This coming December 3, 2011, Miguel Cotto (36-2 with 29 KOs) will defend his title against Antonio Margarito (38-7 with 27 KOs) at Madison Square Garden, New York City. This is their second encounter, their first fight was described by HBO’s Max Kellerman as a “modern day classic” and it’s very hard to disagree with that opinion. The first half of the fight was dominated by Cotto by using his superior speed, athleticism, and boxing skills. He managed to avoid many of Margarito’s punches by utilizing lateral and backward movement, while landing one flush shot after another on the durable Mexican’s iron chin. Margarito’s Iron Chin and toughness absorbed punches from Cotto without showing any signs of being damage or slowing down, and then take back to stop Cotto was a scene to consider. Although Margarito was being stopped by Shane Mosley after that fight, Antonio shows an incredible chin and even greater lung capacity to accompany it.
Before the fight with Mosley, Margarito was found to have a hard plaster-like substance in the ehand and was subsequently suspended by the California State Commission for one year. No one knows when it began to load his gloves, but common sense tells me that it was first used earlier with the light coming from a very poor performance against a shot near Ricardo Mayorga. My guess is that it began to load his gloves after losing his WBO welterweight title to Paul Williams, but could have begun to use them before the fight. From the psychological point of view, it is possible that knowing that Cotto Margarito will face an own could help offset any advantage that mental Margarito could have won the victory over his arrest in his first fight. As we all know, boxing is a sport of mental aspect of the game has never minimized or discounted.
As for the wear and tear is concerned, since their first meeting, both fighters were involved in fighting very hard with Margarito sustaining the most damage. Margarito was beaten by Mosley in nine rounds and beaten to a pulp over 12 rounds by Manny Pacquiao suffered a broken orbital in the process. His eyes were examined by several doctors and has a clean bill of health, then we should not assume that he will fight with all kinds of disabilities. Cotto was stopped in the 12th round against Pacquiao in a very fierce battle began as a competitive business and turned into a beat-down way. I do not think either fighter will be fighting even that was just under 3 ½ years, but I think Cotto is closer to who he was that Margarito is. Antonio will not have the added benefit of having physical and psychological, and knowing that he put the gloves in this fight if he had actually had their first match.
Find a battle to be very similar to their first time in many ways. Margaritas are very predictable and not fight a lot of different ways to fight the next. He comes forward as the mummy of recovery rather slow, but the pounding thud. By far his best shot is his uppercut. It 'was very effective against shorter than Cotto, and hours would be crazy to use it very often in this battle. I do not expect Cotto to try to hurt the iron chinned Margaritas, but the land clean shots to the safe area and then to tie up the Margaritas, when it comes dangerously close to Mosley has made him very effective in the fight against Antonio. Expect more stitches you have seen in their first battle. Clinching is to do two things. First, it gives Cotto a break after a lot of energy to drive away from Antony and the attacks to keep him at bay.
Cotto’s trainer, Pedro Luis Diaz has been doing a good job of simulating how things will go in the fight with Cotto being forced to move backward and punch while retaining his legs and position. That and the clinching will help preclude Miguel from running out of gas as he did before. Margarito will have his moments, but look for Cotto to fight a tactical, intelligent fight utilizing his speed, superior athleticism, underrated jab, movement, and clinching to a unanimous decision victory unless Margarito is taking too much punishment and/or begins to swell badly in which a late round stoppage is not out of the question.