Cotto-Martinez Predictions

By Boxing News on June 6, 2014
Cotto-Martinez Predictions
Whatever transpires at fight’s end, win, lose, or draw, the two men’s legacies are secure.

Both fighters are shoe-ins for Canastota, but are at the tail end of illustrious careers. Both fighters have been in wars and have the battle scars to prove it…

Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, in a fight broadcast live on HBO pay-per-view, WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), from Madrid by way of Buenos Aires, Argentina, defends his title against Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), the former three-division champion from Caguas, Puerto Rico. This is an intriguing fight. Both men are shoe-ins for Canastota, but are at the tail end of illustrious careers. Both men have been in wars and have the battle scars to prove it. But the 39-year-old Martinez, who has been plagued by injuries in recent years, may be the more shopworn of the two; a bum knee has hampered the mobility on which he relies. The 36-year-old Cotto, better known for his tenacity than speed, is fighting his first fight at middleweight and against an extremely clever southpaw to boot. His never-say-die ethos has kept him competitive; it hasn’t, however, hasn’t kept him from busting up. The fight may hinge, as many fights hinge, on whose body breaks down first. But whatever transpires at fight’s end, win, lose, or draw, the two men’s legacies are secure. This is how the writers see Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez.

J. Fredrick Baptiste: “Miguel Cotto has proven himself to be rather crafty and resilient his entire career. Sergio Martinez has also displayed a sound ring IQ as well as heart. However, the tires are coming off of the Maravilla machine. He’s damaged goods. Cotto is not the cement footed, one-dimensional fighters Martinez has built his remarkable career against. Cotto will stop Martinez before the 10th round.”

Adam Berlin: Miguel Cotto’s home-away-from-home is Madison Square Garden, but no amount of cheering will pack pounds or power onto Miguel’s smaller frame. If Sergio Martinez’s body is truly healed, he’ll be the stronger and faster man entering the ring on Saturday night. Martinez will control the action during the early rounds, using a six-inch reach advantage to bust up Cotto’s face. In the middle rounds Martinez will administer more heavy-handed damage. I’ll be one of those rooting for Miguel Cotto, whose heart and skill and demeanor highlight everything that’s admirable about professional boxing, but my cheers will be as ineffectual as everyone else’s. Sergio Martinez has felled bigger opponents than Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto has struggled against men with world-class speed and movement. This backstory suggests Maravilla by mid to late-round stoppage.”

Teron Briggs: “If Sergio Martinez was Delvin Rodriguez, Cotto KO’d him in three rounds in October of last year, or any other mediocre 154 or 160-pound fighter he would be in big trouble going into this showdown on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. He’s not. He’s the naturally bigger man, has faster hands, and his power is equal if not better than Cotto. The only tangible reason to believe that the Puerto Rican superstar has a chance to win this fight is if you think Martinez isn’t 100% healthy, which is understandable given the spate of calamities he’s been stricken with recently. That, his advanced age (he’ll be 40 in less than a year) and Cotto’s enormous heart and impressive will give the three-division titleholder a chance to be competitive in this fight. Those reasons won’t be enough for him to win. I like the lineal middleweight champion, Martinez, to stop him in the championship rounds in a fight that starts off with a lot of good back and forth action and ends up with Cotto on the canvas.”

Mike Casey: “Well, this should be a good one, shouldn’t it? Martinez is the great old pro who’s travelled the world and done it the old-fashioned way. Cotto comes to fight and doesn’t do dull. Two men nearing the end of the trail who will give us their best effort in what should be a very intriguing contest. Who will win might just depend on who’s got the most left. Sergio is coming back from injury but has looked a little more vulnerable in recent fights. Cotto has suffered greater damage from his more violent journey but is still defiant and capable of upsetting the odds. But Martinez, I feel, will prevail by unanimous decision or possibly by a TKO around the ninth or tenth round. Sergio might do well to retire after that. He’s no Monzon but he has added another great chapter to Argentinean boxing.”

