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Lederman Discusses The Mayweather vs. Cotto Showdown

by Chris Robinson

If ever you were expecting to find someone excited about the May 5th Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto clash in Las Vegas, HBO’s unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman would be a great bet.

Lederman is like a cult favorite amongst fans because of the great enthusiasm and uncanny delivery that he exhibits during his check-ins between rounds during the network’s telecasts and not even a recent tussle with prostate cancer has dampened the 72-year old’s mood or slowed him down in the slightest.
 
Lederman was on hand for fight week in San Antonio at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Marco Antonio Rubio/Nonito Donaire-Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. twin bill yet couldn’t hide his excitement when discussing the Mayweather-Cotto duel set to take place in roughly three months’ time.
 
I caught up with the affable judge, who shared his reasoning for why he never felt Cotto was a ruined fighter after his TKO losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao, reflected on when the buzz for a Mayweather-Cotto fight was hot years back, gave his take on Miguel moving forward as a free agent after years under Bob Arum’s Top Rank banner, touched on why he thinks it is important for Mayweather to come up with a more definitive performance than his September bout with Victor Ortiz, and more.
 
In his own words, this is what Lederman had to share…

Expecting a wild time in Las Vegas for Mayweather-Cotto…
“May 5th is going to be wild in Las Vegas. I’m really looking forward to it. I give Floyd all the credit in the world. He’s saying ‘We’re going to fight for Miguel Cotto’s 154-pound title’. When you have a guy like Floyd Mayweather, who draws so many people, brings so many people in, he’s the A player. He can say ‘Well, if you want to fight me you have to come down to 147’. He’s not doing that. He’s being a gentleman about it, saying that he doesn’t want to fight a Miguel Cotto that is drained. I give Floyd all the credit in the world for doing that. He’s showing that he’s a great fighter and he’s giving Cotto every single chance to win. I think it’s going to be a fabulous night of boxing, I really do. I was thrilled to death to hear that Mayweather was not making crazy demands on Cotto’s weight, which he could have done.”

His interest in a Mayweather-Cotto fight back in 2005 when they both were champions in the junior welterweight division…
“Oh yeah, no doubt about it. Who wouldn’t want to see Miguel Cotto at 140 fight Floyd at 140? It would have been fabulous. Miguel Cotto has been in such exciting fights. We remember the Ricardo Torres fight, the ‘Chop Chop’ Corley fight, and a few of the others where he was hurt and he came back and he pulled it out. He was a very exciting guy, he was a fan-friendly fighter. Now he’s a more experienced guy and he’s still a good fighter. We saw that in second Margarito fight. I’m really anticipating this.”

Whether he was surprised that Cotto was able to rebuild his career following his devastating losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao…
“Yes. I really, always thought that Miguel Cotto wasn’t shot. When you see a guy that’s over the hill, he’ll see the opening and he can’t let go of the punch. I saw it about a week or two ago with ‘Chop Chop’ Corley in the fight where he won the fight against Gabriel Bracero, and undefeated kid, but in the last five rounds Bracero out boxed him because ‘Chop Chop’ would see the opening and he just couldn’t pull the trigger. Miguel Cotto is not like that. Miguel Cotto is not shot. There’s no doubt about it. He was beaten by better guys but I know he’s going to bounce back and I know he’s going to be great on May the 5th.”
 
Sizing up Cotto’s last three opponents, Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga, and Antonio Margarito in their rematch…
“They weren’t real killers. Truthfully, most of us knew who was going to win. But hey, he’s had his three easier fights and now he has the tough one. This is the fight of his career. Without a doubt I think it’s going to be the most important fight of his career. It’s going to define his career. Can you imagine if Miguel Cotto knocks out Floyd Mayweather in the first round? Anything can happen in boxing. He’d be an overnight, instant hall of famer, an instant legend. He’s getting his shot. If you were Miguel Cotto, wouldn’t you try like hell, wouldn’t you go out and train like a son-of-a-gun between now and May 5th and come out in that first round, looking to get that guy out of there? How great would it be for Miguel Cotto, for his life, his family, and his career?”

Cotto pushing forward with his career as a free agent…
“Listen, he got the fight. I like Bob Arum, I think he does a wonderful job for his fighters and certainly he’s entitled to make a few dollars. He’s no youngster but he’s got a great organization, I really do like them, I enjoy working with them. I admire him greatly. Miguel Cotto was able to save a few bucks and make the fight. Good for him. I don’t know, it’s a tough call for me because I’m on the outside looking in. And I say there’s no loyalty in boxing, I’m glad Miguel didn’t sign with another promoter. Be it as it may, I’m really happy that this is going to happen.”

Why it is crucial for Floyd to deliver a more convincing performance than his September knockout over Victor Ortiz, where he caught the Oxnard, Calif. fighter with an unsuspecting left-right combination…
“Yeah, very important. You know, there’s a lot of people, even me, they say ‘Geez, it was a cheap shot’. The greatest fighter in the world doesn’t have to win with a cheap shot. Floyd is the best, so sure, I think that an impressive win by Floyd Mayweather would certainly lift his image up quite a bit higher, no doubt about it.”

Recent slideshow from the boxing world - visit the links for more images
Saul Alvarez's flame Marisol Gonzalez at the Super Bowl  - Click the link for images of Saul Alvarez's flame Marisol Gonzalez causing a scene at Super Bowl XLVI in a red dress plus bonus shots

Reliving the Chavez Jr.-Rubio / Donaire-Vazquez Jr. event - An inside look in San Antonio at the Donaire-Vazquez Jr./Chavez Jr.-Rubio event including candid shots of the final presser, weigh-in, shots from ringside, and cameos by Shane Mosley, Chavez Sr., Michael Koncz, Harold Lederman, and several others

Recent images from photo journalist Chris Robinson  - The Las Vegas scribe goes in trianing camp with Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Victor Ortiz, Sergio Martinez, Andre Berto, and Brandon Rios during a memorable stretch in January 

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at  [email protected]  and  www.Twitter.com/CRHarmony
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Reloaded on 02-11-2012

[QUOTE=disolly;11762062]pac made cotto cut 2 pounds, in the his fight before pac where he fought clottey he weighed 146 against manny he weighed 145. dont get me wrong i think weight can be a big factor, but do i blame…

Comment by Stl_Buay on 02-11-2012

[QUOTE=Rapid Counter;11763327]You are high off your t1ts if you think pac walks around at 142. Where is the proof? As far as I've heard he walks around in the mid 150's. Proof or your post is garbage[/QUOTE] Prove yours, My…

Comment by Krushgr00ve on 02-10-2012

[QUOTE=hillbilly;11764568]My question is: why won't Mayweather fight Martinez at 154? That is way more of a challenge than Cotto. Neither Pacquiao or Mayweather or Cotto want Martinez at 154.[/QUOTE] Not to make it look like Money is all about his…

Comment by Einstien on 02-09-2012

[QUOTE=PAC-BOY;11762208]Mayweather knows Manny wont fight at 154. So If he wins...its his way out again! He will agree to the money but make Manny go up to 154. What other fight is their for him at 147? That will generate…

Comment by kingfaze19 on 02-09-2012

[QUOTE=hillbilly;11764568]My question is: why won't Mayweather fight Martinez at 154? That is way more of a challenge than Cotto. Neither Pacquiao or Mayweather or Cotto want Martinez at 154.[/QUOTE] martinez is fighting in march thats why, unless hes able to…

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