My Biased Case for Miguel Cotto

By Adam Berlin on February 8, 2012
My Biased Case for Miguel Cotto
The best boxers may be clinically cool, but they evoke hot, emotional responses (Ecksel)

I’ll put on my biased glasses and root for quiet wisdom to stifle brash ego, for confidence to trump arrogance…

Miguel Cotto has handled himself with consistent grace through an 11-year professional career. He never talks smack, and only answers when provoked. He enters every fight in shape, ready to work 12 busy rounds. He is respectful in victory. And there’s a gravity to Miguel Cotto that speaks of maturity, of reason and of a strength deeper than the strength it takes to beat a man. When Cotto enters a press conference, in suit and tie, speaking seriously and thoughtfully, he projects the image of a man who understands that his life’s work is work. Some criticized Cotto’s honest answer before the Margarito rematch where, when asked if he’d fight to the death, he explicitly stated, “For what?”  But I thought his response was refreshing. Miguel Cotto doesn’t need to resort to easy hyperbole. He’s a husband and a father and a man who appreciates life. He’s wise enough to understand that there’s no need to make foolish, thoughtless declarations about dying in the ring for the entertainment of the masses who, when the fight is over, will go back to their lives, lives far removed from the precipice of danger. And as for his actual behavior in the ring, no one can question Cotto’s heart. The two times Miguel Cotto “went out,” he went out on his shield.

Clearly, I’m a Cotto fan. When Miguel Cotto fights Floyd Mayweather for the WBA’s version of the light-middleweight belt, I’ll be rooting, loudly, for the man from Caguas, Puerto Rico. My biased eyes will probably add speed and power to Cotto’s punches. My biased ears will probably hear Mayweather swinging and missing even when he connects. And my biased heart will elect Cotto the ring general as he pushes the fight forward. 

Objectivity might be the foundation of good reporting, but perhaps writing about boxing calls for something else. Baseball box scores, always accurate, separate winners and losers. Football stats, yards gained, touchdowns scored, do the same. Much of boxing’s corruption thrives in the subjective, but its beauty blossoms there too. Punch stats may be antiseptically accurate, but they certainly don’t tell everything. The interpretation of ring generalship can sometimes be as nuanced as a discussion about realistic vs. abstract art. And when we watch a fight, we watch one fighter more than another. It’s as if our very eyes refuse objectivity. Robert Frost talked about two eyes made one in sight where vocation and avocation merge, and in the ring, when a fight is relatively close, our vision of the fighter we admire is similarly unified—the fighter who gives us the most joy is the fighter we perceive as doing the best work. In a sense, our biased eyes complete our favorite fighters. We zoom in on his skills. We forgive his missteps. We cheer too loudly when he does something that warrants a quieter reaction. We push the scales with biased fingers until the dish tips in the direction we wish.  here are times I’ve sat at press row, credentials around my neck, knowing I should keep up the pretense of impartiality, understanding I’m there to write not root, but when the fighter I admire lands a beautiful combination, I can’t keep silent. The best boxers may be clinically cool, but they evoke hot, emotional responses.

So with rose colored glasses, or perhaps glasses tinted with a darker, bloodier shade of red, these are the reasons I believe Miguel Cotto has a chance against Floyd Mayweather. 

First the Objective Downside

I’ll start with the counterargument to get that out of the way, to take the wind out of the naysayer’s (perhaps the truth sayer’s) sails. 

When Miguel Cotto fights Floyd Mayweather on May 5, he’ll be 31 years old. For a light-middleweight, that’s not over the hill, but it’s pushing up the slope. And while Floyd will be four years older come fight time, with five more fighting years under his glitzy belt, Pretty Boy will be the fresher man when round one begins. Aside from receiving a number of blistering shots from Jose Luis Castillo, a few flush punches from Zab Judah, and a single blow delivered by Shane Mosley that buckled his knees for a moment (and raised my legs to a standing position), Floyd Mayweather has remained unscathed, an impressive feat for a 15-year veteran. Miguel Cotto has taken more shots and more damaging shots. He’s been bloodied and bruised and stopped. He will be the shopworn man going in.