George Thomas Clark: “I’m seldom motivated to bet on guys age thirty-nine who haven’t fought in a year but must conclude Sergio Martinez, a natural middleweight, is too long and slick for junior middle Miguel Cotto. Unless you’ve seen him in recent sparring sessions—and perhaps not even then—you don’t know how much skill Martinez still has. Cotto, though six years younger, may not be the more vigorous athlete. Can the guy who lost to Austin Trout eighteen months ago beat a very good middleweight?  Probably not.”

Jill Diamond: “It’s all about the timing. And right now, it may be Cotto’s time.”

Mohummad Humza Elahi: “Cotto vs. Martinez is an excellent fight to bring us to halftime in boxing’s 2014 calendar. Both fighters have had long, winding journeys and a win or loss for either could have far-reaching consequences for everyone in the 154-pound to 160-pound bracket. As both are seasoned, battle-worn veterans, it’s really a case of who can stay fresher for longer. Maravilla’s awkwardness and speed against Cotto’s brute force and come forward style (although more refined than it was before) should make for interesting viewing as they’ll probably circle each other in a cagey opening few rounds. After this, I expect Martinez to start letting his hands go and Cotto trying to slip inside and attack the body. My concern is that Martinez has a habit of fading late on and can get dropped unnecessarily when the fight is in the bag. Cotto is the wrong person to give that opportunity to and so I expect some late fireworks after a slightly sagging middle section. It’s a tough call bt I’m leaning towards a Cotto stoppage late on after weathering some early pressure.  Martinez will look good in bursts but ring rust and age will come back to haunt him, I think.”

Clarence George: “The news isn’t that Sergio Martinez won’t be allowed to wear a knee brace when he enters the ring on Saturday, but that he needs to; anyway, wants to. What’s next, a mobility scooter? It’s certain that his injuries, in combination with his age, render him a spent force. His most recent ring performance, against Martin Murray in April of last year, made that abundantly clear. But what I didn’t realize until this knee-brace business is that he’s apparently ready to join Robert Wagner in touting the benefits of reverse mortgages. So, all this decrepitude adds up to a win for Miguel Cotto, right? Wrong. No disrespect to the Puerto Rican warrior, but I think he’s out of his league. One last hurrah for the Argentine, who’d be knocked into the nosebleed seats by Gennady Golovkin but still has what it takes to beat an ersatz middleweight. Martinez by eighth-round TKO.”

Christian Giudice: “Miguel Cotto is a once in a lifetime fighter. It’s nearly impossible to remember him at his peak, destroying fighters with body shots, even harder to believe that it has been more than a decade since he was terrorizing the 140-pound division. He has experienced so many highs and lows that one has to be shocked that he is still active and fighting competitively. After his losses to Manny Pacquiao and the debacle with Antonio Margarito, Cotto had nowhere to turn. At times, retirement seemed the only logical option. But the spirited Cotto still forges ahead. Amazingly, he didn’t transform into to a more cautious fighter to prolong his career or even change his style to avoid any further punishment; instead, the Puerto Rican stayed the same brutish fighter with decent hand speed and good power. Yet, his performances have been inconsistent depending on how you view them—a loss (Mayweather) was viewed as a victory, and the most recent victory (Rodriguez) were heralded as nothing more than living up to expectations. This fight will be all about timing. Although Sergio Martinez is a bigger, stronger, and faster fighter, he is coming off a gritty performance, injuries, and a long layoff. In the same way Cotto fought Mayweather at the right time just getting out of jail, Cotto faces a Martinez who no longer moves or attacks the way he did 2-3 years ago. Martinez’s legs have abandoned him, so he will be forced to stay in front of Cotto and use feints as his only defense, which won’t bode well for the Argentinean. The last time Cotto fought a southpaw, he dropped a clear decision to Austin Trout, who was a much more physical fighter than Martinez will prove to be. I give Cotto the advantage here because Martinez doesn’t throw combinations anymore, won’t be able to use movement to set up power shots, and no longer can sit on his punches. Can Cotto take advantage of those flaws? Occasionally. He is no longer considered an accurate puncher, but he throws enough punches to do damage. He will knock Martinez down early and win by a close decision.”

