Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez Pre Fight Analysis
By Gerardo Gomez: The time has arrived! Tonight at the Madison Square Garden, Miguel Cotto will try to make history by becoming the first Boricua to win titles in four different weight classes. Standing in his way is Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez. This fight has the potential of becoming a Fight of the Year candidate. Let’s look at the keys to victory for both fighters:
Miguel Cotto is entering his second fight under Freddie Roach. Many in the Boxing community feel that Cotto took this fight because he feels he can capitalized on Martinez knee problems. Is this fight a little bit to late or is it happening just in time? As a fan, I give Cotto a lot of credit for trying to make history by fighting one of the best middleweights in Sergio Martinez. This is clearly a much difficult path than other boxers have used to make history. A case in point is Manny Pacquiao. When he won his “8th Division title,” he fought at a catch weight of 150lb vs Margarito, a belt that was practically given to Manny.
Cotto to come victorious tonight has to make it a rough fight. Cotto is gonna have to try to box from the inside and pound the body using his vicious left hook to the body. He cannot allow Martinez to get into a rhythm earlier in the fight. A fighter like Martinez, one is going to have to cut the ring, and work the body. The ability to cut the ring and slow your opponent down by pounding the body will show its results towards the later rounds.
Another interesting point to look into is Cotto’s conditioning. Cotto has been known to get tired during the late rounds. Will his condition and the extra weight hold on or will it be too much for Cotto?
I expect Cotto to start strong and make this fight an aggressive fight. Working inside, trying to pound the body and putting pressure on Martinez to test his knees. If Cotto can let his hands go and attack the body and make Martinez uncomfortable in the beginning rounds, then Puerto Ricans will have something to celebrate way before the Puerto Rican Parade.
For Martinez to become victorious, he has to be very smart and use his ring IQ. His style of fighting with his hands low, I don’t know if that is going to work with Cotto. He has to keep his hands up and box from the outside. Martinez needs to establish control from the beginning and make Cotto uncomfortable. He cannot allow Cotto to work inside and attack his body.
Martinez needs to use his quick jabs and box Cotto around. If we see the Martinez that fought Chavez for 11 rounds and out boxed him then Cotto will have a long night. If Martinez knee is fully healed and does not present any problems then one can expect Martinez to get comfortable in the ring and try to outbox Cotto.
Roach has predicted a knock out in 4 rounds. Martinez has predicted a knock out in 9 rounds. If a knock out comes, I see it happening between round 7-11 for either boxer but most likely by Martinez.
My prediction is that the first couple of rounds will be interesting with the second half seeing Martinez make adjustments and winning via decision. Let us hope that the judges don’t steal the spotlight and give the fight to the winner via a questionable scoring. I would hate to see a judge score the fight for Cotto or Martinez simply because of their name and not necessarily because of the work they did inside the ring. So let’s enjoy a great night of Boxing and hope there is no robbery and may the best fighter win.
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