This Saturday marks the biggest championship boxing fight of 2012. Floyd Money Mayweather returns to action to take on anyone but Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night. Miguel Cotto gets the call in what could turn out to be one of the most challenging fights in Money’s career.
Some of us hoped months ago that the reported talks of a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao May fight would finally bring us the fight that sports fans all over the world have been waiting for. Unfortunately those talks ended like all others, with millions of broken sports hearts. However, not all is lost as Floyd Mayweather will step into the ring against a guy that may have the best chance of beating him yet, Miguel Cotto.
[adinserter block=”2″]Cotto is certainly Mayweather’s biggest risk to date as a loss here could cost Money a lot of money if he comes into the Pacquiao fight with a recent loss. Those kinds of mental pressures are what could lead to an exciting upset. The external pressures out of this fight such as a jail sentence right around the corner as well as numerous legal battles could be the difference on Saturday night.
We all know about Mayweather’s undefeated record but Cotto is no slouch himself. Cotto brings a a record of 37-2 into Saturday night’s title fight. 26 of those 37 wins for Cotto were by knockout. This is not a guy that Mayweather wants to get cute with. Cotto has the power and speed to quickly capitalize on any small mistake Money makes on Saturday to turn the lights out and retain the championship.
I love the idea of Mayweather moving up in weight and challenging for a new title. Mayweather hasn’t fought at this weight since he defeated Oscar de la Hoya five years ago. Mayweather was a beast in the fight. I always wondered why Mayweather never stayed at that weight other than the obvious answer you would get from any Money critic. “He was scared of the competition.”
You couldn’t find two guys coming into a fight off of more different performances. Cotto dominated Antonio Margarita in a battle that saw Cotto take Margarita apart and put him down via TKO in the tenth round. Mayweather on the other hand is also coming into the fight off of a win. However, Mayweather’s win was very controversial as he rocked Victor Ortiz in an odd moment where Ortiz stopped fighting, yet the fight was not stopped. A win is a win but if you are looking for a momentum advantage here you have to give it to Cotto all day long.
I think even the most casual boxing fan can look at these two guys and tell you what this fight is all about. This is about speed vs. power. Cotto needs to cut the ring off and engage Mayweather to win and retain the championship. Mayweather needs to dazzle Cotto with speed and quickness, remain elusive, and yet connect just enough to earn a decision. I would be absolutely stunned if Mayweather knocks Cotto out. Mayweather needs to do just enough to get a decision without giving Cotto any opportunity to get in close. This fight could be a real test of Mayweather’s chin if Cotto has his way on Saturday.
[adinserter block=”1″]That all said, I think Mayweather wins a close decision. I can’t imagine that Mayweather would move up in weight and take this fight unless he was certain that he had a strategy to beat Cotto. Mayweather does a lot of things wrong outside of the ring, but as a boxing businessman he doesn’t take fights he doesn’t think he can win. I am picking Mayweather by decision in a fight that unfortunately won’t live up to expectations unless Cotto can find some moments to cut off the ring and bang.