The morning after a prize fight is always a good time to put everything into perspective. Often too many times immediately following a high-pitched fight the excitement of the bout gets the best of our imagination and our mind runs a bit wild. Taking everything in the next day can sometime serve as a better barometer.
With that being said one must be impressed with Miguel Cotto’s 9th round stoppage over Yuri Foreman last night at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Coming off of a brutal loss to Manny Pacquiao in November, Cotto’s career was in doubt but he fought with a calculated determination that lead the way to his victory. Cotto looked to be strong in his move up to 154 pounds and for the better part of the fight he kept Foreman in check with an effective jab while working his Belarus foe to the body. The end came in the 9th when a perfectly delivered left hook to the ribcage from Cotto dropped Foreman with referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waiving the bout off.
In the post fight interview Cotto noted that he appreciated having new trainer Emmanuel Steward at the helm and that he was constantly ‘listening’ while in between rounds. Miguel also let it be known that he is fully back and intends to go hunting for only the big names of the sport. With that being said here is a quick look at some possible opponents for Cotto’s near future.
When assessing Cotto’s victory last night it is Manny Pacquiao whose stock also seems to rise a bit as he was absolute destructive in finishing off the Boricua in the 12th round of the their clash at the MGM Grand. Cotto started strong against Pacquiao but eventually fell prey to the awkward attack from his Filipino foe. Cotto was dropped in rounds three and four before seeing the fight seized by Pacquiao completely.
Cotto is a fighter’s fighter and feeling here says he would love a chance to get revenge. If the fight were to take place at 154 pounds you would have to figure that Cotto would fair better than the first time around as he seems to be comfortable in his new weight class. Emmanuel Steward would likely come up with a solid plan for Pacquiao but you still have to put the reigning WBO Welterweight champion as the clear favorite.
In July of 2008 Cotto found himself in dog fight with Tijuana’s Antonio Margarito. Despite controlling the early action Cotto began fading after suffering a punishing round seven and the fight began to slip away from him. Margarito ended matters for good in the 11th, with Cotto touching the canvas twice in the stanza, and it was a crushing blow to the then undefeated record of Miguel.
In Margarito’s next bout he was found to have elements of plaster of paris in his gloves prior to his fight with Shane Mosley. Margarito would not only lose the bout by way of 9th round stoppage but he would subsequently be suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission. There has been a black cloud over Margarito’s head ever since and the validity of some of his previous wins has been in question. The usually reserved Cotto has publicly vented his bitterness towards the entire ordeal and would love another crack at Antonio. Judging by his performance last night a focused Cotto would likely have an excellent chance at victory.
(Click on Images of Antonio Margarito to see pictures from the first Margarito-Cotto bout)
On April 17th Argentina’s Sergio Martinez produced one of the year’s most impressive victories by wrestling the Middleweight crown away from Youngstown, Ohio’s Kelly Pavlik. Martinez dominated the early action before being knocked down in the middle rounds and losing steam. Pavlik appeared to be in control but Martinez would dig deep and dominate the final rounds with his precise punching as a bloodied Pavlik had no answer.
Martinez moved to 160 pounds simply for the opportunity that a bout with Pavlik presented but he likely can still make the Jr. Middleweight limit comfortably. Martinez’ speed, unorthodox attack, and unassuming power would all serve as high hurdles for Cotto to mount but it would definitely serve as an intriguing blend of styles.
Linking Cotto to Williams isn’t anything new and as far back as 2007 people in the sport have been interested in how a showdown between these two would unfold. Pitting Williams’ non-stop punching attack against the debilitating pressure from Cotto would be worth seeing and it says here that both men would have to walk through a lot of fire before claiming a victory.
Williams is coming off of an anti-climatic decision over Kermit Cintron last month in which the bout was stopped in the 4th after the Puerto Rican fell through the ropes. Prior to that Williams engaged in one of 2009’s most memorable battles against Martinez, winning a disputed split decision. Williams insists he can still make 147 and has fought as high as 160 but we would all love for him to come in at 154 if a clash with Cotto can be worked out.
While obviously limited in some areas nobody can deny the entertainment value connected to any fight with Mexicali’s Alfredo Angulo. The hard-charging Mexican was set back a few steps with a May 2009 loss to Cintron but has bounced back well and is coming off of an 11th round stoppage over once-hyped Joel Julio.
Angulo is undaunted in the ring and does his best work in close when he is able to let his punches go. He was solid power but has shown himself to be lacking in terms of boxing ability and overall quickness. He would certainly bring the fight to Cotto but would have trouble dealing with the superior ability of the Puerto Rican banger.
If Cotto can’t line up a fight with any of the names above there are still some interesting contenders near his weight class. Sechew Powell is a well-schooled boxer-puncher and the Brooklyn southpaw is coming off of a decision victory over Deandre Latimore in which he claimed redemption for one of his two losses. Cory Spinks may not be the most exciting of fighters but the IBF champion is still a capable challenge to anyone at 154 pounds. The St. Louis southpaw is now trained by Buddy McGirt after years of working with Kevin Cunningham. Sergiy Dzinziruk captured his WBO crown by defeating Daniel Santos is December of 2005 and is undefeated in the ring. The Ukraine fighter is undefeated and coming off of a Showtime-televised showcase last month in which he defeated Australia’s Daniel Dawson by 10th round TKO.
For a picture by picture look at Miguel Cotto’s impressive win over Yuri Foreman please click on the collage below…
For access to images of Pacquiao, Cotto, Martinez, Williams, and other stars of the sport please check out the ‘Boxing in pictures’ image directory below…
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]