Mayweather, a master at gaining any advantage, psychological and physical, in every fight, called out Pacquiao after Pac Man’s less-than-stellar performance against Juan Manuel Marquez (since I’m showing my biases, I was rooting for the underdog Marquez that night and had him winning nine rounds). Against Marquez, Pacquiao was a drained fighter. Beyond having a hard time figuring out the Mexican’s slashing style, there was something missing in Pacquiao—his legs had no spring, his demeanor was less than supremely confident. Even his corner seemed clumsy. Mayweather believed the time was ripe to fight Manny and, this time around, it seemed Team Pacquiao was stalling. The truth is, Mayweather will never sign for a fight he doesn’t think he’ll easily win and his safety-first attitude has increased with time. Look at his last five fights: De La Hoya was old. Hatton was small. Marquez was small. Mosley was old. Ortiz was green. There’s a reason Mayweather agreed to the Cotto fight. He believes Cotto is past his prime. He recognizes Cotto has taken some beatings. Mayweather may not be the bigger man going in, but he’s certainly not the smaller man, and his speed and five-inch reach advantage will pose a serious hurdle for Cotto. And the odds makers, rarely wrong, have posted early odds that are about 5 to 1 for Money May. I’m guessing the late money will tighten these odds, but Mayweather will definitely remain a heavy favorite. 

Now the Subjective Upside

Cotto is not what he was, but he’s still a lot. He may not be undefeated like his May 5th rival, but he’s beaten everyone he’s faced except Pacquiao. Styles make fights and Pac Man was destined to demolish Cotto. Cotto is a stalker. But Pacquiao doesn’t merely present subtle angles; he explodes across great distances and disappears. And he rarely seems to tire. 

Yes, Pac Man struggled against Marquez and, yes, Mayweather dominated Marquez, but this common-opponent litmus test doesn’t apply here. Marquez has Pacquaio’s number, plain and simple. Against Mayweather’s longer arms, Marquez couldn’t deliver the slashing shots, thrown from outside, that made Pacquiao vulnerable. (Pacquiao like Marquez like Cotto has a 67-inch reach). But unlike Pac Man, Mayweather never punches in bunches. Instead, he’s the king of the one-punch. Always ready to counter, Mayweather is an expert at landing and moving enough to make his opponent miss. Cotto knows this. He will train for this. And he won’t get discouraged. I see Cotto losing the early rounds, but then finding his range. And when he does, he’ll start to win rounds because he’ll be the busier fighter. That’s the blueprint for beating Mayweather—Castillo drew it, but, so far, no one has followed the plan for 12 rounds. Cotto could be the first. Mayweather is a supremely fit athlete, and he’ll be able to stick and move for a while, but Cotto will pursue and punch for 12 rounds. 

Miguel Cotto’s other edge: His last fight, the fight most vivid in his mind, gave him a psychological boost. He avenged a brutal loss, probably a plaster-tainted loss, bloodying and stopping the man who bloodied and stopped him in 2008. A loss like the one Cotto suffered against Antonio Margarito can damage a fighter’s career, sometimes permanently. In that fight, Cotto’s will to win was broken. When he took a knee, in this case the matador succumbing to the bull, Cotto admitted his weakness. Once that happens, once a man’s sense of himself as invulnerable is broken, it’s like cracking a motorcycle helmet—it’s just never as strong. Notice the number of fighters who, once they lose their first fight, go on to lose a second very quickly. It was with this vulnerable mindset that Cotto faced Pacquiao 16 months later. Pacquiao would probably have won this fight regardless, but I doubt the fight would have been so brutally one-sided. To his great credit, Cotto faced the rematch with Margarito head-on. Spurred by photos of Margarito’s illegal wraps, Cotto trained hard and entered the ring ready to challenge his personal doubts. He may not have been ready to die for victory—and no wonder, since he faced death, quite literally, in their first fight in the guise of loaded gloves—but he was ready to avenge his loss and, far more important, to prove he’d taken a knee not from fists, but from weapons.

