Steward Grades Cotto, Says Mayorga Badly Wanted Pacquiao Fight….WOODS

Steward Grades CottoWe heard Mayorga in the buildup talking about a fight with Pacquiao. He really, truly believed he'd beat Cotto, because he knew how hard he was training, and get a Pacquiao date. (Hogan Photos)The older I get, the better I'm able to to grasp the fact that I don't know squat.

Well, that might be a little harsh. I think I know squat. But you'll have to give me another decade or so watching and dissecting boxing matches before my knowledge base gets to where I want it to be.

After watching the Miguel Cotto/Ricardo Mayorga fight on Saturday, I couldn't nail down my take on the bout as firmly as I would've liked. I knew I saw Mayorga fighting a damned solid fight, and like I wrote on Saturday night, I would've been giving the Nicaraguan a bunch of 9.5 rounds, if our scoring system were tweaked so we could better indicate just how close a round was. But what I couldn't figure out was, were the rounds close because Mayorga was all that, or was Cotto just a bit off his game, or maybe not fighting the right strategy against the wildman?

I called Manny Steward, Cotto's trainer for this bout, and his previous outing, against Yuri Foreman last June. I asked Steward to grade Cotto, and admitted that I needed help clarifying exactly what I saw on Saturday. Steward set me straight.

“I give Miguel an eight out of ten,” the Hall of Fame trainer/manager told me. “Mayorga fought his best fight.”

Steward said inside sources told him that Mayorga trained like he did back in his heyday, when he beat Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis and Vernon Forrest, in 2002 and 2003. Steward heard Mayorga had been training nonstop since January. “He made up his mind that he'd fight the fight of his life because he wanted a fight with Manny Pacquiao, which would've given him enough to retire comfortably on. He was in unbelievable shape. I didn't expect him to be in that good shape. Cotto was never in a comfort zone.”

Steward like Cotto's reliance on the jab, his footwork, that he didn't expend energy on wasted motion, that he didn't back up straight to the ropes, that he went in for the kill in the last round.

“I like knockouts,” he said, succinctly, when asked if he was concerned the judges might be trippin, and if for that reason he told Cotto to finish the job after the 11th. “I don't like decisions.”

Bob Arum is steering the course for Cotto, so Steward hears what we've heard, that a July date with Antonio Margarito is a smart bet for the Puerto Rican's next gloveup. “Or Chavez Junior,” he said. “Then Pacquiao maybe. When I started with Miguel I saw a five fight series. These are the only three that make sense. If he does those five, he has to be considered one of the greats.”

Back to that penchant for KOs. Steward has hammered the gospel of the knockout to Wladimir Klitschko for many moons. He's hoping that repetition will spur action when the younger brother gets it on with David Haye, date TBD.

Steward also told TSS that his kid Andy Lee, who showed a flair for drama when he dropped and stopped Craig McEwan in round ten after losing some rounds big, had a bug going into the fight. “He couldn't eat, he told me he had no appetite,” Steward said. “But this was a good weekend for boxing. I'm kayo crazy! If we can continue this, boxing might be okay this year.”

For awhile now, Steward has been preaching, as an adjunct to his power of the KO sermon, that the “pop pop padwork” of the new breed of trainers, where they do showy padwork sessions, which serve to make nice sound effects, are perhaps not such a useful tool for preparation. He thinks and hopes that maybe his sermons are being heard. He said he's seen more boxers getting fuller extension, punching through their targets, and looking to finish with an exclamation point.

Interestingly, he's a big fan of one fighter not known for his pop, Tim Bradley. Steward said he thinks a Manny Pacquiao-Bradley fight would make for entertaining viewing. He and I agree that Bradley's single greatest asset may well be his desire. Steward likened Bradley to Marvin Hagler, who also didn't look like a smooth operator, but who simply got it done. “Bradley and Pacquiao, that's a helluva fight,” said Steward.

