Boxing


Cotto/Mosley: "Ruthless" Cotto May Now Have More Power To Play With

06.11.07 - By Scoop Malinowski: "Ruthlessness, power and determination," are why Paulie Malignaggi says Miguel Cotto is the toughest man he's ever faced. Of course, ring observers are quite familiar with the trademark relentless tenacity of the unbeaten World Boxing Association Welterweight champ. But what is the power like actually.?

I asked veteran photographer Chris Farina, who would know as well as just about anyone. "Besides the referee, it's us (who are closest to the action) We're seeing what they're seeing. We're getting a perspective that even the closest fan doesn't get. I can feel them, I hear them and I get the sweat of them - or the blood. Like when Cotto hit Zab Judah - the one knockdown at the end. I thought (Judah) was crying for somebody, man. He was in the corner, just...he didn't want to move. Let's put it that way. I didn't think he was getting up at all. At all. You hear things that you know the fight is over and the fans ten rows back might not. I knew the fight was over. Some of the sounds, grunts, noises we hear in the corner - the casual fans don't hear that 10, 20 rows back. I knew the fight was over."

The courageous Judah absorbed vicious punishment from Cotto in that fight. "And they were just wearing on him, just wearing him down, matter of time," says Farina. "And Miguel's gonna do the same to Mosley, I think. Winning by attrition. Winning by wearing him down. But Sugar's fast. Sugar's tough. It's gonna be a real tough fight. I guarantee you that."

Miguel Cotto was at Kingsway Gym at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon for a media workout, demonstrating the pulverizing blows he will use to try to destroy Shane Mosley this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Cotto did around ten rounds of hitting the pads and then another two or three of shadowboxing. And the power and technical sharpness of his punches were mesmerizing to much of the media who watched in respectful silence as the master worked.

"He's like a miniature Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano and Jake Lamotta," offered one veteran writer. "This guy is a human wrecking machine," surmised another. "I don't see how Mosley will be able to take this for 12 rounds."

The champion's fitness coach for the last four fights Phil Landman, a Los Angeles-based South African, says Cotto's power for this fight might even be more brutally violent than in previous battles. "It's seems like Miguel is coming in with a little more power into this fight. We've focused a lot more on his core work (hip, torso and abdominal) and a lot more in the gym on exercises that are specific to grooving his strength and power."

When Landman was told that Miguel's uncle and trainer Evangelista Cotto had earlier revealed that two sparring partners were sent to the hospital with rib injuries, he smiled. "I didn't want to tell you that. Two of three sparring partners - one left early for a fight and the other two had to leave only because of Miguel. So that's a good sign for us."

Evangelista knows what the difficulties will be in boxing Mosley. "The main obstacle is the speed. But we figure as long the fight progresses, it won't be as much of a factor. At the end of the fight he won't have the same speed as he has in the beginning."

The trainer is very respectful of Mosley but seems quietly confident that his nephew will prevail, like he always has. As usual with Cotto, there will be no secrets or surprises in the strategy to offset Mosley's Hall of Fame caliber attributes. "Basically, we'll stay with the classic style. We'll come in, see what they do, and little by little as he starts attacking us, we'll start cutting him down."

I asked Evangelista, who has trained his nephew from the beginning, when he first realized Miguel would become the great fighter he is today? "I always knew he was going to be champ. We believed in him always. When he was younger, he was always younger than the other fighters and he beat up older fighters. He always fought against older people than him. Every fight that he step up and every opponent that he beat - so that's when you realize that he's gonna be a great fighter."

There is a generally accepted opinion that Floyd Mayweather is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world today, despite his reluctance of fighting the most dangerous and risky opposition and his apparent lack of interest in participating in a welterweight title unification tournament. Miguel Cotto, in his own modest way, is not one who totally believes all the hype about Floyd. I asked Cotto who he thinks is the best fighter in boxing today and he answered with a smile, "If you're asking me, it's Miguel Cotto."

If Cotto takes care of business on Saturday night in typical fashion, the notion of Mayweather as the world's best welterweight will be in question. And a welterweight unification tournament should be in order.

Read the Miguel Cotto Biofile at www.thebiofile.com

Article posted on 06.11.2007



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