by Osman Rodriguez
Miguel Cotto may have lost the fight, but he certainly earned the respect of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Prior to Saturday night's main event, Mayweather (43-0, 26KOs) praised Emanuel Augustus as being the toughest opponent of his 16 year career. Mayweather fought Augustus [then 22-16] at the Cobo Hall in Detroit on October 21, 2000 - and stopped the tough veteran in nine rounds.
"Emanuel Augustus was my toughest fight. He was tough. At that particular time, that was my longest layoff. I was a fighter who was active and fighting every three or four months. I took nine months off and fought a guy who was active and he made me bite down. It was a great night," Mayweather told BoxingScene.com last week.
Following Saturday's twelve round unanimous decision win over Cotto (37-3, 30KOs), Mayweather changed his tune.
"Emanuel Augustus was tough, Miguel Cotto was tougher. Miguel Cotto was the toughest fighter that I've faced thus far. What Miguel Cotto did was try to come on strong in the later rounds, which made me fight harder. He brought out, I don't want to say the best out of Floyd Mayweather, but he made me start throwing combinations - like the right hook mixed in with the uppercut. I knew he was going to be a tough competitor," Mayweather said.