Comment on this article


-the Roast :

Manny Steward is the best hired gun out there. He seems to be able to take a damaged fighter and fix them up. I hope he can help Chad Dawson live up to his potential. I really thought that Dawson was gonna be something special after he beat Adamek. Dawson still has time. Look what Manny did for Wlad. 13 wins in a row is pretty impressive. For most people that is.

-Radam G :

Da Manny -- Steward not Congress Pacquiao -- is the miracle worker of pugilism. He teaches mentally and psychological blind-arse Hellen Keller-like fighters to SEE and use their hands effectively and with grace. Holla!

-brownsugar :

part of Stewarts strength is that he works on the psycological as well as the physical. He's an expert at bringing out a fighters best side.... Mayorga fought an incredibly tough and measured fight... he started slow,.. and weathered Cottos' assault thru round 5 or 6 and came alive... even went psycho a little. Cotto was forced to conserve energy and pick his spots down the stretch... a mentally weaker boxer would have crumbled. Mayorga prepared himself well and really wanted to win,....hoping to get into the Pacman sweepstakes. Even in losing to the much smaller Cotto and raising the white flag in the last round,.. I thought the journeyman caliber fighter fought over his head for a little while.. The victory for Cotto is better than how it looks on paper... Old Man Mayorga expended every drop of what he had left(hoping for Pac fight).... and Don King took 90% of his half million dollar payday to collect on a lawsuit that he won against Mayorga after he tried to go MMA.

-MisterLee :

Cotto boma ye! I still feel the old Cotto would have beaten Pacquiao. The only hold up is those names mentioned aren't top names at 154, but top money fights. So i guess no angulo, kirkland, cintron, williams, martinez in the mix? The new Cotto I'd say would have a good chance with pacquiao, or i'd like to see him fight mayweather too. But yeah, I'm starting to get over Cotto's bodyslam of Clottey (summerslam 2009!) and starting to like him more, esp. since he hasn't cheated to win his last few fights, and he's look better and more like the old Cotto, tho he's boxing more now, and less dependent on constantly setting up the left hook to the body... i wonder if he could still take out alfonso gomez as easily as he did the first time since he was in top form at the time. Holler!

-MisterLee :

I also wish cotto would establish some legitimacy of his own at 154, instead of fighting an old foe who's kind of worn, to set up a pacquiao fight. I'd like to see cotto beating pple up for 2-3 more fights, and then setting up a super fight with pacquiao down the line. Cotto angulo, foty don't you think?

-Radam G :

Miracle worker can only work that miracle when it is no optical illusion. GBG Manny S's miracles are bunk with Cotto ever beating Da Manny. It ain't gonna happen. Fights between Da Manny and Miguel C are the Iran Barkley-Tommy Hearns types of our tyme. Cotto will whup everybody including Martinez, and could fight Money May to a draw, but he will not go the distance with Da Manny. Da Manny would kayo him quicker the next time around, because of the BIG-TIME nowadays confidence of MC. Confidence is like fire. It can burn. So stay out of the fire that you cannot control. Holla!

-Real Talk :

How do you figure Cotto can beat Martinez but not Pacquiao when Martinez will flat out kill Pacquiao? Don't hit me with styles make fights either. Cotto has got a better chance with Pac than Maravilla who's a bigger Pac and tough as nails. I'm not buying that at all. Cotto won't beat either looking like he did against Mayorga. He seems to be a sucker for the overhand right. Better get on top of that before the ref be on top of him. Dueces

-Radam G :

