by David P. Greisman
Ronnie Shields (Mayweather): “It’s a great fight, but I just think Floyd Mayweather. I think they realized that the kid’s really a southpaw and that the best side he has is his left side. I think they have to take that away right away, and I think Floyd will take his left hand from him right away. I think it’s going to be a good fight because Miguel Cotto is one of the best fighters out there. He’s going to fight with all his heart, but I just think that Floyd is a step ahead, so I’m going to pick him by unanimous decision.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Mayweather): “I watch Floyd just about every day in the gym. I got a couple of my guys boxing with him. He looked extra special today [Note: Muhammad said this about two weeks ago]. I just think he’s going to be too fast for Miguel. His punches are going to be short, crisp. I think Miguel won’t even be able to hit him. I see Mayweather either by late round stoppage or easy decision.
“Think about all the hard fights Miguel had: the Margarito fight, the Pacquiao fight, you just can’t recover from beatings like that. The rematch with Margarito, Margarito is a one-dimensional fighter. All you need is to move from side to side to beat Margarito, have a good jab and step around him. He’s one-dimensional. He’ll never change. We’re talking about the best fighter in the world: Floyd Mayweather. He can do it all. I see him every day. He just amazes me every day.”
Sam Garcia (Mayweather): “I think Mayweather wins a tougher than expected fight. He’s going to out-box him. He’s going to be really strong, I think, at 154. I just think he’s got too much skill and too much on the line for what’s going to happen in the future. He’s going to do what Mayweather does.
“[Why is it tougher than expected?] I just think that the weight’s going to favor Cotto. I think Mayweather will be comfortable at 154, but I think that Cotto will be a little bit stronger. I think the way that Cotto has extreme confidence in his trainer, and I like what I see out of his trainer, I like how he’s meticulous and detailed about things. I think they’re really motivated to try and actually beat Mayweather and not just come for a payday.
“He’s got a lot at stake. He’s done well against boxers in the past. The only guys that really beat him are high-volume pressure guys, so I think it’ll be a good fight. It’ll be a tough fight, but it’s one that Mayweather should win or will win. I also think I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a real tough night for him. [I see] a decision for Mayweather. I’ll be real surprised if he knocks him out. I think that’s a big statement if he can knock him out.”
Henry Ramirez (Mayweather): “Mayweather. Great defense. Just everything. I think Mayweather’s the best fighter on the planet. I think Cotto has some moments where he’ll make things a little uneasy for Mayweather, but I expect Mayweather to win a unanimous decision.”
John Scully (Mayweather): “I always say that I find it hard to pick against Miguel Cotto in any fight, but I find it harder to pick against Floyd Mayweather in any fight. Mayweather, from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen, he hasn’t lost any of his determination to train hard and to prepare. I mean, a lot of people don’t like him personally, but he prepares like a real, real champion. I’ve seen him in the gym, I’ve seen what he puts himself through; it’s really impressive. And I just feel like his ‘A’ game is better than Cotto’s ‘A’ game, and he’s going to win. I could picture him going for the later-rounds knockout but probably not getting it, and winning a decision.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]