By Chris Robinson
Last night I caught up with renowned trainer and moonlighting HBO analyst Emanuel Steward to get his take on Miguel Cotto’s 10th round TKO over Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Steward worked with the WBA junior middleweight champion for two fights prior to the Margarito rematch and was happy to see him carve up the victory, even giving him a great chance in a rematch with Manny Pacquiao, a fight that Cotto recently discussed in his native Puerto Rico.
Pacquiao defeated Cotto in commanding fashion in November of 2009, dropping him twice on his way to a 12th round stoppage. But Cotto has shown great form since that loss while Pacquiao is coming off of a debatable majority-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez last month that many felt he should have lost, making a second pairing between them all the more interesting.
Steward was asked for his opinion as to whether he felt Pacquiao’s less-than-explosive performance against his rival Marquez was due to the alleged cramps he suffered late in the fight, simply a bad style matchup, or whether his prime is in the rearview.
“I think he’s got a lot of fights under him,” Steward stated. “He’s an extremely, extremely hard trainer, which means there is a lot of wear and tear on his body. And I think also his personal life and his political life have got to affect him. It seems like he’s spread himself kind of thin now. I think he’s got too overloaded in too many ways now.”
At the moment there is a lot of smoke and mirrors as to whether any progress is getting made towards a fight between Pacquiao and undefeated superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. The conflicting reports have been coming in on a daily basis and Steward is far from optimistic at this point.
“I would never bet on that,” Steward continued. “It’s 50/50, that’s about it. It’s not so much the fighters, there’s just so many people involved. You got the promoters, a million agents, advisors; you got bad feelings between this promoter and that promoter. There’s lawsuit and they’re suing each other for defamation and you have to take care of the lawsuit before fighting, so it’s a lot more complicated. It’s something the public wants but there’s too many other factors.”