Norman Marcus: “It could be a great fight. Martinez should get the win if he is healthy. He is getting a bit long in the tooth. His hands, knees and shoulder are starting to be chronic problems for him. Cotto seems much sturdier but is more of a plodder compared to the quick Martinez. Martinez wins a SD12, if his body doesn’t fall apart on him again. How many times can you go to the well before you fall in?”

Gordon Marino: “I am picking Martinez by a UD. I think Sergio movement will give Cotto big problems. Also, Cotto is very hittable and I suspect that they are underestimating Sergio’s power.”

Matt McGrain: “Fights that can be judged expressly upon a single factor are rare but they do occur. Vitali Klitschko-Samuel Peter is the last such contest I can recall and the question you needed to ask then as now is this: how much does he have left? Which is to say that there is absolutely no way a middleweight of the Sergio Martinez’s quality should ever lose to a faded former light-welterweight, however good that fighter once was, but that uncertainty has been created by the condition of that Champion. Injuries and inactivity have plagued him. A supposedly clearly better fighter stalks him. For some, he is hiding in the thicket that this one-time world-class opponent represents. The truth of this Martinez will answer on Saturday night, but whether you are betting or just picking, remember this—the answer is defined by factors all but beyond his control: sharpness, physical sustainability, mental surety. If these abandon him in a combination that is bulky enough to let the challenger in, he will lose and if they do not, he will win. My guess is that Martinez has enough left to batter Cotto into a late submission, but there’s one opponent only Bernard Hopkins has apparent mastery of, and when he comes calling on anyone else it’s for all the chips.”

Richard Mendel: “I think this fight holds a lot of promise. Two very well-matched fighters with proven heart. I’m inclined to think Martinez may have some advantage given that he is a true middleweight. Cotto certainly gives a good accounting of himself, but not sure he will be able hit hard enough to keep Martinez off of him.”

Ezra Salkin: “Typically, if two fighters are of the same class, but Fighter A is moving up in weight to face a naturally bigger man in Fighter B, I’d say Fighter A better own a distinct speed advantage if he is to compete. Miguel Cotto fails this criterion as he tries to win his fourth title in as many divisions against the much faster Sergio Martinez. But Freddie Roach, Cotto’s trainer, is arguably the best hired gun in the game and Martinez is 39, injury-prone, and relies too much on his legs for a boxer his age. I also happen to like Cotto more. So I will pick him, perhaps against my better judgment, to win a hard-earned majority decision, maybe with the help of a flash knockdown.”

Ted Spoon: “Sounds like Team Cotto are planning (hoping) that the old man tips over. If Martinez still has some juice left in those legs it could be another drawn out beating for the dogged Puerto Rican. Surely this is just a question of mileage. A prime Martinez would light him up. Today that flicking southpaw jab looks good (on paper) to tattoo Cotto’s bowed head. The only real danger I see is the straight left may be difficult to land, urging for the use of the uppercut, and it will be during these close exchanges that a hook may flip the script. But before I can truly picture history being made and Miguel’s countrymen going bananas, I see him eating too much leather. A late stoppage or bloody points victory for the lineal champ.”

Caryn A. Tate: “This will be an exciting, action-packed fight—a rare one that I think will actually live up to the hype and the pay-per-view status. I expect Cotto to come out relatively aggressively from the start, aiming to land body shots and get inside, particularly focusing on his left hook. Of course this will put Martinez into his favorite and most comfortable position—that of the counterpuncher. With his six-inch reach advantage, Martinez will gradually wear Cotto down, and I think in particular we’ll see Cotto’s confidence wane fairly early when he’s in that ring with the champion and gets nailed with a few good shots and experiences how difficult it is to catch Martinez. Cotto also has a tendency to swell and get cut relatively easily, and Martinez will capitalize on that, especially since many of his TKOs have come about via inflicting serious cuts on opponents. I do think it’s possible that Cotto will land a few good punches on Sergio, but that he won’t be able to land them cleanly with regularity or to hurt the southpaw. Martinez has stated he will knock Cotto out by round 9, and based on his track record of accurate predictions, I am inclined to go along with the man himself. Martinez by (T)KO in 9.”

