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Cotto is damaged goods

Floyd Mayweather Jr Miguel CottoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): The selection of World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) to be the next opponent for WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) makes perfect economic sense. Cotto is extremely popular in the Latino community and fits in very well for May 5th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Outside of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) Cotto is probably the fighter with the largest fan base and the hugest draw in Pay Per View (PPV) terms for “Money” Mayweather.

Prior to Cotto’s beat down by Antonio Margarito in July 2008 Miguel was seen by many boxing observers as a legitimate threat to Mayweather. He was undefeated at 32-0 and had beaten Carlos Quintana, a still respected Zab Judah, and a game Shane Mosley.

Four years have come and gone since those heady days when Cotto was undefeated and seemed to be at his peak. In those four years Miguel suffered two devastating defeats. Miguel was stopped brutally by Margarito in July 2008, and then again by Pacquiao in November 2009.

True Cotto came back to score a TKO win over Margarito last December, but Antonio at this stage of his career is a shell of what he once was. In his loss to Manny Pacquiao, Margarito had suffered a broken orbital bone in his right eye. In Cotto’s return match with Margarito, Miguel had only to target the injured eye until predictably ringside officials would intervene to stop the fight.

Cotto’s victory over Margarito proved little. Team Cotto devised a plan in which Miguel would outmaneuver the one dimensional Margarito. Step to the side when Antonio attempted to move in and land his heavy artillery and target his damaged right eye at every opportunity. The strategy worked perfectly as Cotto easily out boxed Antonio and inevitably his right eye came into question forcing the stoppage of the fight.

So Floyd selected a safe opponent rather than going out on a limb and facing Pacquiao. “Money” will bring in huge bucks without the real fear of losing his “0”.

Manny Pacquiao by the same token does not escape major criticism for the huge “Mega” fight with Mayweather not happening. At the end of December prior to his meeting in early January with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, it was reported on numerous boxing sites that Pacquiao was going to insist that Mayweather be his next opponent. Although this writer had hoped that Manny would be able to stand up to Arum, I must admit I had reservations that he could.

Boxing fans are now left to hope against hope that the fight that all the key players say they want will happen in November. All this writer can say is don’t get your hopes up.

There is a huge chance that the “Mega” fight will never come to pass.

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