Cotto vs. Malignaggi: Havenít We Seen This Fight Before?
14.06.06 - By Luis Cortes III: Going into this past Saturdays fight between Miguel Cotto and Paulie Malignaggi, I continued to talk about how this fight, from a stylistic standpoint, was reminding me of another 140 pound championship fight. One that took place in the fall of 1992, a fight between then WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez and top contender and former lightweight Champion Hector "Macho" Camacho.
Article posted on 14.06.2006
It goes with out being said that Paulie Malignaggi only truly resembles the Macho man due to the fact that they share the same architect of this style that suggests, speed kills and is the number one weapon, Billy Giles. Sure, Paulie doesn't have anywhere near the power that Macho man had (now that is hard to believe), and at the time that Camacho and Chavez got into the ring they were both already established champions of their time. The verdict on Cotto is still out and won't be answered for sometime.
All this being said, I still dared to make the comparison. I went on record suggesting that the way Chavez and Camachoís encounter played out, was the way the fight would play out between Malignaggi and Cotto, with one major difference. Cotto would be able to stop Malignaggi late, because, unlike Camacho, the "Magic Man" would not be able to hold on to Cotto the way Camacho was able to survive by holding Chavez.
Oh, wait a minute, that is exactly what Malignaggi was able to do. Just like Camacho, Malignaggi was battered by a man who was much stronger and physically bigger in the body. Like Camacho, Malignaggi was willing to cover up his body throughout the fight in an attempt to block or stunt the incoming left hooks. In doing so, like Macho man Malignaggi would give up his "pretty boy face" in order to protect his body.
See, much like Cotto, Chavez's number one weapon of attack was a devastating left hook to the body that literally folded opponents in half.
Much to Camacho's credit, even after all the talking he had done before his fight with Chavez, saying things like "speed kills" and "you can't hit what you can't see," Camacho took his beating for all twelve rounds. He never complained, didn't look to the referee for help, Camacho would have been upset with the doctor if he would have stopped the fight as a result of nasty cuts that had rivers of blood running down his face.
When the score cards were read that night at the Thomas and Mack center, there was no doubt that the winner of the fight was Chavez. He had physically pounded and worn down the much faster Camacho, both with concussive head shots and a wicked body attack.
The sentiment that night amongst both the lay men boxing fan and the hardest boxing writer was, despite his flashy style and trash talk, Camacho had heart. He had the heart to stay in and take his beating with out quitting, when most would have given up or just quit on their stool. Even Chavez seemed to be impressed with his opponentís grit and determination.
Like Camacho, Malignaggi stood his ground when he could, held on for dear life when he had to, and as defiant as he could be refused to be just a knockout victim, instead he was just the loser of the fight in the eyes of the judges.
Wow, after all of this, I still can't see the similarities between the two fights, can you?
It was kind of wicked to me that one of the participants and the victor from that fight was in the arena on Saturday. Sure he was there to support his son who is trying to make his own way in the sport, but he was there none the less and I am sure even he had to be impressed with the way Cotto was able to resemble him in several ways.
While Cotto still can't be placed anywhere near Chavez, the same can be said about Malignaggi in terms of Camacho.
It goes to show us that even the world of boxing is not immune from history finding a way to repeat itself.
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