02 December 2011
Did Margarito cheat?
N: Nobody really knows. Seemed like a typical Margarito fight. If the Shane fiasco didn’t occur, the fight would have never been in question. He never gets hurt and keep coming with relentless aggression.
I choose to look at the matchup as if there were no hand wraps. Otherwise, my thoughts and opinions would be skewed.
S: It is hard for me to see otherwise. Yes, Margarito has always had shown late round aggression and wear down techniques, but the damage to Cotto’s face as well as the events that happened in his very next fight is too suspicious to give Margarito the benefit of the doubt. The thing that is tragic about the situation is similar to the steroid situation in baseball: WE WILL NEVER KNOW. And for that sin, he is guilty to me.
Can Cotto keep Margarito away?
S: Hand wraps or not, Margarito has shown the ability in previous bouts to attack in the later rounds with what seems like an abundance of energy. Cotto’s strategy is built around systematically breaking down fighters until he breaks down their will. Margarito seems like the perfect match for him as long as Margarito can stay up and keep the pressure on. Cotto seemed like he fought the perfect fight for the first 5 rounds, yet he couldn’t keep Margarito away.
N: Not for 12 rounds. Cotto is going to have to brawl and survive a few of the later rounds because Margarito is chasing you since round one, you can’t have the energy. In the first fight, Antonio was walking straight through any distance that Cotto would try to establish. Cotto’s movement has to not be dictated by Margarito’s pace, but his own.
How much did the first fight affect Miguel Cotto?
N: He changed as a fighter. He always has been somebody that can come in and out. Against almost every other fighter he comes forward and then uses his boxing skills. Margarito is the only one that he has to use his boxing skills backing up from the opening bell. Cotto has the track record of victories in the 154 lb weight class. Margarito doesn’t but seems like he is comfortable at 154 regardless.
S: Cotto learned a lot from the Margarito fight. He has matured as a fighter and shown in the Clottey and Pacquiao fight that he still has wars in him. He has been criticized by some for his comments about not leaving it all in the ring during Max Kellerman’s faceoff. Yet, I think his maturity as a person as well as a fighter has caused not only the perception shift, but will aid him in the ring. The first fight changed his life.
How much did Margarito get affected by his fight with Pacquiao?
N: His style hasn’t changed. It's hard for a fighter to change his style when it has been working for him his entire career. It's also tough to say that someone is getting better with age, especially someone who fights with Margarito's style. His eye can’t bode well for him. Simply put, pre-Pacquiao Margarito will beat post-Pacquiao Margarito.
S: I think the Pacquiao beating was expected by many. Margarito took a good amount of damage and is substantially changed with that nasty eye injury. Yet, his style is no different and will likely never change. It’s important to remember that because of his yearlong ban, Margarito hasn’t been as busy the last couple of years so the wear and tear may not be as dramatic as Cotto’s decline from prime. He has never truly relied on physical attributes such as speed and quickness anyways. I do agree with the pre-Pacquiao beating the post-Pacquiao Margarito though.
What is going to change from the first fight to the rematch?
S: Cotto has the advantage of Margarito’s style. First off, Margarito isn’t going to change his strategy because of his victory in the first fight. Secondly, Margarito doesn’t know how to fight another way anyways. Sometimes, in rematches, there are counters and changes in strategy with both camps. This time, Cotto is simply fighting a more aged heavier Margarito.
N: Not much. Expect to see just as action packed and blood filled war. The main difference is the hate factor. I don’t recall a fight in recent years that had the same venomous hate that this fight has.
S: My heart says Cotto and my brain says Margarito. My pick is Cotto by late round stoppage.
N: When the rematch was announced my initial reaction was Cotto has no chance. The more I study more film, the more confidence I gain in Cotto. I still think that Margarito is going to pull it out with pure action.