Friday, December 2, 2011

Cotto-Margarito II Preview

24/7 Cotto-Margarito II

I’m so excited about this matchup!  When Cotto and Margarito first met, they were both undefeated, heavy-punching, stars. The winner would emerge as king of that division. (Mayweather was on hiatus and Manny hadn’t showed up to that division, yet.) It was a slugfest.  Both took major punishment, but every time Margarito threw a punch, it looked like Cotto was getting hit with an anvil.  Six months later, we find out a possible reason why Margarito’s punches were so devastating.  

Cotto took the loss hard and it manifested in a super early mid-life crisis. He started getting tattoos. He separated from his wife. This could be an argument for my hypothesis that every fighter should have a loss or two early in his career to help build resiliency. Or, just losing to Margarito sends one into a downward spiral.*  
Both now have losses to Pacquiao, who dismantled Margarito to such a degree that Margarito was almost denied (and probably should’ve been) denied a license by the New York Athletic Commission due to the lingering damage to one of his eyes. (Cotto said the fight is at the Garden or it doesn’t happen at all. Bob Arum probably had a few kneecaps broken to get Margarito his license.**) Margarito’s corner should’ve stopped the Pacquiao fight long before the final bell.

The 24/7 series covering Cotto’s and Margarito’s training camp could’ve been way longer. This would’ve been a great multi-episode 24/7. Margarito’s eye issues.  Some analysis from Margarito and his camp of what happened in the ring with Pacquiao.  Some more background on Cotto’s new trainer and how he adjusted to his new trainer’s style in comparison to his other trainers.

I do like Cotto’s new trainer, Diaz. Cuban athletes have an amazing work ethic. There are few distractions in Cuba. You have nothing to do, but be dedicated. Maybe I just have a soft spot for people who have to leave behind everything they know and everyone they love due to an oppressive government.

Cotto’s best friend needs to put the tweezers DOWN. That is not a good look for a big man.

I find the interviews with the wives and mothers the most interesting – for all fighters and trainers. They seem resigned at best and fearful at worst. I can’t imagine being married to someone who was so involved in boxing. It’s all day, every day, and such a dangerous sport.

Margarito’s drills at the track look like so much fun, but, man, his trainer has AGED since the Pacquiao fight. I do feel bad for Margarito having to make the unscheduled trip to New York. Every day is crucial this close to a fight, but he has to go the extra mile for all requests due to, well, you know.

This is a big fight career-wise and psychologically for both fighters. Cotto to avenge the previous loss and regain his confidence. Margarito to redeem his reputation as a hard-hitting fight, WITHOUT plaster on his hands and to quiet those that scream out he’s a criminal. This fight will, hopefully, bring closure to both fighters as well as fight fans.  So, it comes down to one thing: What’s stronger? Revenge? Or redemption?

*See: Kermit Cintron
**Not even allegedly. It’s a joke. I kid. Bob Arum is a paragon of ethics. 

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