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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cotto Underrated, Mosley Overrated, and Other Welterweight Truths

pacquiao vs cotto
By David Berry: Mayweather vs. Mosley? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao? Who knows? The return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. to the world of boxing has once again shaken up an already volatile welterweight division. Mayweather didn’t even make it out of his post-fight interview without the suddenly desperate Shane Mosley challenging him yet again to make him his next opponent. Of course, having Mosley as Mayweather’s next opponent has merit to it, but it also comes as an affront to those clamoring for a match-up between Mayweather and the fighter who inherited his pound-for-pound throne, Manny Pacquiao.

In light of Mayweather’s destruction of Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night, pundits now seem bent on deciding which candidate is most suitable as “Money’s” next opponent. In this case, though, the candidate that might be most suitable for Mayweather isn’t even being mentioned in the conversation. That candidate, of course, is WBO Welterweight Champion, Miguel Cotto. The same Miguel Cotto that Manny Pacquiao must overcome before he can even consider a fight with Mayweather.

The foregone conclusion that Cotto is simply Pacquiao’s stepping stone to a mega fight with Mayweather is flat out foolish. And to take nothing from Manny Pacquiao, who has looked absolutely brilliant in his last three fights, Miguel Cotto represents a challenge that Pacquiao simply has yet to encounter. On fight night, he will be the heaviest, hardest hitting opponent that Pacquiao has ever faced. And as a result, the Pacquiao vs. Cotto clash in November represents a formidable blockade to at least one of the potential mega fights on the horizon. Until the dust settles on November 14, any negotiations for a bout with Pacquiao are simply premature.

And what of Shane Mosley? Completely written off just a year ago, Mosley, in the eyes of many, is now the king of the welterweights, and justifiably so. After destroying Antonio Margarito in their January 2009 clash, Mosley looked nothing like an aging 37 year old on his last fighting legs. On the contrary, he made Margarito look like an overmatched amateur, a label that seemed absurd in July 2008 after Margarito beat Cotto into submission in the 11th round of their epic bout. Of course, anyone who picked Mosley to beat Margarito looked foolish, especially considering that the Miguel Cotto who outclassed Mosley in December 2007 was the same Miguel Cotto who was given a gruesome beating at the hands of Margarito.

So the question must be asked – exactly what kind of fighter is Shane Mosley? Is he the aging boxer who was out-boxed by Cotto, or is he the world beater who knocked out Margarito? The answer likely lies somewhere in between. Let’s not forget that in between his bouts with Cotto and Margarito, Mosley went tooth and nail with a washed-up Ricardo Mayorga, even losing on one judge’s score card before knocking his opponent out in the final second of the last round.

In his bout with Margarito, Mosley controlled the action from the start, with Margarito having difficulty getting his shots off against his noticeably quicker opponent. But isn’t that something that we already knew about Margarito? The Tijuana Tornado has and always will be vulnerable to a fighter with the hand speed necessary to drag him into a boxing match instead of a brawl. In fact, an argument can be made that if Cotto had stuck to his strategy of boxing and moving against Margarito, the outcome would’ve been different.

What I’m implying, of course, is that perhaps Mosley’s victory over Margarito is being held in much higher esteem than it should be. In the context of his last three fights, only against a flat footed Margarito did Mosley look like someone who could handle the elite fighters of the welterweight division. And as a result, it is my suspicion that against a defensive juggernaut like Mayweather, Mosley would look every single one of his 38 years. Not to mention that Mayweather has the hand speed to land shot after shot on Mosley who, with his hands at waist level, has always relied more on his speed than his defensive prowess to protect him.

Is that a knock on Sugar Shane? Absolutely not. His longevity as a fighter is truly a sight to behold. If he is unable to land another super fight before his retirement, it will do nothing to diminish his hall of fame career. At this current juncture, though, only two fighters are worthy of a bout with Mayweather. Don’t worry; they shouldn’t be hard to find. They’ll be in the same ring in Las Vegas on November 14.

Source: boxingnews24.com

1 comment:

  1. Boxing is just like the WWF, made-up. I saw the fight, yes he won by decision, a cream would have been a clear knockout, did not happen. Floyd Mayweather maybe the best boxer of all time to beat up on washed up fighters. So Floyd Mayweather, did not make the weight for the fight, so he heavier than the weight class that he is fighting in, and his opponent was older, shorter and weigh less. Are we impressed that he won, what a charade. Had we seen him come back and defeat Pacman, Cotto, Mosley or Margarito, then maybe he would deserve our attention, till then, snore, snore. Now we find out that this piece of work owes our government millions of dollars. Why should we believe this guy? I guess the rumors are true that he did everything to avoid fighting Antonio Margarito, before his unexpected first retirement, chicken.