What we witness and learned from the Cotto-Mayweather clash
On Saturday night, the Ring Kings Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto pay-per-view event was held in Las Vegas. Mayweather defeated Cotto via Unanimous Decision to capture the WBA 154 lbs title belt, and remain undefeated (check out our full round by round results). Here are the top 13 takeaways from Mayweather vs. Cotto, including thoughts about the fight and how it played out, how each of the men performed, what it means for their future, and much more.
—> Check out our huge collection of Mayweather vs. Cotto photos
- Entertaining, Competitive and Fun: Mayweather vs. Cotto lived up to, and exceeded, the expectations that most people had for it. It was a fun, fast-paced fight with some back and forth action, and it was competitive through to the end. Definitely a high quality main event for a PPV. But…
- Miserable Undercard: It’s not as if I didn’t know this going into the event. Still, the Ring Kings undercard was miserable. Considering they charged between $60 and $70 to purchase the pay-per-view, it was a total waste. If you’re paying Canelo an estimated $2 million, put him in there with somebody better than a totally-completely-terribly done Shane Mosley, or spread that money around to put on better supporting fights than Latimore-Quintana and Vargas-Forbes.
- Mayweather Closes the Show: While on the judges’ scorecards the 12th round would not have mattered, Mayweather seemed to think the fight was closer than that, perhaps more along the lines of our 115-113 scorecard. He came out in the 12th and closed the show, making for a clear and decisive conclusion to his hard fought battle against Cotto. That’s a testament to him, and his Ring IQ. Throughout the fight, he made the types of adjustments to his game plan – looking for, and then connecting with uppercuts, for example, or turning to the jab to nullify Cotto’s – that he’s so well known for, and that makes him such an exceptional fighter. His calm presence and demeanor is also otherworldly. In the heat of the battle against Cotto, Mayweather looked as relaxed as he would if he was working the mitts with Uncle Roger.
- Too Difficult for Mayweather, or Deserving of Extra Credit?: I’ve already heard differing opinions on this. Did Mayweather have too much trouble with Cotto, therefore failing to live up to his own capabilities and stature, or does he deserve more credit than usual for battling through a tough fight from a top guy, and surviving a legit challenge? You can’t always whitewash every opponent, sometimes you have to get gritty and bloodied up and pull out the W. Personally, I lean towards the latter.
- Public Perception of Mayweather: Going back to the issue above, I believe the public at large will likely grow more fond of Mayweather for putting on a fun, action-oriented affair. I’m also thinking that the Mayweather-Cotto PPV numbers are going to be off the charts, bolstering Mayweather’s status as the Money man in boxing even more. Of course, he and 50 Cent both lost immeasurable amounts of respect and street cred for walking to the ring along with Justin Bieber. Really guys?
- Mutual Respect: Mayweather and Cotto displayed a great amount of respect for another, despite the heated staredown at the weigh-in. After the fight, the warriors immediately embraced, and neither had a bad word to say about the other. It’s always nice to see that between two top guys, especially when that hasn’t been the case for Cotto in his recent career, and more often than not, for Mayweather with his pre-fight trash talking antics.
- Cotto’s Body Work: Cotto has always been an exceptional body puncher, and that’s what he was known for earlier in his pro career. He hasn’t been on top of that in his more recent outings, however. Against Mayweather though, he was consistently attacking the body, and his output there made a dent, noticeably slowing Mayweather down more than usual, and forcing him to adapt. It was an excellent strategy and it paid dividends for him even though he didn’t pull off the upset.
- Best Cotto We’ve Seen? I’m not going to preach that a strong performance in a loss is the best we’ve ever seen from a three-division titleholder like Miguel Cotto, but if it wasn’t the best, it was damn close. Cotto was in excellent physical and mental condition, and definitely believed in himself more following his vengeance against Manos de Plaster Margarito. He also had a high quality game plan and sound fundamentals working with trainer Pedro Diaz. Those two seem to be a great match. If anything, Cotto simply changed things up a bit too frequently in the fight, which nullified some of his effectiveness. He couldn’t quite decide at times whether to be the aggressor, or the circling boxer, or something in between, allowing Mayweather to call the shots.
- Mayweather and Merchant: Reunited, and it feels so good! Mayweather had apparently apologized to Larry Merchant the day before the fight, and then conducted his post-fight interview with him. While Merchant couldn’t help himself from prodding a jubilant Mayweather, Floyd kept his calm and went along with the flow of the interview.
- Mayweather vs. Canelo?: All night long there was talk of a potential showdown between Canelo Alvarez, and either Mayweather or Cotto. Canelo also called both men from the main event out after his win against Mosley. I believe that Canelo vs. Cotto is a fun, exciting fight, with great meaning and opportunity for both men. But right now, Mayweather would simply punish the young Mexican superstar. Apparently promoter Oscar De La Hoya is well aware of that, and will be putting off any Mayweather-Canelo fights for some time, which is a wise financial and boxing move for their team.
- Bon Voyage, Mr. Mayweather: Bon Voyage. Sayonara. Arrivederci. Mayweather is headed off to an 87-day jail sentence on June 1st. He got to rake in a guaranteed $32 million (his total take will be around $45 million) from his May 5th dance with Cotto, something to help get him through those quiet nights in his lonely, dank prison cell. He’s made it more than clear though that he plans on fighting in the fall again, so his absence will be temporary.
- Mayweather-Cotto-Pacquiao and Styles: Pacquiao dominated, and stopped, Miguel Cotto. Mayweather went the full distance with him. Of course, styles make fights, and while Cotto had problems holding up to the brutal assault of Pacquiao, against Mayweather he was able to fight a different kind of a fight. Also intriguing in the comparison of those fights is that Cotto agreed to a 145 lb catchweight against Pacquiao, while here the full junior middleweight limit of 154 lbs was utilized. Again, I’m of the opinion that this was perhaps as good as we’ve ever seen Miguel Cotto, but nonetheless, intriguing comparisons can and will be made in the Mayweather-Cotto-Pacquiao triangle.
- If You’re the Best, Take the Test: That’s Mayweather’s new favorite catch phrase. He’s been spouting that off at every opportunity, while simultaneously blaming Bob Arum for the Pacquiao fight not getting made. Ultimately, I tend to agree with the sentiment. Miguel Cotto and Victor Ortiz lived by those standards in their recent outings against Money Mayweather, to no detriment, and other marquee fights and fighters are going along with the increased testing standards as well -whether for their own benefit, or to angle themselves into position for a fight against Mayweather, as people like Andre Berto and Amir Khan may be doing. “If You’re the best, take the test!” It doesn’t seem that difficult, and it will be a rallying cry for Mayweather, his team and the portion of the public on his side of the fence about the always-sputtering Pacquiao negotiations.