Jul 27, 2008

3 parts bitter hold the sweet

If you're a boxing fan last night was either extremely sweet or supremely bitter. The problem of any sport is that eventually the side you choose doesn't win, and that was the case last night with the fighter I was rooting for. For his part, Miguel Cotto boxed what I considered the exact fight he had to fight for 7 rounds. But anyone who has seen a MArgarito fight knows that the fight doesn't start until after round 7 and that's just what happened. When people asked me who I thought would win, I said Cotto by decision using his jab or Margarito by KO or TKO down the stretch. Some people scoffed that Margarito had never felt power like Cotto and apparently these people haven't seen a Margarito fight where you can pretty much hit the guy with a sledge hammer only to have him smiling as he walks you down. That's the type of fighter Margarito is and that's why Oscar De la Hoya, Mayweather, and Shane Mosley all ducked away from him.

To say Miguel Cotto was not game would be bullshit at its worst since he was clearly game, until he found out he had six minutes to go and his legs couldn't make him looked like a skilled fighter backing away while beating the other guy. Margarito simply took every shot Cotto had and walked right through it. It was a Mexican fighter as his best fighting like a Mexican. No backing off, taking shots that would cripple normal men and applying effective pressure to force his will onto a clearly better boxer. It was what all Mexican fight fans look for in a fight, their fighter clearly outclassed but not outwilled showing what true spirit looks like and punches like.

As mentioned above, Miguel Cotto did what he had to do, he just couldn't outlast the clock. I never thought he had a chance in hell to get a knockout and that's just what happened. He didn't knock Margarito out even if he hit him with pretty much everything AND the kitchen sink. By the tenth round Cotto was looking like a wounded tiger retreating and lashing out some incredible shots, he just forgot he was facing a Mexican Terminator that delivered on his promise of a late KO.

Was it a brutal ass kicking from the part of Margarito? To be honest (and I'm sure any boxing fan will have a response to this) No. To me, a brutal ass kicking includes a fighter not being able to leave the ring out of his own will. A brutal ass kicking means he had no chance in hell to win. A brutal ass kicking is what happens when both of these fighters are on their game and face lesser men. Coto had cuts above his eye, in his lip and most importantly to me, a bleeding nose. Why do I make mention of this? Well if you have to fight smart, evade, counter and be twice as quick as someone, breathing in blood is not on the top of your list of things to have during your fight and you could see Margarito's pressure increase while Cotto's energy output decreased. It was as most probably would have predicted a Margarito victory since a decision was not on the guy's mind.

Now there are a few questions to ask. How will Miguel Cotto react to his first professional loss, via knockout from a guy that took not only his best shot, but his best 60 shots? Ricky Hatton got knocked out last year by Floyd Mayweather and apparently it was an extremely bitter pill to swallow, but he's kept fighting. He went up against Juan Lazcano and won a decision but some people said he didn't look nearly as fierce as he did before. Maybe he's still assimilating his loss but we'll see in his November fight against Paul Malignaggi.

Next question. What will Margarito do now? A Cotto rematch seems like a sure fire bet unless Cotto puts pride to the side and stops caring about the title he had taken last night. Who else is in the picture to fight Margarito? Paul Williams beat him and will probably be calling him out every chance he has a camera in front of him, simple as that. Oscar De la Hoya and Mayweather REALLY don't seem like people who would even consider Margarito for a videogame tournament much less a real fight. He's shown pretty much no one can hurt him, taking Kermit Cintron and Miguel Cotto's best shots, two of the hardest punches in the division if not THE hardest punchers. He's showed that being outboxed is not something that matters once you get tired and can't effectively back away. So who's game? Joshua Clottey has a date with Zab Judah and some people might look for a fighter for Margarito to come from that exchange, but there's only one problem, people would want to see Judah and I don't think Zab has a chance in hell against Margarito. Oh and there's actually another problem, Josh Clottey fought against Margarito already and lost a decision I thought he'd snagged from the Tijuana Tornado so Margarito can brush him off easily. Sidenote: Clottey should beat Zab Judah in their bout, lets see if I'm right or if Zab decides to prove me wrong.

So what does all of this mean? Apart from rematches against Williams and Cotto, Margarito might have to do the quite thinkable and move up to 154, where people can allow themselves to dream about beating him if only because of the notion that they think he can't take a move up in weight. For now though, Cotto has some time to recover, look at tapes and realize he did everything he needed to do to win and just got caught by under %30 of the shots thrown by the machine known as Antonio Margarito. Margarito on the other hand is probably running 30 miles just before sparring for 60 rounds while eating tacos in between rounds. No bullshit, this is the type of fighter who longs for those days of 15 round fights.

For my part, congratulations to the Tijuana Tornado, you didn't leave it up to the judges and regardless of who you're rooting for, that's what every champion should look for.



Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see it for "free" on HBO this Saturday.

Me said...

I'm looking for the Margarito drug stuff in the news... Still, looking forward to seeing it this Saturday...

Joker said...

@ Addude: Trust me, if you're a Margarito fan, you're going to love it lol. Later let me know your thoughts on it. And no worries,I've seen a bunch of "free" HBO fights he he he.

@ Me: Everyone is looking for an excuse for Cotto's loss. I'm a fan and it sucks that he lost and by TKO but dopage or not, it's not an atypical MArgarito fight. He got hit with everything and just kept coming. We'll see if anything results from that but trust me that boxing does not need this type of drama. You gotta tell me bout the trip later though. Gone a bit psycho writing lately lol.

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