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Ellerbe: Mayweather didn’t want Cotto drained for the fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr Miguel CottoBy Chris Williams: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellberbe explained why Floyd Mayweather Jr. agreed to fight WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto at the full 154 lbs instead of a catchweight that Manny Pacquiao previously used to beat Cotto with, saying o “He [Mayweather] didn’t want to fight him [Cotto] at a catchweight, he wanted to fight at the weight [154lbs]. Sometimes, you don’t get full credit when you fight at a catchweight. Floyd wanted to make sure Miguel was comfortable.”

I don’t know of any fighter that ever gets credit for beating another one when they need a catchweight handicap to beat them. I know Pacquiao beat Cotto with a handicap catchweight of 145lbs to win the World Boxing Organization title. Pacquiao also beat Antonio Margarito at a catchweight of 150lbs to win the vacant WBC junior middleweight title. Margarito looked weak from having to drain down to the 150 pound weight to fight the Filipino star.

Ellberbe commented on Pacquiao’s catchweight win over Cotto in 2009, saying to “He [Cotto] was a dead man walking when he went into the ring. The casual fan doesn’t know what difference one or two pounds can make when a fighter is already down to weight.”

Ellberbe is absolutely correct. Cotto was already as low as he could get just to make 147lbs, but when they pressured him to come in even lower, it caused Cotto to strip off badly needed weight and left him looking painfully think and weak by the time the fight started. In looking back at the fight, you can’t even recognize Cotto to the way he looks now because he’s so much healthier looking now that he’s not weight drained like he was back then. That was so wrong that Cotto was pressured to fight at 145 when he was the champion. How do you get a champion to drain down to fight a challenger? It should have been Pacquiao to fight at the full weight or not at all. I don’t consider that a real loss for Cotto because of the catchweight. It’s an asterisk win for Pacquiao as far as I’m concerned and I see it as a no contest for Cotto. It shouldn’t even count. Catchweight fights are exhibition bouts in my mind.

Cotto was stopped by Margarito in the 11th round in 2008, but Ellberbe feels that Margarito may have won that fight with loaded gloves. He thinks there was too much damage done to Cotto in that fight.
If you look at it from Ellberbe’s perspective, Cotto is still an unbeaten fighter because he fought Pacquiao at a strength draining catchweight that helped Pacquiao while hurting himself badly, and Cotto’s loss to Margarito is also suspect because you don’t know if it was a legit win or not.

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