By ‘eck those Mexicans can fight; Margarito prevails

I’ve little new to add to the thousands of column inches already afforded to the outstanding contest between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito last Saturday night. A tumultuous encounter that achieved that rarest of triumphs, it lived up to its promise. Both fighters were exceptional and though Margarito emerges with maximum credit for unseating the WBA Welterweight champion I believe now is the most opportune moment to applaud the performance and courage of his vanquished opponent.

I’ve not ventured to the various forums to whom Cotto was a hero but suspect most will carry numerous posts suggesting the Puerto Rican was exposed, or that the defeat somehow curtails Cotto’s pursuit of championships and recognition as the heir apparent to Felix Trinidad’s kingdom. In truth, the size disparity, proved the difference. Margarito proved able to absorb Cotto’s precise jab and jolting left hook without wavering from his forward march and eventually his natural advantages of strength and stamina took their toll on a man, who was still winning the fight on my scorecard at the end of the 10th.

At times he truly did little more than march toward Cotto who boxed sublimely for the first five rounds, counter-punching with menace, punching in clusters and offering just the type of movement required to bemuse the Mexican and expose his inability to adapt tactics – he simply had no conceivable plan on how to actually hit Cotto. Eventually, Cotto began to tire – which is akin to putting blood in the water of a shark tank with Margarito across the ring – and Margarito realised a rapid step to his right greatly improved his dictation and dominance of the fight.

Cotto will doubtless regroup. He shouldn’t be chastised too much for the defeat but in truth applauded for embracing the Margarito challenge when plenty have dismissed the opportunity as too much risk for too little reward. Margarito now has a potential rematch with Paul Williams to consider or the more tempting cash cows of Trinidad, Mayweather, Mosley, Oscar to peruse. Belated reward for one of the sport’s great warriors.

All a long way from defeats to Santos and Williams.

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3 thoughts on “By ‘eck those Mexicans can fight; Margarito prevails

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  1. Cotto has shot up in my estimation. First, for taking the fight at all when others — mentioning no names Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosely — avoided Margarito, who had patently been the most dangerous welterweight for years. But second, and more importantly, for the quality that literally shimmered from his work for the first five rounds.

    Cotto’s movement, combination punching and defense was truly astounding, proving conclusively that he is one of the most thrilling and complete fighters in the world today. Cotto would have destroyed any other welterweight — and given Floyd Mayweather a serious run for his money – the way he fought the other Saturday.

    However, Cotto will always be vulnerable to fighters of Margarito’s ilk. He has been wobbled plenty of times throughout his career, and despite the protestations that these incidents were the result of being weight drained at 140, he, like Trinidad, simply doesn’t have the strongest of chins. Further, it seems clear to me that he likes to fight at his own pace, and combined with his non-AAA chin, this was always likely to cause trouble against the kind of rumbling, high-output, indestructible fighter like Margarito.

    As it happened, Cotto was more brilliant than I expected, and the two produced a fight for the ages. I loved every moment, but what really sends me off into a Pavlovian delirium is the prospects for the welterweight division as a whole. Margarito, Mosley, Williams and Cotto (not to meantion a second tier that includes Clotty and Judah, as well as the possible inclusion of Paquiao at catchweights) can all now combine in incandescent ways, and the ascent of Margarito to the A-list means the money will be there to make at least some of those fights. Bring ‘em on.

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  2. Interesting comments, the truth is Margarito is a Light-Middleweight and Cotto doesn’t have the weight of punch to deter him. And he was sapped by Margarito’s relentlessness and strength.

    Clottey versus Margarito as a rematch would be a tremendous contest. I’d like to see Cotto, take a few months off, maybe even until the New Year to return.

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  3. Thank you! Thank you for writing about how the fight acutally was going down. I have said this time and time again on these forums explaining to people how cotto was winning the fight. How he truly is a superior boxer, and how margarito had no plan but to just ware down cotto by letting him punch himself out. Then margo coming in to pull out a victory. Margo knew if cotto boxed 2 more rounds, cotto would win but he also knew cotto has never boxed 12 straight rounds so taking his punches and having the stamina were his only weapons in defeating cotto. If any one was really expose,its margo. He can’t box or adjust. He can just brawl. So if he brawls and out last his opponent, he has a chance of winning the fight. There’s no plan. No blueprint on beating guys. Just outlasting them to pull out a victory. Of course he deserves it. He won fair and square but he’s no master of this sport. Cotto on the other hand is. He proved he can box you or break you down. Cotto has showed how versitle he really is. Now he needs to work on his stamina. I guess you can’t have too much stamina when you knock out 27-28 of your opponents in 32 wins.

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