MAYWEATHER: “I DON’T FIGHT GUYS AT CATCHWEIGHTS. I DON’T PUT PLASTER IN MY GLOVES.”
By John McCormick
Floyd questions legitimacy of Pacquiao's win over Cotto
The boxing world awaits the biggest fight of this year thus far when Floyd “Money” Mayweather (42-0 with 26 KOs) steps into the ring against Miguel Cotto (37-2 with 30 KOs) this Saturday. The super fight will represent not only Mayweather's challenge for Cotto's WBA 154-pound super championship, and also a defense of Mayweather's own de facto status as pound-for-pound champion. Mayweather, usually known for his loud mouth and disrespectful antics toward his opponent during the weeks leading up to a fight has chosen a different route for the buildup of this fight.
Throughout the promotion, Mayweather has been relatively quiet by not digging into Cotto’s character but choosing to praise him instead. “I feel that Miguel Cotto is an undefeated fighter,” Mayweather said during HBO’s face off, ignoring Cotto's legitimate loss to Manny Pacquiao. Cotto's only other pro loss besides Pacquiao came against Antonio Margarito, althought it is widely believed that Margarito cheated in that fight by using handwraps loaded with plaster. When Mayweather called Cotto undefeated in Cotto's presence, the Puerto Rican superstar wasn’t quick to argue with Mayweather but instead said nothing.
Margarito’s win over Cotto in July of 2008, initially thought to be legitimate, turned controversial after Margarito was caught attempting to enter the ring against Shane Mosley with plaster in his wraps six months later. As for Cotto's loss to Pacquiao in November 2009, that boutwas contested at a catchweight of 145 pounds, two less than the welterweight limit where Cotto competed at the time. Does the two pounds below the welterweight limit, which Cotto agreed to, cheapen Pacquiao's wn over Cotto? Mayweather, the world's biggest Pacquaio critic, thinks it does, lumping Margarito and Pacquiao's wins together in the tainted category. “I've never fought a guy at a catch weight. I don't fight guys at catch weights. I don't put plaster in my gloves. These are things I don't do, because I'm not that type of guy. What I do is I dedicate myself when it's time to fight, and that's what I can say I do. To each his own,” Mayweather said last week during a media conference call. Mayweather did not acknowledge his catchweight agreement to fight Juan Manuel Marquez at 144 pounds, which Mayweather broke by coming in at 146.
Mayweather’s claim that Cotto is still an undefeated fighter, though dubious, shows his obvious respect for the Puerto Rican star. Mayweather went on to say “I respect Miguel Cotto as a man always. I think he has a beautiful family. I don't really know him, but he seems like a cool guy. But yes, I respect him as a man, what else can I say? Come May 5th he's going to have to make me respect his boxing skills. Every fighter, you have to earn that; that's nothing you can't just get from me. Marquez he earned my respect, he made me earn his respect, a couple other guys made me earn their respect, and Shane Mosley made me respect his power. But when it's all said and done, I'm pretty sure they respect in my fighting skills also.”
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