Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ringside Scorer: Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito

If you missed this fight, you're not a fight fan and you can pretty much skip this post.

Last night a healthy crowd in the MGM Grand got to witness what many are heralding as a fight of the year candidate and honestly? It didn't disappoint, unless you were a Cotto fan. Many people had varying degrees of opinions regarding the outcome of this fight, but one of the most common answers was either Cotto by decision or Margarito by KO.

You could look at the fight round per round but that really has no meaning in this fight because when you fight Margarito, it's two fights you're in: What happens until the end of the sixth round and what happens after that. Pressure fighters always start slow and though Margarito had promised a quick start, that wasn't the case, so the first half went the way I thought it would. Cotto winning 5 rounds to 1. The second fight was where anyone banking on Margarito started to smile as he slowly picked up strength and like his nickname, tornadoed all over Cotto.

No matter how many times you look at the fight, you can't help but admit that Miguel Cotto had the far superior boxing skills, the extreme edge in speed and the crisper more precise punches. The problem is that Margarito doesn't much care for that. He's just going to pressure you until the clock runs out or you run out of steam. At the end of the fight, he looked like he could spar a couple dozen more rounds and maybe take a brisk run.

Honestly, it's what EVERY Mexican boxing fan looks for. An overmatched fighter regarding boxing skills with the will and heart fo a warrior and I mean a real warrior because Cotto threw EVERYTHING he had at the guy but that didn't deter Margarito from getting the knockout he told his corner he was in the process of getting as early as the seventh round. Both showed their best sides but if you've ever wonder what wins in the battle of skill and will, look no further than last night though in Margarito's defense, he has a ton of skill because putting Cotto away is hardly an easy thing to do. Just ask Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Ricardo Torres, Demarcus Corley, Carlos Quintana or anyone else who has fought Cotto. Oh and also ask them if Cotto hits hard. Margarito took brutal punishment and like some psycho terminator just grinned, bit down on his mouth piece and egged Cotto on. He knew he could take his punch, any punch, every punch. And he also knew that every punch made Cotto a little more weary and a little slower... just enough for Margarito to land enough to make an impact and show the Puerto Rican star that no matter how much buzz you have going for you, it doesn't matter when you have to face the will of a man that will literally take a World War's worth of bombardment just to hit you.

So jot one down for Margarito's side in the battle between skill and will.

Will Cotto come back for more? I think so. He's going to be a different fighter and he's going to win the decision I predicted for this fight if Margarito didn't win via KO. Well that is unless Margarito starts earlier. If that happens then it's going to be another very long night for Cotto.

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