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Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto: Can Cotto pull off the upset?

By

John J. Raspanti


5/5/12

Undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) moves back up to the junior middleweight division on May 5 to face WBA champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather is currently -800, or 8/1 to win at 5 Dimes Sportsbook. The price on Cotto is +550. The over under is 9.5 rounds. If you bet over, you have to lay more than 2/1 while the under is priced at +190.

When last seen, Mayweather was laying waste to welterweight champion Victor Ortiz by a controversial fourth round knockout. The controversy during and after the bout (see the Larry Merchant interview) overshadowed what had been up to that point a vintage boxing lesson by Mayweather. His timing and reflexes were sharp, as was a counter right hand that couldn't miss Ortiz's chin.

Miguel Cotto gained some sweet revenge in his last bout by slicing and dicing Antonio Margarito over 10 rounds. Cotto used the ring intelligently and stuck to his game plan of beating Margerito to the punch. After nine rounds, Margerito couldn't see out of his surgically repaired left eye, forcing the doctor to stop the contest. The victory gave Cotto some peace of mind and restored his confidence.

"I think after my first loss with Margarito, he took from myself a lot of things, you know, confidence, trusting in myself, "said Cotto on HBO's 24/7 series. "I beat him and it took the steam back to me. I feel great. I feel a lot [more] confidence than before."

Back in 2005, many boxing fans were clamoring for a Mayweather/Cotto fight. Nevertheless, the 2012 versions of both fighters should prove to be an entertaining bout. Cotto, 31, is more boxer than slugger now. His movements are tactical with an emphasis on a strong jab. Cotto's left hook is textbook as is his body punching. The edge in power goes to Cotto, but Mayweather balances that advantage with superior hand speed.

Mayweather's strengths are his quickness, conditioning and ring smarts. His defensive capabilities are second to none. The ring is the 35-year-old Mayweather's second home. Once inside it, he can show off his God given talent. His footwork and balance are nearly perfect. Mayweather's lead right hand has become his go to punch. The way Cotto keeps his chin tucked might encourage him to unleash a few uppercuts.

Mayweather's talent is rivaled only by his extreme self-confidence.

"I'ma chop his ass up, and there's two ways he can go, " Mayweather said. "He can fall on his face or he can fall on his back, or he can wave the white flag. Well, that's 3 ways now."

Love him or loathe him Mayweather is now the undisputed pay-per view king. The outrageousness of his personality (most of it for show) creates a buzz around most of his fights. In some ways, he can't win. When he's polite and respectful people say he's boring.

The fight should be competitive for some rounds. Contrary to popular opinion, Mayweather can be out-jabbed. Oscar De La Hoya used his left hand very efficiently against Mayweather in 2007. Cotto's jab will keep him in the fight until Mayweather figures out a way to counter it. By round five Mayweather's lead right will be landing over the Cotto jab. As the fight progresses, Mayweather will likely dominate and win by late stoppage or a unanimous decision.

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