Margarito, even with unloaded gloves, is a dangerous man. He’s four inches taller than Cotto and has a six-inch reach advantage (one more than Mayweather will have), but Cotto reached him easily and often. Of course, next to Mayweather, Margarito’s knowledge of ring geography is crude. But again, Cotto is a veteran who will eventually gauge the distance and find the rangier Mayweather. And Cotto, his sense of self regained, his resolve healed if not completely intact, will be mentally ready for this fight, far more ready than he was against Pacquiao when Margarito was still on Cotto’s mind. Miguel Cotto is a persistent and well-schooled puncher. When he starts to land combinations, Mayweather, who hates getting hit, will have to hit back, and with more than one punch at a time if he’s to win. Out of his comfort zone, Mayweather will weaken while Cotto thrives. 

The last fight fought is the first remembered. Cotto’s fresh memories are about unadulterated victory. Mayweather’s are not. Money May talks cocky about his bout with Ortiz, but that sucker punch suggests doubt. Joe Cortez’s incompetence facilitated the shot. Ortiz’s stupidity facilitated the shot. And Mayweather’s win-at-all-costs attitude, admirable from a Darwinian standpoint, even if it defied good sportsmanship, insured the bout ended before it fully began. It’s impossible to know how the rest of this fight might have gone, but I sensed a shift in the action. Ortiz was coming on. He was showing no fear and no respect for Mayweather. And I believe Mayweather, attuned to everything ring-related, sensed Ortiz’s surge—Mayweather is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and he didn’t look happy. An exit presented itself, and, sensing fire, he punched the unprotected head apologizing in front of him and left the building quickly. Cotto fears no man. He’s as willful as any fighter today. And after his last fight, his self-confidence is high. He won’t strike a silent deal with Mayweather, as most of Mayweather’s opponents have done, and get lulled into a slow-paced fight where punches are thrown sparingly. Cotto will come to fight. That’s his job. That’s his man’s work and he’ll do it. 

Finally, and I’ve said this before (and been wrong), I see Mayweather’s corner as a disadvantage. The day will come when Floyd Jr. will need some sage advice when he sits on his stool. I just don’t see Roger helping his nephew if things get truly rough. So far, Mayweather has been able to rely on his mastery. And he is indeed a master of the squared circle. But a good corner doesn’t simply provide water and first aid. I’ve always sensed a disconnect between Floyd and Roger no matter how much they protest that all’s in-synch with the family. If Cotto starts to build a points lead, Floyd Mayweather will feel very alone. Cotto is in better hands. When he returns to his corner, he’ll have Pedro Luis Diaz waiting for him, the same man who got him fight-ready for Margarito, the same man who kept his charge cool and helped him exact the coldest revenge. 

Some fans are still disappointed that Pacquaio and Mayweather won’t be filling the Cinco de Mayo dance card, but I’m not. After all the back and forth about drugs and money, after all the false stops and starts, frankly, I don’t give a damn. This fight will happen or it won’t. 

The fight I want to see is Cotto/Mayweather. I’ll put on my biased glasses and root for quiet wisdom to stifle brash ego, for confidence to trump arrogance, for a man who never protests (even when he has the right) to defeat a man who protests too much and too often. I want to see Miguel Cotto beat Floyd Mayweather. 

So this is what I see: I see Cotto starting his surge around the fourth round, the same round Ortiz hunkered down with his head. I see Cotto moving forward, cutting the ring, deciphering Mayweather’s angles, landing punches in bunches. I see Mayweather having to fight, winning some exchanges, but losing many. I see Mayweather returning to his corner, a little flustered, a little lost. I see Miguel Cotto’s hand getting raised to the rafters. 

Possibility lies mostly in the realm of the subjective, the same place boxing’s beauty resides. Will Miguel Cotto beat Floyd Mayweather? In my biased eyes, it’s more than possible.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Margarito vs Cotto Highlights (HBO)

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Miguel Cotto Vs Margarito 2 Full fight Highlights

HBO Boxing: Miguel Cotto - Greatest Hits

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 1

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 2

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 3

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 4

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 5

The Floyd Mayweather Deception, Floyd Mayweather vs Jose Luis Castillo part 6

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  1. Rob Alvares 04:38pm, 10/04/2013

    I want to thank you for such a beautifully written piece of work that I can very much relate to. :)

              A Cotto fan.

