Advertisement
Advertisement

Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto: Pre-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

They’ve built the event.

Are we in for a fight?

That’s the big question heading into a clash that has intrigue largely for one reason: there are many who suspect Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez has had the course.  At 39, coming off nail biting moments in each of his last two outings and injury issues, is Martinez a spent force?

If so, challenger Miguel Cotto might have a serious shot at becoming an unlikely heir to history’s Middleweight throne. 

If not, then we have a sound transactional move from a talented champion still seeking to plant himself firmly in the broadest consciousness of the sport with commensurate pay.  For close to two years, Martinez chased the biggest payday available to him in the form of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.  Always viewed as easy pickings beyond the economics, Martinez made it just that for eleven rounds.  A twelfth round knockdown created a great explosion of drama from an otherwise mundane evening.

With Gennady Golovkin and others building momentum, can the aging Martinez make it past Cotto to the challenge of serious Middleweights again?

Let’s go the report cards.

The Ledgers

Sergio Martinez 


Age:
39


Titles: Lineal/Ring/TBRB Middleweight Champion (2010-Present, 6 Defenses); WBC Middleweight (2012-Present, 1 Defense)

Previous Titles: WBC Super Welterweight (2009); WBC Middleweight (2010-11, 1 Defense); WBO Middleweight (2010) 

Height: 5’11 

Weight: 158.8

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 158.55 lbs.

Hails from: Madrid, Spain (Born in Argentina)


Record: 51-2-2, 28 KO, 1 KOBY


Record in Major Title Fights: 7-0, 4 KO (8-0-1, 5 KO including interim title fights)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 7 (Antonio Margarito TKO by 7; Kermit Cintron D12; Paul Williams L12, KO2; Kelly Pavlik UD12; Serhiy Dzinziruk TKO8; Darren Barker KO11; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. UD12)

Vs.

Miguel Cotto
Age: 33
Titles: None
Previous Titles: WBO Light Welterweight (2004-06, 5 Defenses); WBA Welterweight (2006-08, 4 Defenses); WBO Welterweight (2009, 1 Defense); WBA Super Welterweight (2010-12, 2 Defenses)
Height: 5’7  

Weight: 155
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 153.45 lbs.

Hails from: Caguas, Puerto Rico


Record: 38-4, 31 KO, 2 KOBY


Rankings: All at 154 - #3 (Ring), #4 (BoxingScene, ESPN, BoxRec), #5 (TBRB)
Record in Major Title Fights: 17-4, 14 KO, 2 KOBY

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 17 (Cesar Bazan TKO11; Carlos Maussa TKO8; Lovemore N’Dou UD12; Randal Bailey TKO6; DeMarcus Corley TKO5; Ricardo Torres KO7; Paulie Malignaggi UD12; Carlos Quintana RTD5; Zab Judah TKO11; Shane Mosley UD12; Antonio Margarito TKO by 11, RTD9; Joshua Clottey SD12; Manny Pacquiao TKO by 12; Yuri Foreman TKO9; Ricardo Mayorga TKO12; Floyd Mayweather L12; Austin Trout L12)

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Martinez A-; Cotto B
Pre-Fight: Power – Martinez B+; Cotto B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Martinez B; Cotto B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Martinez A; Cotto A

The Chavez final round might be written off if not for Martinez’s next outing, a defense against Martin Murray that could have gone either way.  Martinez was forced to come off the floor in round eight and struggled throughout the night.  Out of the ring now over a year, he’s either healed up or gotten old.

That’s the storyline anyways.

No one can know until they’re in the ring so we take Martinez at the form of his last two fights.  That form presents a lot of problems for Cotto.  The Puerto Rican star has always struggled with speed.  It undid him against Pacquiao and Mayweather and allowed Austin Trout to win too many exchanges in his last defeat. 

Martinez won’t be as fast Saturday as the first two were against Cotto but he should still be quicker than Trout.  He’s also more versatile than Trout.  Martinez works well with his feet and jab and has shown excellent power, evolving as a puncher as his career progressed.  Against Cotto, he’ll have reach and height advantages to go with his speed edge.

Both men can be caught and have been down multiple times.  Cotto is considerably smaller than the men who have been a thorn in Martinez’s side.  Murray, Matthew Macklin, Pavlik, Chavez, and Williams were all full bodied at the Middleweight limit and stood eye to eye (or eye over eye) with the champion.  Cotto will have to get inside to have a chance.

The opportunities will be there, especially if Martinez can’t move like he was able to a year or two years ago.  Cotto showed some renewed focus to the body in a tune-up against Delvin Rodriguez, evoking the ghosts of his peak form at 140 and 147 pounds.  One thing missing though in all the questions about the wear on Martinez is regard for how much wear Cotto has amassed.  He’s been in wars for a decade and the win over Rodriguez doesn’t erase the scars. 

Cotto has always struggled to integrate his offense and defense, typically being in one posture or the other.  The transitions are hard, not seamless.  Martinez can exploit that, but only if he times those shifts.  It’s not easy to do.  Cotto is the sort of fighter who might not be able to beat everyone but he’s competitive with almost anyone.  He knows his game plans and knows how to fight. 

