Boxing


Mosley/Cotto: Fight Plans, Keys To Victory

10.11.07 - by Vivek Wallace: To all my fight aficionado's out there, tonight is one of the grand moments we've all waited for. Now that the drumroll has sounded, it's time to rumble and after viewing the weigh-in yesterday, it's evident, the fellas are ready. An ode of the late great NYC rapper, 'Bigge Smalls', once stated: "The key to success is day and night, perform like Mike....Either one Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, ACTION!!!! And there's no better word to end that sentence with, as ACTION will be the operative term in a fight of this caliber..

Basic fight fans think it's simply a matter of Cotto coming forward and Mosley pop-shots, but for the true fight aficionado's out there that wants to get technical and do some tactical hair-splitting, this piece should help serve that purpose.

MIGUEL COTTO FIGHT PLAN/ KEYS TO VICTORY: No bells and whistles here. You can expect Miguel to come out stalking like few others can. At various points in the recent press events Cotto has spoken very openly about not needing to try to match Shane's speed, or strength, but rather out-smarting the veteran fighter and out executing him. I expect Cotto to use alot of feinting, alot of angles, alot of jabbing. Shane is definitely one to mix it up and brawl occasionally, but when in the ring with a stalker type - (think Mosley/Dela Hoya I) - Shane tends to fight off the back foot and counter until he can wear his opponent down and change the tide of the fight. Cotto will need to use the jab that he has come closer and closer to mastering lately to keep Shane off guard up high, so he can go down low - no pun intended - to deliver his patented body shots.

The key for Cotto in this fight is to keep the pressure on and don't allow the veteran to get him mentally out of his game. In order to get the "W" in this match, Cotto will have to basically make history to taste history. Meaning, he will have to beat Shane Mosley via KO or TKO, assuming that Shane's speed will give him a points win over the rising Puerto Rican. KO'ing Shane is something which has never been done. And to take it a step further, dating back to Shane's amateur days, he has only tasted the canvas twice, and in neither case did it appear to be a troubling moment, so Cotto will have to really put together a solid performance and pick his spots correctly. He must avoid Shane's left jab which usually sets up a right cross. Cotto must also be aware of the fact that Mosley is one of the best trap-setters in the game. He gives angles to make a fighter commit, then uses his speed to move and connect with a shot that was total opposite of what his opponent thinks is coming. This is Cotto's big chance to elevate his status. Cynics have said that he's a 'hype' fighter, built by the media to carry the Puerto Rican torch in the absence of Wilfred Benitez, Hector Camacho, and Felix Trinidad. It would be ignorant to go out on that limb with those cynics, but a loss in this fight will definitely reignite that flame. Will Cotto answer the call?, or simply place himself among the sports many 'bridge' fighters, entrenched on the cusp of greatness, but lacking that element to set him aside from those who are truly good, yet not quite good enough? Tonight we find out.

SHANE MOSLEY FIGHT PLAN/ KEYS TO VICTORY: With Shane Mosley you're gonna get a closer assemblage to natural full package. Better than average speed, power, and ring knowledge, which is heavily accented by the many years he's been a part of the sport. Expect Shane to come out early and establish the fact that he won't fall victim to the fear factor. Shane will engage with Cotto early and often. I expect Shane to use movement and rapid fire assaults to fluster the young Cotto who typically starts slow. As the fight wears on, Shane will more than likely gauge Cotto's conditioning and pick the opportune time to attack.

The key for Mosley in this fight is to make sure that he doesn't show too much respect to Cotto. Cotto has been very dominant when he realizes that his opponent is being broken mentally. Another thing that I expect Mosley to make a major subplot is body punching. People tend to forget that Shane was once one of the most feared body punchers in the sport, and the word around the Mosley camp leading up to this fight is that there is a new premium on a rededicated effort to that art. This should be interesting because none of us have ever really seen Cotto deal with a dose of his own medicine, and although his conditioning and skillset has gotten much better over the last few years, it remains to be seen if he can handle a consistent body attack himself. Look for Shane to set traps for his hooks, setup by a collage of body shots - most often that wicked left body hook - to soften Cotto up. Does Mosley still, at age 36, have what it takes to reign supreme in the sports 'Battalion of Young Stallions', the welterweight division? Or will his proverbial 'fountain of youth' run dry?

INTANGIBLES: One of the things barely spoken about in the lead up to this fight is the fact that the fighters will be wearing 8 ounce gloves. Considering that body shots will play a major role, all I have to say is that I feel sorry for the man who can't handle it. The decision to use the gloves seem to be welcomed by both parties, but come Sunday morning, somebody - (or should I say someone's body) - will regret it.

NOTABLE FACTS: Miguel Cotto has never defeated a fighter with over 40 victories....Shane Mosley is coming in off of a 9 month layoff.....Record of last 10 opponents - Miguel Cotto (273-16-2)....Shane Mosley (325-18-2) - This stat leaves no question in terms of the level of competition between the two fighters.....Madison Square Garden records....Miguel Cotto (3-0, 2KO's)....Shane Mosley (2-1, 2 KO's)....Record of the fighters in the month of November....Miguel Cotto (1-0, 1KO)....Shane Mosley (5-1, 5KO's).

(This article will feature a live chat in the comments section throughout the fight and I will be e-connected. Although I expect a very strong performance by both men, my official prediction is MOSLEY KO RD9. For those who are available, feel free to chime in).

(Got feedback?: Write Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com or show some love at myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)

Article posted on 11.11.2007



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