BOXINGTALK'S DEAR JOHN MAILBAG
By John McCormick
John, that master performance you predicted from Bernard Hopkins was nonexistent. And I have a feeling you next week forecast may be doomed as well. I would like for you to come through and man up if Floyd Mayweather does not bust Miguel Cotto up like you have mentioned in couple comments. Saying its a mismatch... you are having a rough time in predictions buddy.I still admire your work though.-- Ed - panama city panama
John's response: Ed, you got me on that one but most of my other predictions lately have been on point. I expected one last great performance out of The Executioner, and he just couldn't pull it off. I was very impressed by Chad Dawson. As I watched the fight ringside, I saw a look of malice, bad intentions, and ferocious focus in Dawson's eyes. If Dawson can show up on fight night like that for the rest of his career-I would be hard picked to bet against him. As far as Mayweather-Cotto goes, I will man up immediately if I get it wrong, as I always do but I know what I see. This will not even be close after the first three rounds. Cotto is a GOOD fighter and Mayweather is a GREAT fighter, simple as that. Cotto can come at Mayweather two ways: he can try and out-box him or he can return to the Cotto of old and look to bang him out. Let's examine both scenarios:
-If Cotto attempts to fight Mayweather using his own game of hitting without getting hit, he will have some success in the early rounds. After round three Mayweather will adapt. From this point forward, Cotto must adapt to Mayweather's adaption. If not, he will be picked apart all night.
-If Cotto comes to the ring on Saturday night as the Cotto of 2007, he'll have his best chance of upsetting Mayweather. In order to beat a fighter like Mayweather, you have to make it an UGLY fight; you can't expect to look good doing it. You have to smother him, lay on him, clinch and hit while clinching, then hit off the break. You have to fight dirty using rabbit punches, low blows, and sneaky head-butts. Victor Ortiz had the right idea of catapulting his head into the jaw of Mayweather but he failed when he apologized too much. If he would've just accepted the point reduction and been smart, he would've had a bloody lipped Mayweather in front of him for the next few rounds. I'm not saying I condone this behavior in the ring because I don't. What I am saying is in order to beat Floyd you have to do everything possible to make him uncomfortable and take him out of his element. I doubt Cotto can return to the 2007 version of himself but even if he can, Mayweather flourishes when he has his opponent stalking him all night.
John, Where do you get the idea that Mayweather could or will stop Cotto? That sounds border line ridiculous to me. Mayweather couldn't stop a shot Shane Mosley or a blown up Juan Manuel Marquez. It took him 10 rounds to stop a very small Ricky Hatton for Christ's sake.. Now, Floyd is fighting a guy who at the very least has the power to get Floyd's attention and has a good jab to boot. Floyd has one legitimate stoppage (Hatton) since 2006! I get that he sits on his punches a little more now, but that hasn't translated into knockouts. I think not only will Cotto make it a very close and tough fight, but he will pull off the upset behind a strong jab and hard punches to the body. Mayweather has never really fought a guy with heavy hands like Cotto's.-- JoseB John's response: Jose there is a big difference between stopping an opponent and knocking them out. I NEVER once said Mayweather would knock Cotto out cold. However, Cotto is a relatively small junior middleweight. Did you see Mayweather’s imitation of Cotto on this past week’s 24/7 episode? It was on point. Cotto holds his hands very far apart, leaving himself wide open for straight punches and even worse: uppercuts, Cotto’s worst enemy. When I said I can see Mayweather stopping him, I meant by an offensive onslaught in which the referee, doctor, or corner stops the fight. Mark my words: Cotto’s face will be bruised and swollen badly by the eighth round. Styles make fights and based on Mayweather’s speed advantage, height advantage, and speed advantage I expect this fight to look similar to Mayweather-Gatti after round three. Both of Cotto’s losses have come at the hands of brutal stoppages at the MGM Grand, I expect nothing different on Saturday night.
Wow, I have watched Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II several times and I don’t see what you and others see in that last round. It’s true, Margarito was pressing but he was also getting hit hard on the right side of his face. Another thing, Margarito was throwing arm punches, as he was really unable to set appropriately because of Cotto’s movement. That was his trainer’s gripe the entire fight. Now, obviously you have the right to have your opinion on the Cotto-Mayweather fight. But I just don’t see the evidence to be able to reach a conclusion that Mayweather will pick Cotto apart in “brutal fashion”. The last time Mayweather fought in 154, he won a really close decision against Oscar De La Hoya, who by the way got hit a lot more by Manny Pacquaio than by Mayweather. And yes the corner is very important. Ask Pacquiao. Was he as good before he trained under Freddie Roach? The first time Cotto had a corner was with Emanuel Steward. His uncle knows boxing but was never a world class corner. And mayweather can say all he wants, but the boxing brain there WAS his father, not Roger Mayweather. Cotto reached the level he has because of his talent. Now, finally he has someone he respects who is an expert trainer. But for sure everything will be answered on May 5. Keep the good work.-- Julio John’s Response: Julio, good to hear from you my friend. Cotto fought a beautiful fight against Margarito in their rematch last year for the first seven rounds. After that, Cotto stopped circling and was moving backwards, he was lying on the ropes from time to time, and was getting hit more often than he was earlier in the bout. Cotto was breathing very hard by the time the fight was stopped and you could tell that he was happy that he didn’t have to see Margarito in the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth, which were going to be the true test of the new, revived Miguel Cotto. Nobody questioned Cotto’s ability to pick Margarito apart for the first half of the fight-that was a given going into the fight. The real question was how he would stand to Margarito’s stamina and pace in the championship rounds. Unfortunately, we were robbed of a climax as Breadman says and we will never know what would have happened. I agree with you 100% on the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight; it was much closer than it should’ve been. However, Miguel Cotto is a very small junior middleweight whereas De La Hoya was a full blown junior middleweight. I am surprised that many think this will be a close fight because I can see right through the promotional smoke and mirrors put up by HBO. Cotto doesn’t have what it takes to beat Mayweather. He never did. Mayweather would’ve destroyed Cotto in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and he will destroy him on Saturday. Like I said earlier in this mailbag-expect a Mayweather-Gatti repeat after round three.
I have to respectfully disagree with you: I say Brandon Rios would not beat Lamont Peterson. Right now Rios is campaigning and fighting lightweights and weighing in at the light welter division himself – I think that’s cheating – he knows he can’t make lightweight. He looked terrible in his last 2 fights and if he steps up in weight and in class he will get beaten and easily. The Peterson that turned up to beat Amir Khan would be too much for Rios. It would be awesome to see Rios fight Marcos Maidana though – that would be a barn burner. All the best from the UK, James
John's response: James while I do agree that Rios may be looking for an easier fight or looking for a way to appear indestructible by continuing to try and make the lightweight limit, it is in fact counterproductive. Rios got dominated by someone he should've wiped the floor with (Richard Abril, who was robbed of the decision by corrupt or incompetent judging]. I think he will have great success at junior welterweight, depending on who he fights. Remember, styles make fights and Peterson is a crafty fighter who prefers staying in the pocket, which of course is Rios' turf. In phone booth brawls, usually the man with the sturdier chin and harder punches comes out victorious. Despite getting dominated, Rios has shown a decent chin up until this point. I can't really say the same for Peterson. The way to beat Rios is to outbox him, use constant movement and angles, and smother his punches. That just isn't Peterson's style-that's why I would pick Rios to beat Peterson at junior welterweight.
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