Boxing


Miguel Cotto's Youth Prevails, While It Was Age In Shane 'Mostly'

miguel cotto11.11.07 - By Vivek Wallace: After all the anticipation, the results are in, and in many ways, the fight lived up to the hype. Last night, fight fans were able to see a rare moment in sports when a sudden 'star' rises from what is categorically termed as goodness, to the cusp of greatness. It was quite a moment in time for avid fight fans and the tense aura in the Madison Square Garden was so thick moments before the fight that you could slice it with a knife. When referee Benjy Estevez Jr. finally dropped his arms as they were parallel to the deck - signaling the start of the fight - it was both the initiation, and culmination of one man's hell of a journey.

From the opening bell there were signs that most who predicted a Mosley victory - (myself included) - would be in for quite a surprise.

Present was the stalking Cotto, absent was the quickness of Shane. Present was the strength of Cotto, absent was the veteran advantage perceived to be Shane's coming into the fight.

Quickly, it became very evident that Miguel Cotto had come full circle in that maturation point that few fighters every really advance beyond. In a fight that pointed nearly every advantage to Mosley, Cotto was able to nullify those advantages by redefining who he is for the masses to see. Although many viewers had a final score card that read like mine - (a possible draw) - it should be noted that Miguel Cotto came in as the Champ and did more than enough to solidify himself as well as his name in the sport.

The Cotto of old had less head movement, less fight plan execution skills, and had less footwork. The Cotto that emerged from the dressing room to face Shane Mosley on Saturday night was a man on a mission who performed to perfection. What was even more pleasing to see in the young Miguel Cotto was his quiet resolve within.

He displayed the perfect temperament to complement his stalk-until-they-can't-walk swagger. Before our very eyes he defined a quiet storm. This type of dedication and quiet resolve would have enabled a Mike Tyson to still be Champion today.

As a man, as a fighter, Miguel Cotto has earned the respect of a new crowd, and the island of Puerto Rico, thought to be still in search of a successor to Felix 'Tito' Trinidad, can now rest at ease knowing that not only has the torch been passed, but it apparently burns now brighter than ever.

For Shane Mosley, although he did enough in my opinion to earn a draw, (or very close), it was apparent to some that age has in fact become a factor. When you consider how conditioned he has been in the past, it provides a new respect for someone like a Bernard Hopkins, who continues to reinvent himself and perform at a level high enough to overcome obstacles in the ring at the ripe age of 42.

Shane Mosley has nothing to hang his head about, for his efforts last night would have been enough to get past 98% of the remaining welterweights in the division. Although I picked Shane to win, I'm happier with the final result because now it potentially - with a Mayweather victory - sets the table for two undefeated welterweights who are actually in their prime to square off.

In a wishful moment, I would love to see Floyd Mayweather Jr., or Paul Williams fight Miguel Cotto. I use the term 'wishful' because with Mayweather, if it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense. But either man would make for a helluva matchup with Miguel Cotto because he will force Floyd to pedal his bike less, and fight more; Just like he will have to force himself to overcome the ultimate obstacle in the freak of nature known as Paul Williams.

If nothing else, Saturday night, boxing's 'Battalion of Young Stallions' (the welterweight division) saw a once murky picture become visibly clear. Granted, many subplots still remain - Kermit Cintron, Antonio Margarito, the old but still capable Oscar Dela Hoya, etc - but even with those subplots, there is now one man who has established himself as a clear frontrunner with no rebuttal strong enough to steal his thunder.

Our next journey culminates on the evening of December 8th, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. defends his 'zero' against Ricky Hatton who wishes to protect his as well. It's safe to say that on the morning of December 9th, we will know what the spring of '08 will look like, but for right now, at least we know who one of the main characters will be. The man simply known as 'Junito', Mr. Miguel Cotto.

ESB would like to congratulate both Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto for an epic night.

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

Article posted on 11.11.2007



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