Cotto’s trainer has tough job to come up with a strategy to beat Mayweather

By Marcus Richardson: Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz is going to have to fall back on all his years of amateur experience to try and find a specific strategy that his fighter WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) can employ to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5th in their fight in Las Vegas. Diaz hasn’t been working with Cotto for very long, but he helped him get past a slowed Antonio Margarito last December in Cotto’s 10th round stoppage.

You give Cotto’s old trainer Emanuel Steward some praise for that win, as well, because Cotto seemed to be following the blueprint laid out by Steward, who was replaced by Diaz. Cotto used a lot of movement and constant shifting in circles to keep Margarito from landing his big uppercuts and hooks.

Unfortunately, you got to put an asterisk next to Cotto’s win over Margarito because he was fighting a guy with a right eye that had just had three separate surgeries to repair a fractured orbital bone from Margarito’s loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2010. Additionally, Margarito was coming on in the 9th round in the Cotto rematch, and it looked like Margarito might have been on his way to another win over Cotto. Diaz might have been able to come up with something to guide Cotto through the last three rounds against Margarito, but I have my doubts. Cotto didn’t look good taking Margarito’s big shots in the 9th and we could have seen a KO had there been a 10th, 11th or 12th round in that fight.

Mayweather is so good that whatever Diaz comes up with in this fight, it’ll likely be quickly nullified by Mayweather. Diaz will have to give Cotto multiple things to switch off to if Mayweather is able to neutralize his game plan. Cotto can only do so much with the skills that he has unfortunately. If he tries to bull rush Mayweather, it’s going to end badly with Cotto going down from a check left hook.

If Cotto stays on the outside trying to boxing Mayweather, he’ll get picked apart with jabs from Mayweather’s longer arms and faster hands. Diaz has got to think of something that Mayweather would never expect. The only thing I’ve seen work against Mayweather is when his opponents throw a lot of jabs. That seems to trouble him the most. Jose Luis Castillo gave Mayweather problems earlier in his career by throwing a lot of punches in their two fights. But that strategy could prove to be a disaster for Cotto, because Mayweather would have too many opportunities to throw counter punches if Cotto does that.

Article posted on 09.04.2012

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