Boxing


Who is the Best Welterweight in the World?

16.04.08 - Yero Moody: As I watched the welterweight doudle-header on HBO this past weekend I was again reminded of how richly talented the welterweight division truly is. Two of the top ten pound for pound fighters in the world reside there, Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto and a former pound for pound champ Shane Mosley. The fights themselves panned out to be exactly what most predicted. A relatively easy win for Cotto over a grossly overmatched Gomez and part II of the vicious beating of Cintron at the hands of Margarito..

This will bring together a major fight between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. This fight has an ethnic undercurrent that makes it even more explosive. Puerto Rico versus Mexico! What a rich history and bitter rivalry it is when fighters from these two countries clash. It is sure to be an exciting blockbuster and I can't wait to watch.

This fight is especially important for Margarito whose intial cry of being "the most feared fighter in boxing" has dwindled to a mere whisper following a controversial win over Joshua Clottey and a loss to a rather inexperienced Paul Williams. Will Margarito finally be able to get a win that will gain him a broader fan base and keep him off the undercards? My prediction is Miguel Cotto will brutally beat Margarito into submission. As I watch Margarito he has only made one major improvement and that is he starts much faster than he has in the past.

With a win over Margarito, Cotto will be in line to face the legitimate and true welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. via his win over the former undisputed champ Carlos Baldomir. This is a must have fight for Mayweather! In order to secure the type of legacy he boasts of he must face Miguel Cotto and I believe that he will. He knows more than any of us what it takes to build a legacy. I can recall prior to Mayweather facing De La Hoya how he was accused of avoiding fighters who could possibly hurt him. What is truly unfortunate is that his detractors act is if Mayweather is hiding or afraid to face Cotto or Margarito. Let us exmine this fallacy a little more and utilize history as our basis.

It wasn't to long ago that De La Hoya, Mosley, and Mayweather ALL turned down offers to fight Margarito. I for one don't believe any one of the aforementioned fighters are afraid of Margarito. In fact De La Hoya gave a very good reason for why Margarito was turned down. He stated that Margarito hasn't done anything to prove himself against top level fighters and he doesn't have much of a fan base. He indeed had a chance to rise to those heights when he faced Paul Williams but he got outboxed. Had he lived up to his hype and defeated Williams he would not be on an undercard. No fighter with a large fan base fights on the undercard, unless of course you're on the same card as De La Hoya. Mayweather also had his sights set on bigger, more marketbale fighters like Mosley and De La hoya. Mosley initially turned him down but De La Hoya took the offer and history was made. Although as a fan I would love to see Margarito face Mayweather, De La Hoya and Mosley but based on his lack of defense, slow footwork and handspeed, and the wide looping punches that he throws all three of those fighters would have a field day beating Margarito just as I predicted that Williams would, especially Mayweather.

I remember prior to De La Hoya finally agreeing to fight Mayweather how Mayweather eagerly pursued that fight from the time De La Hoya was at 154lbs. and Mayweather was at 140lbs. De La hoya stated that Mayweather had not done enough to earn a fight with him but when the time was right he gave Mayweather a shot. That is the exact same thing Mayweather is doing with Cotto! This cheap, hate-filled talk of Mayweather ducking Cotto is absolute rubbish. When Cotto beats Margarito he will be in line to fight Mayweather and Mayweather will oblige. This will be a megafight of epic proportions. Cotto is a great fighter and deserves this fight. However, his skills don't match up with Mayweather's. I've seen Cotto get tagged hard and consistently by lesser fighters like Torres, Corley and Judah. Although he came back to win all those fights he will get no such opportunity from Mayweather. He will not be able to land those hard shots against Mayweather's superb defense much like De La Hoya never got to land his vaunted left hook nor will he be able to land consistently. If fighters like Torres and Corley were able to land consistent shots against Cotto what do you think Mayweather will do?

Until Mayweather is defeated he remains not only the best welterweight but the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Hate him or love him no other fighter brings it all together like Mayweather. The offense, the defense and an almost inhuman workout regimen.
Thank you for reading.

P.S. Hatton is now pursuing a rematch with Mayweather and wants Mayweather to come to his turf. He blames the referee for the beating he took so he wants a hometown ref. He hopes he'll be allowed to get away with his rough house tactics. He also stated that he hopes the fight can be made at 140lbs. Hatton give it up. You're not in Mayweather's league it doesn't matter what ref you get, what planet you fight on or what weight you fight at! Let's not forget Mayweather is really a legit 140lb. fighter himself.

Article posted on 16.04.2008



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