Key questions were answered in the match of Cotto vs. Martinez
By Yannis Mihanos: They say that the importance of victory depends on the kind of adversity you face. Last Saturday night Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) became a four weight division world champion by defeating WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) by a 10th round TKO at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Prior to the match questions had been raised whether the 39-year-old Martinez would have been able to come back in full form due to his recent knee surgeries along with his long layoff of 14 months since his last fight in April of 2013 against Martin Murray.
Well, these questions were answered emphatically during the match by watching somebody who looked like Martinez but didn’t move or fight like Martinez. The 39-year-old Martinez was just a shell of his old self, and it was almost a pitiful image to watch him. His trainer Pablo Sarmiento did the right thing by stopping the fight at the end of the ninth round.
Martinez had nothing left but his pride at that point in the fight, and even that was taken early on in the fight with him getting dropped three times on the canvas by Cotto in the 1st round.
Prior the match there were also questions about whether Cotto would be affected about him moving up in weight to the middleweight division. Well, this was answered also pretty fast during the fight: Cotto looked very comfortable, very composed, very strong and very confident.
It was the prime Cotto, the one we all once knew but had forgotten with a lot of power punches and aggression.
Martinez felt this power from the start of the fight, and from there he was never the same afterwards. Here I must highlight the fact that Martinez was the one who underestimated Cotto and not vice versa. Another question that was answered in the match had to do about whose class A or class B fighter. It was never about who is class A fighter or B class fighter but who was capable more to win the fight and that was Cotto.
Martinez might have known that he was not in condition to fight but went on by hoping that Cotto would be an easy target. That of course never happened.
Cotto’s successful transition to middleweight is also credit to his trainer Freddie Roach. Cotto knew what to expect from Martinez, and he was well prepared for that.
Martinez’s fight with Julio Chavez Jr. taught Roach a lot, especially from that last knock down that Chavez inflicted on Martinez in the 12th round.
So what’s next for these two great fighters? For Cotto, there are some exciting choices on the way. A bout against the winner of the July 12th Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara fight is possible.
For Martinez after a long and successful career (51-3-2, 28 KOs) it’s time to call it a day. There is nothing left for him to prove and it will be bad if he continues on looking like last Saturday night.
The Cotto-Martinez fight overall disappointing to me. Although there were some early fireworks (3 knockdowns all coming from Cotto) there was not enough action to watch. Actually it was very one sided.
It happens in boxing, and it happens in life too. Disappointment or excitement are all part of the game.
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