Mayweather-Cotto, Alvarez-Mosley: Can underdogs prevail on May 5th?
By Jonathan Watkins: The MGM Grand will be hosting some big names come May 5th as an intriguing mix of fighters take centre stage, but do all the nights’ bouts have foregone conclusions? The main event is set for Floyd Mayweather to take on Miguel Cotto in another stalling of the fight that the world really wants to see. The other encounters include ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley seemingly feeding himself to the young phenomenon Saul Alvarez and an aged Winky Wright facing the undefeated Peter Quillin.
These two undercards pitch experience v youth in what is being touted as an exciting matchup; the truth of the matter however, is that youth will likely prevail with little problems. Mosley’s courage is admirable, continuing his recent tradition in challenging the best in the world, but as the door begins to close on his career, Alvarez will likely pick the former great apart.
For the prospective Mexican this bout will be a perfect way to equate his abilities to the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao who have recently faced the American. The rising star’s energy and fast hands ever present throughout his career will inflict too much pressure for his opponent in this fight. Look for this bout to be stopped during the later rounds as the young, confident and powerful Canelo will prove too much for Mosley.
The same mismatch will occur when Wright meets Quillin. With no wins in five years, Wright’s last attempt to salvage something from his aging body will be an uphill battle against a boxer looking to add big names to his win list. At 28, Quillin will be aiming to ease his way past the former world champion in order to open the door to some potentially big fights and a chance to score a world title belt of his.
Look for Wright’s formerly great defence to be absent as he fights for the first time in three years with little of his former brilliance still remaining. A once able fighter, his last few fights have been one too many, this decision seems senseless. The only real subject of debate regarding this encounter will be how, rather than if, Quillin will defeat his deteriorating opponent.
Now to the main event and by far the closest in regards to the boxer’s ability. With Manny v Mayweather still standing by, the American has once again been forced to pick from the best of the rest. This time he’ll face one of Pacquiao’s former foes in Cotto, and here’s your upset for the night.
While Mayweather remains the better boxer, and an almost untameable presence in the ring, a few factors could increase the Cotto’s chances. Firstly, the two will be battling at a weight more suited to Cotto. The American’s only bout in this division came in a less than convincing win over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, and stepping up again could see a slight advantage to his power-punching opponent, who is more than familiar with the division.
Secondly, Mayweather has completed just 16 rounds in the past two years contrasting Cotto who has kept busy of late, going to the late rounds in his last three bouts. Without a run of form and fight fitness, we could be seeing an unfamiliar Money Mayweather in this one. Despite keeping evidently keeping in shape, there is no substitute for time in the ring to increase your confidence going into a fight.
Finally, the undefeated American’s life outside of boxing has made the headlines far more than his work inside the ring of late. Perhaps his absence from the sport and troubled personal life will have had a negative effect on his return to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
If the Puerto Rican World champion can find a way to evade Mayweather’s counter punches and breach his tight defence he may have a chance. His opponent will be quick in everything he does and Cotto will need a mix of accuracy and strength combined with some defensive speed of his own to escape his adversary’s hand speed.
Compared to the undercard fights, this matchup has the best chance of an upset. For Cotto, study the opponent, find a way to catch Mayweather where others have failed before, and then the underdog may prevail.