for their fight at the Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Cotto and Margarito’s mutual promoter Bob Arum is saying that there won’t be a catchweight for this fight.

This is certainly good news, because the last thing that Cotto needs is another advantage in his rematch with Margarito.

As it is, Margarito is coming off a career-threatening right eye injury against Manny Pacquiao last November. The injury required surgery to repair and many months of recovery. Margarito is taking the fight against without any kind of tune-up and is basically going out there with a lot of question marks about how much punishment he can take without sustaining further injuries.

It seems like a really bad idea to put a guy in a tough fight off of an injury like the one that Margarito sustained in the Pacquiao fight. Ignoring the eye injury, Margarito took a lot of one-way punishment in the Pacquiao fight in terms of head shots. That was a brutal beating, and not the kind of loss where you want to match him up immediately against another tough fighter.

I know it’s a money fight for both Cotto and Margarito, but the guy really needs some easy tune-up fights to see where he’s at physically and mentally after his last fight. I just don’t see this as being a winnable fight for Margarito with the kind punishment he took in his last bout. Margarito has lost two out of his last three fights. That tells you something isn’t right with him. His power is gone, his hand speed appears to be slowing and he’s no longer throwing 100 punches per round.

Right now, I think Margarito would have a hard time beating a lot of fighters in the junior middleweight or the welterweight division. He’s slower, wide open for shots and without his power, he’s just a tall and slow punching bag. It didn’t take Pacquiao expose that, as the washed up Shane Mosley already did in 2009.

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