  2. dollarbond 07:51am, 02/17/2012

    Nicley written but a poor conclusion.

  3. Zack David Berlin 05:54pm, 02/12/2012

    @Gajjers. “Idiot savant” - that’s pretty funny. He is brilliant in the ring fo sho.  i still don’t think I’m looking for role models in boxing, or anywhere else. And it isn’t moralizing to expect athletes to conduct themselves. The truth is none of us NEED boxing or any other sport. They need us - the fans, the folks that PAY for Mayweather’s mansions. He of course, doesn’t understand or respect that FACT. Nor do boxing’s powers that be. But what we may be seeing today is a mass public rebuke of the sport. People will only tolerate “idiot savants” sucker punching opponents without consequence, unjust decisions, ear bitings, racial double standards, plaster wraps, etc., etc., etc. Eventually, “sports” like this become irrelevant. Personally, I think MMA has very little to do with that. MMA will never be a mainstream sport. I like it. But it’s too violent for most people. And so far, its had a run of good luck. How long are steroid beasts gonna pummel each other without gloves before someone gets seriously hurt or worse and/or some high profile politician(s) decide to go after it?

  4. raxman 03:36pm, 02/12/2012

    gajjers - a mate of mine summed up the in and outside ring persona of floyd as this - no ego in the ring and nothing but ego out of it.

  5. Gajjers 02:55pm, 02/12/2012

    You’re dead right, raxman - Floyd is such a divisive figure, that as many fans attend or tune into his fights hoping to see him defeated, as those who show up to admire his skill - a bit like Ali in the ‘60s, if you will. Unlike Ali though, it’s highly improbable he will ever become a revered figure in the sport when his fighting days are done. He remains as poised, cool & collected in the ring though, as he seems childish & petulant outside of it. A complex package indeed. An idiot savant of sorts, maybe?

  6. raxman 02:09pm, 02/12/2012

    for years i’ve been saying that floyd fighting cotto was an irrelevant excercise - there was a belief when floyd took his 2 year break that he was ducking cotto and margartio - i’ve said for years that anyone that thinks floyd would be troubled by either fighter was deluded - yet the majority of the people now accusing floyd of taking an non challenge fight with cotto were the same ones who cried me down, saying floyd should prove it by fighting them. now that floyd is about to prove it he’s being lambasted.’
    i’m beginning to think floyd is right - no matter what he does he can’t win. he has created such an objectionable persona in money may, that he will never be given any credit or cut any slack.

  7. Gajjers 02:21am, 02/12/2012

    Hi again, Zack - you don’t mind me calling you that (since we’re both David), do you? I’m pretty taken by your eloquent slant on the sport we obviously share a passion for, and I’m definitely gonna follow your posts wherever I come across them. Moralizing you surely are, but I guess we as a species probably need more of it, not less - a very pertinent topic for many other days & generations. Every one of those former and present greats you listed had questionable qualities - they might not ‘sucker punch’ an opponent in full view of the paying patrons of their craft, but if you are looking for role models, there’s a lot there to cause you some discomfiture. If the powers that be (I like that term you used) truly put the sport before themselves, the boxing landscape would look a lot different than it does today, and its prime performers would either fall in line or fall out, to be replaced by those who share their ideals, or at least pretend to, with a lot less prowess. To paraphrase George Foreman (who didn’t say it first, I know), “Don’t hate the player, hate the game!”... Keep posting brother, you rock!

  8. KC 06:56pm, 02/11/2012

    Sorry Gentlemen if you think Cotto has a chance. I too hope Cotto wins but the only way he’ll win is if Mayweahter doesn’t show up. You must have not seen Cotto fight lately. Never bet against Mayweather, he’ll never pick an opponent that has a chance. It’s always a very well screened opponent. Who can he (Mayweather) beat that will pay the most?? He’s a businessman not a true warrior.Look at his last five opponents.

