Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Undefeated five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr, 35, is heading into his May 5 super welterweight title challenge versus ‘Super’ WBA incumbent Miguel Cotto as the bookmakers’ favourite, but the American pay-per-view draw insists the 31-year-old champion’s pair of losses are questionable, that he views the Puerto Rican to be unbeaten and is wary of the threat posed by his opponent as he labels Cotto a “quiet killer“.
Amongst Cotto’s list of assassinations are Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Carlos Quintana, Paul Malignaggi and Kelson Pinto in what is a veritable list of significant players between 140 and 154lbs and, in the case of both the first and last, a vengeance mission over an erstwhile loss suffered in either the professional game or amateur circuit.
It is the professional defeats – an 11th round teekayo to Margarito in 2008 and 12th round stoppage to Manny Pacquiao in 2009 – that Mayweather refuses to recognise due to the circumstances they were competed in. For both encounters, Floyd believes the opponents had an unfair edge in an allusion to the claim that Margarito fought with gloves loaded with Plaster of Paris-like substances, and the catchweight handicap that the Pacquiao camp insisted upon.
Speaking on the HBO: Face Off promotional accompaniment to the MGM Grand Garden Arena showdown next month, Mayweather (42-0-0, 26ko) acknowledged Cotto’s achievements in a sport he himself dedicated his life to. Wary of the power Cotto (37-2-0, 30ko) possesses, combined with his personality, he dubbed Miguel the quiet killer.
(Video embedded above credit – YouTube, HBOsports)
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Having campaigned at welterweight for six years, Floyd Mayweather Jr boxes at junior middleweight for only the second time in his storied career when he challenges reigning ‘Super’ WBA champion at 154lbs; Miguel Cotto, for the Puerto Rican’s world title on May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A potential size disparity does not concern Money, though, who is confident he has the required technical tools to deconstruct his opponent.
A Mayweather versus Cotto (37-2-0, 30ko) match-up represents the coming together of two multi-dimensional prizefighters. A defensive-wizard, Floyd, 35, is known primarily for his trademark shoulder-roll and his ability to deny fighters a route to his face and body by relying formerly on movement and now, on blocking. Mayweather (42-0-0, 26ko) is also a remarkable inside fighter, well-conditioned, has good speed, a high ring IQ, a tough overhand right and a contest-ending check hook.
Four years Mayweather’s junior, Cotto, under ex trainer Emanuel Steward and current coach Pedro Luis Diaz has seen a renaissance of his erstwhile box-and-move style rather than one who gets drawn into an exchange of slugs. Cotto boxes, is a tremendous body-puncher and, as his most recent bout – a rematch with Antonio Margarito – demonstrated, is disciplined enough to follow a game-plan in a fight laden with high emotion.
“I feel like I have what it takes to win this fight,” said Mayweather recently, unfazed by Cotto’s talents and credentials as a champion of three weight divisions. “I feel that my hands are faster, I’m the better counter puncher,” he added. “I’ve shown that I have a great chin. My thing is to be Floyd Mayweather and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Mayweather has pledged to stand and trade with Cotto should a toe-to-toe war erupt and, if such a scenario were to occur, believes the potential mental scars from Miguel’s stoppage defeats to Margarito (2008) and Manny Pacquiao (2009) will come into play.
“I feel like if a guy has hit the canvas before, it’s in his mind that it can happen again.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Reigning ‘Super’ WBA champion of the 154lb weight class, Miguel Cotto, and May 5 challenger Floyd Mayweather Jr began their promotional duties for their upcoming MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas clash in Puerto Rico, today, and Mayweather has pledged that it could be slobberknocker as he insisted he will do his part in making it a “toe-to-toe” affair. Floyd also slammed welterweight rival Manny Pacquiao, who he dubbed a “cheater“.
There were no expenses spared during the simultaneous entrances of American pay-per-view attraction Floyd Mayweather Jr (42-0-0, 26ko) and popular Puerto Rican prizefighter Miguel Cotto (37-2-0, 30ko) today, February 27 as larges flames and choreographed explosions accompanied the star fighters to the rostrum as they obliged their media duties ahead of their duel this summer.
Struggling to make himself heard over chants of ‘Money! Money! Money!’ Mayweather lapped up the royal reception he had been served before declaring the key ingredients in a recipe for a successful world title coup: “hard work, dedication, prayers and belief and a good team.”
The five division world champion, who turned 35 last Friday, February 24, continued: “The people must realise, you can’t fight for the fighters, the fighters have to fight [as] it’s a one on one sport, our trainers cannot fight for us. I know what it takes. I gave the sport of boxing my whole life. May 5… you gonna get one helluva show, Miguel Cotto and I are gonna fight hard and we’re gonna give the Puerto Rican fans a great show.”
Paying respects to his opponent, he said: “To be the best in the sport you have to face the best and Miguel Cotto is one of the best in the sport of boxing today,” before naming the fighters he believes obtain elite-level victories through dubious means: “Floyd Mayweather is not a cheater like Antonio Margarito or Manny Pacquiao.”
Since Cotto’s last defeat, incidentally, to Pacquiao in 2009, he switched trainers, left 147lbs to campaign at 154lbs and, under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward, focused more on a box-and-move mentality. Even though Cotto has, again, changed his coaching staff, his new chief cornerman Pedro Luis Diaz has continued to oversee the continuation of Cotto’s boxing style.
Mayweather, primarily known for his defensive attributes, insists he will not move when inside the ring with his 31-year-old opponent and claims he will do what he can to make it a fan-friendly encounter: “We want to give the fans excitement, what they want to see so he don’t have to worry about me moving as it’ll be a toe-to-toe battle on May 5.
“I faced 42 and I beat 42,” he concluded.