Hello and welcome to boxingforum. We will be hosting a live play by play for this Saturday's Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito fight. Unlike most other site that offer play by plays, we offer more than one judge for you to get a more accurate feel of the fight. The HBO coverage begins at 9PM eastern time. You will get minimal coverage of the under card fights and very detailed coverage of the main event. Our judges will post their scores at the end of each round. We hope you like it here, and enjoy the play-by-play!
Saturday’s welterweight championship bout between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito has the potential to be the greatest of all the Puerto Rico versus Mexico meetings — and there have been some good ones.
Promoter Bob Arum is billing the PPV event at the MGM Grand casino resort in Las Vegas as “The Battle”. A battle is what it is likely to be.
In one corner we have Cotto, the undefeated Puerto Rican who is beginning to look like a near-perfect fighting machine; in the other is the fighter who represents his most dangerous challenge in Margarito, the “Tijuana Tornado” who is guaranteed to bring relentless aggression and two-handed punching.
Although Cotto is the favourite, this is a fight where opinion is divided because a strong case can be made for either man.
Cotto’s wobbly moments are a concern, the shaky spell against “Chop Chop” Corley and a knockdown (and later rocky passage) against Ricardo Torres.
He did, however, show that he could dig down and fight his way through a crisis.
Margarito, whose slow starts saw him lose early rounds against Joshua Clottey and Paul Williams, came out in a fast-and-furious manner in his last two fights when he destroyed Golden Johnson in one round and overwhelmed Kermit Cintron.
It seems highly likely that Margarito will be steaming right into Cotto and trying to hammer him with big punches from the first bell. Cotto was hurt early against Zab Judah, and I think that in the first few rounds he is going to be at greatest peril.
Cotto does, though, seem to be more robust at 147 pounds than he was as a 140-pounder. He has a good defence, hands high, and he moves well. The storm will be coming, but I think that Cotto can weather it.
There is risk on both sides, though. It is true that Margarito has one of the best chins in boxing, as he showed when walking through Cintron’s bombs, but if he keeps getting hit cleanly by Cotto he could begin to wear down by the later rounds.
Cotto has shown a diversity in his fighting, which I think gives him an advantage in this fight. He can move and box or he can use a power-and-pressure style. His left jab can be important. If he can keep the jab slamming into Margarito’s face he can disrupt his opponent’s onslaught. Margarito’s chin is like granite, but I believe that Cotto can slow down his opponent with body punches. I don’t think that Margarito has met anyone who can hurt an opponent downstairs in the Cotto manner.
The HBO Countdown show reinforced an impression that Cotto and his uncle and trainer, Evangelista, are not on cordial terms, which does concern me a little. Still, Cotto has been able to take care of business in some big fights with his uncle in the corner. They go about things in a businesslike way and work as a team. I cannot imagine Cotto going into a fight of this magnitude if a state of disharmony existed.
In any case, Cotto has a professional remoteness that seems to allow him to shut out distractions. He is what people in the business call a “thinking” fighter, one who can make adjustments. He has beaten everyone put in front of him and the examinations have grown progressively stiffer. He outboxed the boxer in his win over Shane Mosley, and he smoothly switched to a southpaw stance to give him the advantage at a crucial moment in that fight.
Margarito is a high-calibre fighter but his attack is his best defence. If Cotto can block Margarito’s punches or get under them, he can get into position to punish his opponent with sharp counters. If Cotto varies his tactics, attacking in bursts, then going to a moving style, using the jab and letting Margarito come to him, he can keep his opponent guessing.
Of course, Margarito will be trying to put such intense pressure on Cotto that the more polished boxing skills of the Puerto Rican fighter will not come into play, but I do think that a price will have to be paid for Margarito’s single-minded aggression. Margarito has often seemed all-too easy to hit, not just in the Cintron rematch but also in the fights with Clottey, Williams and even Sebastian Lujan (who has been sparring with him for Saturday’s fight).
A precise puncher such as Cotto can, I believe, land the sort of shots that will, as the rounds go by, take an effect even on the exceptionally tough Margarito.
I think that Cotto’s all-around skills, combined with punching power and a cool boxing brain, will decide the fight in his favour. Margarito will be going for the knockout, and his hooks and uppercuts with the left hand and the big overhand rights do pose a significant threat, but I believe that Cotto has the total package of offensive and defensive tools that he needs to defeat his formidable rival. Originally my thoughts were that Cotto will most likely win on points, but as the fight draws nearer I have the feeling that he might even be able to stop Margarito with an accumulation of punishment in the later stages of what should be an unforgettable encounter.
Friday, July 25 2008
Miguel Cotto 147 vs Antonio Margarito 147
Both fighters made weight on the first try. They faced off for about a minute, then waved to the crowd before leaving the stage in front of thousands gathered at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.