    Floyd has succeeded by retiring rather than fight Cotto or Margarito in their prime.

  9. DURAN 06:02pm, 02/11/2012

    This a joke. An insult to our boxing intelligence. Who are these people fooling? You guys wanna competitive fights, watch UFC. That’s where you find evenly matched fights. I may watch this fight only if it’s free or on HBO or regular TV….I ain’t starved for entertainment, I’d rather watch reruns of old classic matches such as Pryor vs Arguello, Hearns vs Haggler, Ali vs Foreman, just to mention a few.

  10. Zack David Berlin 03:10pm, 02/11/2012

    @Gajjers. And one last point… You said “You’ve fervently listed more than a few reasons why you think Mayweather is bad for our blood sport, and that tells me you haven’t really taken a close look at the personalities that have proliferated the sweet science throughout its history”. Okay, so let’s go back a bit. Mayweather, The Klitschkos, Pacquiao, Ward, etc. are the top dogs today, right? Tell me if you think Joe Louis, Marciano, Henry Armstrong, Ray Robinson, Muhammed Ali, Willie Pep, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Alexis Arguello, Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Floyd Patterson, etc. etc. etc. would EVER sucker punch an oppent while the whole world was watching on a televised mega fight??? Then have the balls to get interviewd and say “first, I wanna thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…”

  11. Zack David Berlin 03:00pm, 02/11/2012

    @Gajjers. Thanks for the response. You’re obviously an articulate/intelligent guy. But seriously, is this really a conversation? “Paragons of virtue”??? If you’re gonna take the time to blog and engage in a back and forth, how about keeping it real? NOBODY ever asked Floyd or any other athlete to be a paragon of virtue. What boxing fans like myself ask is that the events we pay PPV $ for, or follow throughout a season, are conducted by organizations that ensure basic quality control. Take David Stern, for instance. Love him or hate him, he GOVERNS player conduct.  When players say the wrong shit or do the wrong shit, the NBA comes down on them. And the public gets the message. That’s why the NBA has retained immense popularity. There are plenty of thugs in the NBA. But they want their paychecks. So they walk the line. Apparently in the 70’s, players got away with shit and the league’s popularity suffered greatly for it. So again, your points don’t wash. I do understand boxing’s history. My dad and uncle were both pros. My dad was trained by Angelo Dundee (RIP). The sport has been dirty forever. But what we’re seeing today is pathetic. How much did Mayweather get for the Ortiz fight? $40 million? But the fight itself told us nothing. A guy got KO’d while he was looking at a grossly incompetent ref. Nice. That kind of stuff hurts the sport. Period. Call it moralizing all you want. But boxing fans deserve to watch real contests. Not thuggery.

  12. Gajjers 09:14am, 02/11/2012

    @Zack David Berlin - By the way, I’m also David, even though I’m pretty sure we’re not related (LOL). Your moral crusade is touching, but somewhat misplaced. You’ve fervently listed more than a few reasons why you think Mayweather is bad for our blood sport, and that tells me you haven’t really taken a close look at the personalities that have proliferated the sweet science throughout its history, or at the very least, have done so with blinkers on. Granted, ‘jackass’ is a term that readily comes to mind when Floyd performs one of his anti-social stunts, but I’m a tad more case-hardened than you obviously are. I long ago gave up expecting my sporting heroes to be paragons of virtue, and I’m no more surprised when those citizens with a few more zeros in their account balances get a pass, or a slap on the wrist at worst, where I (can’t speak for you) wouldn’t get one. The system does suck the big one in many respects, so I tread the straight & narrow as well as my own virtuosity permits. Floyd will pay his dues to society in due time (he hasn’t gotten away with it, mind you), his kids’ mama will be able to afford a few more trinkets, and I can go back to telling my kids how I think they should conduct themselves in this wicked wide world, even if it means telling them not to emulate me in certain respects (smoking, for instance). Now if Floyd’s prowess in the squared circle turns out to be enhanced somehow by anything other than sheer talent and hard work, I’ll take issue with that, and so should any sport’s administrators. If not, let the chips fall where they may - I’ve got enough on my plate as it is. I follow Floyd the fighter and that’s it; I leave voyeurism to those of that ilk…