He doesn’t go away easy, or at least he hasn’t in the three classes where he’s won titles so far. 

But this is Middleweight. 

The Pick

It's hard to get too excited about fights where the only way they are viewed as serious is if one person is shot. Is Martinez shot?  There’s no evidence of that just yet.  Martinez has shown some slippage but he hasn’t been unable to pull the trigger.  When he needed a late surge to save his title against Murray, he found it.  Murray, unlike Cotto, is a real Middleweight and a genuine Middleweight contender. 

Cotto hasn’t looked like a world-beater since moving up to 154 lbs. but he hung in tough in losses to both Mayweather and Trout; Martinez isn’t markedly bigger than the latter.  If Martinez is done, Cotto can knock him off. 

This fight would have been laughed off a couple years ago but Saturday it should be reasonably competitive in spots.  In the end, Martinez will prove to have healed up enough to exploit being too big, too quick, too shifty, and too long for Cotto.  The pick is Martinez by stoppage.

Report Card Picks 2014: 28-9

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by IQ KO on 06-08-2014

[QUOTE=GRUSTLER;14636178]Going into this fight Martinez is the bigger puncher of the two. This is basically comparing the two and at MW Cotto is not a B+. I like Cotto but am going to take pleasure at seeing his punches having…

Comment by wakkus on 06-08-2014

Hummmm, let's start answering. Cotto hit martinez with a body shot in the first round that took Maravilla's legs... That was it. You can't give a more technical, intelligent, younger and more experienced fighter a 3 point advantage in the…

Comment by eddiefutch on 06-07-2014

Good 1st round for Cotto

Comment by crold1 on 06-07-2014

[QUOTE=GRUSTLER;14636178]Going into this fight Martinez is the bigger puncher of the two. This is basically comparing the two and at MW Cotto is not a B+. I like Cotto but am going to take pleasure at seeing his punches having…

Comment by PETUFF on 06-07-2014

warrr Cotto make him pay!!!:boxing::boxing:

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (17)
Top Headlines Broner: I Showed More In Maidana Loss Than In My Wins Khan: Look at Kell Brook's Last 10 Foes, Is It Worth Fighting Him? Jason Quigley: For Me - It's Live Fast and Die a Legend Hearn: I Made Derry Mathews Offer For Dodd on Bellew-Makabu Pulev vs. Chisora Provides Heavyweight Punch To AWE Doubleheader Canelo: While I'm at 155-Pounds, I'm Not Facing Anyone at 160 Hamed Backs Carl Frampton To Overcome Leo Santa Cruz British Boxing Update: Nick Blackwell, Ryan Fields, Welborn Hatton Warns Khan: Canelo Puts on Huge Amount of Weight Ismael Barroso - Never Too Late to Arrive Video: Hopkins Sounds Off on State of Boxing, Mayweather, More Video: Canelo Slams Gennady Golovkin, Talks Khan Clash De La Hoya: To Those Who Know Boxing - Khan is HUGE Favorite Video: Bernard Hopkins Details The Need For Golovkin vs. Kovalev Amir Khan Will Not Rule Out Fighting Gennady Golovkin Next WBC President Outlines Canelo/Golovkin/Khan Title Resolution De La Hoya on Khan: I'm Actually Nervous For Canelo Video: Canelo vs. Khan Final Press Conference De La Hoya: I Won't Vote Trump, He Cheated Me in Golf Video: Bernard Hopkins Tells Golovkin To Follow His Lead Jose Benavidez-Francisco Santana in Play For Crawford-Postol Khan: If Trump Wins, Might Be Last Fight For Me, Canelo at MGM Photos: Canelo, Khan Face To Face at Final Presser Breazeale Warns Joshua: Prepare For War, I'll Be Guns Blazing Broner Describes Troubles Making Weight For Theophane Fight Canelo To Golovkin: Earn Your Shot, Work Your Way Up! Joshua: “Showtime is three or four years ahead of the game” Hopkins: No Excuses, Golovkin Should Fight Kovalev! Joshua To Breazeale: Back Up Talk, Don't Be Like Other Americans Adrien Broner Voting for Trump: He’ll Lower My Taxes Hughie Fury Set To Return on Fury-Klitschko Rematch Bill, July 9 Video: Anthony Joshua Pumped For Breazeale Title Defense Video: Breazeale Confident Anthony Joshua is Going To Sleep Video: Joshua, Breazeale Go Face To Face and Trade Words Video: Joshua, Breazeale, SHO Press Conference Highlights Khan: I Won't Run For 12, I Will Stand and Trade With Canelo TMT Adds Gavril, Rakhmanov To ShoBox Card on May 13th Photos: Anthony Johsua, Dominic Breazeale Tense Face To Face Amir Khan: I Think It's Great To Be The Underdog Barroso's Adviser: If Crolla Tries To Trade, He Will Get KO'd Quickly
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement