Cotto has regressed as a fighter
By John F. McKenna (McJack): When assessing the career of World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) it is clear that he is on the downward slope and not the magnificent fighter he was back in 2007. Cotto faced Shane Mosley when he was still referred to as “Sugar” Shane and had some fuel left in the tank.
At that stage of his career Miguel had the reputation of being aggressive and also a ferocious body puncher. He stopped the technically sound southpaw Carlos Quintana with a devastating body shot after just four rounds. For Cotto, the body shot was his best weapon and he used it with the utmost efficiency.
Mosley was considered to be a stiff test for Miguel, but Cotto landed from the inside and outside and managed to win the fight by out boxing Shane. It was at that point that many boxing pundits began referring to Cotto as an elite fighter.
Then Miguel faced the fighter who would change his career. He faced Antonio Margarito in July of 2008 and would never be the same. Margarito wound up taking Cotto’s WBA welterweight title, but more than that he left him a shell of his former self. Against Antonio, Miguel inexplicably deviated from his normal body attack and wound up suffering a severe beat down. And even though Cotto came back to stop Margarito in the 10th round last December, he was not the same fighter as he was prior to losing to Margarito. He has slowed down and does not show the same aggressiveness he did when he was at the top of his game.
By the time Cotto squared off against Manny Pacquiao he was not yet recovered mentally from the loss he suffered at the hands of Margarito, and was already damaged goods. Miguel’s loss to Pacquiao was another psychological and physical beat down. Those kinds of losses are extremely difficult to come back from.
It is unlikely that Miguel Cotto will ever be the fighter he was back in 2007. Cotto at that point would have been a real challenge for undefeated WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s). That is now no longer the case. Floyd’s overwhelming speed and tactical superiority will be far too much for Cotto to handle.