  13. Zack David Berlin 08:43am, 02/11/2012

    @Gajjers. No, I’m not related to the author (at least not that I’m aware of). I appreciate your response - absurd as it is. To begin with, yeah I used the word “carted” when he isn’t literally being carted. The greater point - which you and a huge chunk of the boxing public seem to consistently miss - is that Mayweather is basically a case of might makes right. ‘I’m a great athlete. I’m the best. And that’s all that counts.’ The guy allegedly beat and threatened his ex in front of his own kids, then apparently threatened them too. He was already supposed to be serving his sentence. But in it’s infinite wisdom, our legal system decided he can serve his time later cuz “Money” makes a lot of people a lot of MONEY. I can go on and on about Mayweather. But just a few points: he’s gets away with a lot of racial bile (e.g. openly mocking Paquiao’s race by saying “I’m gonna eat some dog and sprinkle a little cat on it…”  filming himself saying this, then posting it on YouTube. Nice. He also disparages whites - typically without consequence - “blacks and latinos dominate boxing so whites invented a sport (MMA) they could win at.” Nice. But of course, there’s always folks like yourself who throw out the ‘athletes aren’t role models’ drivel. Really? Whether you get it or not, ALL celebrities are role modes by virtue of their celebrity. Most of them handle it. Mayweather doesn’t. And my point about boxing is that - as much as I love the sport - it’s become so corrupt and actually, so desperate, that the powers that be; HBO, the sanctioning bodies, etc. are too afraid to penalize a cash cow like “Money”. The Ortiz fight is a perfect example of this. Did Mayweather break a rule? That depends on your mindset. In mine, Floyd KNEW for sure Ortiz was confused about whether time had been called back in. Everybody watching knew that. “Protect yourself at all times” does not excuse what he did. This isn’t bias, it’s simple basic, decency. Which more and more boxing is devoid of. Well run sports (like the NBA or NFL) wouldn’t need specific rules to penalize Floyd’s grotesque lack of sportsmanship. They’d penalize him cuz it’s in the best interest of the sport. Again, the lack of discourse on this is testament to just how in the toilet boxing is.

  14. Todd 10:17pm, 02/10/2012

    I appreciate a well thought out argument/approach as much as anyone so you deserve credit for your analysis.

    Just a couple of questions for you before I explain the defect in your thought process…

    Between Mayweather and Cotto

    1) who is the better defensive fighter?
    2) who is the better counter puncher?
    3) who has the quicker hands?
    4) who is the bigger puncher?

    Now ask yourself the same questions between Cotto and Margarito

    1) who is the better defensive fighter?
    2) who is the better counter puncher?
    3) who has the quicker hands?
    4) who is the bigger puncher?

    You can hope all you want but in the end all the reasons why Cotto was too much for Margarito (sans loaded gloves) are the same reasons why Mayweather will be too much for Cotto.

    In the same way Margarito was slow of foot and damaged by Cotto counter punching… Cotto will find similar frustration with Mayweather, despite his best effort to walk Mayweather down.

    Mayweather by unamious decision…. easy work!!

  15. Gajjers 09:42pm, 02/10/2012

    @Zack David Berlin (any relation to the author?)
    (1) - “ Mayweather is carted off to jail with his 42-0 record…”  He already has that record, so it’s safe to assume it would be different (most likely 43-0) when he shows up wherever to serve his sentence as agreed beforehand, and not ‘carted off’.

    (2) - “Mayweather should have been DQ’d against Ortiz.” How so? Did you watch the fight? Did the ref indicate re-engagement? Which rule was flouted, and by which fighter?