The Fight Film Collector: “I’m going to assume, given the acknowledged integrity of both Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, that they will come to fight, healthy, conditioned and in great earnest.  I’m liking Martinez more in this match-up for a number of reasons. Weight matters in boxing, but height, reach and speed all factor increasingly with each descending weight class. Cotto is a great fighting machine, but Martinez is the bigger man, and the more equipped boxer. Sergio’s PhD in ring tactics and athletic versatility rivals any fighter of the last generation. Cotto’s experience with top level competition and his established courage under fire will likely push the elder Sergio’s skills and stamina to the limit. Look for an exciting and artful display of action early on, which will become a firefight as the fight progresses.”

Peter Wood: “Cotto by rugged, bloody decision. The NYC crowd will spur him on.”

Jarrett Zook: “If someone told me a couple years ago that Cotto and Martinez would one day meet in the ring I would be shocked. I would have thought that Cotto was simply too small to ever step into the ring with Maravilla. Ultimately, I still feel that is the case. Cotto has lacked the ability to impose his will on many of the best light middleweights and welterweights. Therefore, what chance does he have against a top flight middleweight? Many fighters as they age try their luck at higher weight classes and mostly they come up short. Cotto will likely follow suit and in all probability he will lose by unanimous decision. That being said Martinez is not the Martinez of old. It’s been a long time since Martinez looked like a top five pound-for-pound fighter and he has been knocked to the canvas in his three most recent victories. Furthermore, Martinez is 39 and has a bum knee. That being said a Cotto victory is not a completely remote possibility. I feel that Martinez is vulnerable at this point in his career, but a guy that was outboxed by Austin Trout and is fighting his first career fight at middleweight will not be the one to dethrone Maravilla.”

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  1. GlennR 09:16pm, 06/07/2014

    Hey Koolz…....... yep, was all about his knees and Cottos hook after all

    Congrats Cotto, enjoy retirement Sergio

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:50pm, 06/07/2014

    Guess not…..looks like the split was very generous and Miguel was the one who was highly incentivized.

  3. Don from Prov 05:34pm, 06/07/2014

    Koolz: Yes.  Well at least about Sergio’s knees.

  4. Koolz 04:31pm, 06/07/2014

    Is this whole fight about Martinez’s Knees and Cotto’s Left Hooks?

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:07pm, 06/07/2014

    $7 million for Cotto $1.5 million for Sergio….it may well be Cotto’s show….but….forget about side A and side B….you would think that split alone would be enough incentive for the Middleweight Champion to want to give his challenger a hellacious, merciless ass whippin’....just sayin’.

  6. NYIrish 03:20pm, 06/07/2014

    Martinez needs to get Cotto early. His joints and ligaments will betray him as the rounds progress. If he does not hurt Cotto in the opening stanza and prevent him from establishing and maintaining a punishing rhythm his aging body will not carry him to victory over twelve rounds.
    Cotto is a house fighter in The Garden. This is the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade. Put it together. Martinez does not get a decision tonight.

  7. Dave Van Deusen 09:53am, 06/07/2014

    I have Martinez by UD. BUT… If Cotto pulls it out, I see Floyd stepping up to MW to take the belt from him.

    As far as the undercard, if Irish Andy Lee pulls it out (as he should by mid round KO), how do folks seeing him moving forward?  Does he get respect back as a real contender at Light MW or MW? After all, Lee beat Brian Vera clearly, and Vera gets props.  I could see Lee being competitive with and aged Martinez and definitely against a smaller (and not peak) Cotto (although not against Floyd of GGG). And mind you I am bias (as a Lee fan stemming from his come from behind KO of McCuen). In fact I wrongly convinced family members to put money on Lee against JCC Jr… I know, I know…  So my judgment on Lee is not absolutely clear headed. But hell, what are other people thinking on Lee (if they are thinking of him at all)?

  8. Eric 05:58am, 06/07/2014

    Cotto wins the battle of tattoos and it looks like he’s apparently kosher approved judging by the circled U tattoo that runs along the right side of his neck just above his upper chest. What the hell is that all about? Martinez takes the fight on a TKO in 8-9 rounds.

  9. GlennR 06:01pm, 06/06/2014

    Martinez stops him around Round 8

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