    Lastly, is anti-Mayweather bias a genetic trait? Must be a pretty large gene pool. If you’re looking for role models (for yourself or your offspring), look no further than your own family tree - there must be a few stand-up individuals you can identify with, and if not, why not? It’s pointless questioning providence…

  16. Zack David Berlin 08:25pm, 02/10/2012

    Great article, Adam. And I must say, it’s refreshing to read a boxing column that is not only grammatically correct, but eloquent. We need more of this. Unfortunately, though I wish I could agree with your prediction, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t see this as anything but an easy blowout for Mayweather. As great a fighter as Mayweather is, I think he’s terrible for the sport. It would be great if a class warrior like Cotto could beat him. But I just think Cotto is way overmatched here. Hope I’m wrong. And what will be so bothersome to me as Mayweather is carted off to jail with his 42-0 record, is that he embodies so much of what is wrong with boxing. I love the sport and grew up around it. But it’s in bad shape. Mayweather should have been DQ’d against Ortiz. But there was little (if any) discourse on the subject. That’s how far gone the sport is. Meanwhile, as great as Mayweather is, there have been fighters who could have beaten him: like Paul Williams a few years ago, or Sergio Martinez now. But those are the fights we don’t see. “Money” has no interest in real challenges. Beyond the obvious technical disparity between Floyd and Cotto, the most telling reason I think Mayweather will win: He took the fight.

  17. raxman 02:24pm, 02/09/2012

    I’ll never criticize anyone for having hetero man love for cotto - the bloke’s had the best resume of any fighter for years - in fact his resume would be better than any other current fighter had he stopped at margarito - the fact since then he’s added pac, clottey, foreman, mayorga and now floyd launches him into the stratosphere. and i can’t believe the haters (and i can only assume they’re floyd haters) who say he is slipping.

    That said you may be better going to bed early on may 5 and just dreaming a result because as well written as this piece is its pure fantasy

  18. The Tache 01:12pm, 02/09/2012

    Great article.
    Cotto, Cotto, Cotto, Cotto!!

  19. pugknows 11:04am, 02/09/2012

    I must say, I think you might be very disappointed Adam. I see Mayweather really beating up Cotto.

  20. Gajjers 10:58am, 02/09/2012

    A classy write-up for sure, and I never had any problem with a member of the media favoring one competitor over another, as long as they come clean about it, rather than pretend to be objective. “I see Cotto starting his surge around the fourth round” would have sounded ridiculous, knowing the protagonists’ relative stamina & ring generalship, had Mr. Berlin not declared his unequivocal bias.

  21. Don from Prov 10:40am, 02/09/2012

    This is an especially well written article.

    Truly enjoyed the writer’s insights on Manny/Marquez and Floyd/Ortiz.  He almost made a believer of me about the upcoming fight—against what I’ve seen in the ring (or think I have) and at the very least made me stop and question myself: That’s what a good writer does. Mr. Berlin, through his eyes, also gave me a new appreciation for Cotto. VERY good stuff!

  22. AKT 08:32am, 02/09/2012

    unapologetically biased!! bang on. I, at least, appreciate your honesty about your intentional lack of objectivity.

  23. Paulie D' Team Benitez 07:44am, 02/09/2012

    My feeling almost exactly ! ! !
    Adam Berlin is one of my favorite boxing writers… Well worth the read ..
    Miquel Cotto is a throwback to the days when Champions were Gentlemen who interviewed with CLASS ! ! !
    I sure hope he wins big ......

  24. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:20am, 02/09/2012

    Adam—Analytical; passion-filled; unapologetically biased—I love it!

  25. Pete The Sneak 05:40am, 02/09/2012

    Beautiful write up man. Cotto is indeed a rare breed athlete these days, a guy who carries his lunch pail with him to work, completes his grueling shift and heads back home to be with his family. I too was one of those who didn’t put much stock into the “die in the ring” nonsense that Cotto was asked about. Die in the ring? Who the heck goes to work and says I’ll die if I have to for Bank Of America. Please… As a Bias Boricua myself, I too will be rooting hard for Miguel and will be hoping for the upset. However, even with the One star Red white and blue Boricua Flag over my eyes, the realist in me tells me that this will not be the case and Mayweather will have a majority decision win over Cotto. But damn Adam, I truly do hope you are a prophet in this case. Peace.

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