Martinez has benefitted from KNOCKING OUT a MAJOR HYPED-UP bum -- Long, Tall, Paul -- and a drunk, Kelly Pavlik, and a green, not-moving-his-head-and-straight-up-sorry-a$$-European-style-of-fighting MAJOR, HYPED-UP-FOR-HBO bum. Take my word for nothing. Styles would not make a different with Martinez. He has no style. He is a late-starting, good fighter. A light middleweight Sonny Liston type. HBO doesn't believe the hype about Martinez, or it would matched him better and paid him more. A long-list of kick-arse gurus -- GBG Manny Steward, TNT, P4P, No Joke Coach, Freddie Roach, Uncle Roger May, Uncle Jeff May, Pops Joy May, Pops Jack Mosley and tons of others -- know that Martinez is VERY, EASILY, BEATABLE. Martinez is straight-out amateurish and without adroitous craft in a lot of his game. He simply started too late in boxing. He wooses da fanfaronades with excessive kinesiologistic bullshyt! [He is not an iota of Roy-Jones Like! Nice humbuggery, HBO!] Real boxers from the oldschool art and science of the games know what it is. This New Jack-fighting chump is perpretrating -- not a fraud but -- a fantasy on easily excited bandwagon jumpers. Ain't hatin!' More power to a fighter, trainer and promoter who know how to get moola with a lucky, better-than-average-skilled fighter. Holla at me when Martinez get the fudge knocked out -- maybe before he even get a shot at Da Manny, Da Miguel and Da Money May. All three of them will/would easily put some old automagical oldschool whup-arse on his New Jack-fightin' arse. Da game is full optical illusions. I remember "BIG for a welteweight" Margarito was called the most avoided and feared fighter on the planet. Then Sugar Shane jacked his arse up. Suckas jump off Margarito bandwagon and accused him of loaded handwraps to save face. [I recall being mocked as a big IDIOT and STUPID for picking SSM in an easy beatdown leading up to the bout.] I'm reminded of how big, bad Long Paul Williams was the "Most Feared Fighter on the Planet." I guess that if you beat the most fear, than it is your hyped-up spot. In the league of -- and forget about size -- Da Manny, Da Miguel, Da Money May, Martinez is NOT! Martinez is a lucky, lucky, getting-the-shots-at-the-right-time A-minus fighter without the necessary dexterity of middle size or small superfighters. He'd do better at going up in weight. Catchweighting or not, he is no goddanggit match for the above that I've named, and I'm sticking with it. Now that I have no clone in this new TSSU, you'll know what time it is. Holla!

-Radam G :

Hey, Real Talk holla at the boxing site FIGHTHYPE and hit up on "Pacquiao unimpressed with Martinez..." And view the videotape on how Da Manny feels about Martinez. Martinez is not soft or a bum, but he is not in the class of Da Manny, Da Money May, or Da Miguel C. Don't be fooled by the latest hype and all the optical illusions about him. Fighting a bum, a drunk and a geen European softy stiff will help him not with the superbad 3-M elite. Holla!

-Condor :

Believe me, if Team Pacquiao believed that Martinez would be an easy opponent, it would happen. Both are HBO guys, and the middleweight title is a valuable trinket (even these days). Hey Radam - I didn't think you picked fights? You'd cloak your statement with "if someone does such and such..." I wish we had the old site so we could verify your definitive, irrefutable statement that Shane would beat Margarito. I thought you quit picking -and thus be exposed if your fighter loses- after the disaster that was Arreola over Vitali inside of 3. That was brutal. So will you put on record Solis over Vitali? After all, as bad as VK is, even a fat, soft, and drunken Solis should be able to KO the quack doc while yawning, right?

-Radam G :

First up, Condor [+] PLUS, if you had the maturity of your age, instead of your childish stage, you would quit fibbing and attacking readers and talk BOXING -- something you apparently cannot comprehend! Your inabilities to agree to disagree and your great ability to manufacture are why you cannot get with CHANGE, and is reverting to your childish behavor of the old sweet science Universe. Too bad that sickling CLONING ability has been taken away from you. Don't even start gettin' jiggy with your childish, cojones-less attacks of ME -- your's truly. Everybodee and dey mommas, pops, brothas, sistas, couzins, in-laws, neighbors, bill-collectors and pet animals, with an iota of brains, know that I seldom pick fights, PERIOD! Don't YOU get IT! Spittin' jive and sayin' who should win, is not picking a WINNER! Quit being a lying SINNER! I have and I will continue to pick Pera Pac and Money May 100 PERCENT of the TIME to WIN. And NOWADAYS, I will PICK "THE FILIPINO FLASH" to win 99.9 PERCENT of the TIME. Wrong is with you , DUDE!!! And WHAT THE FUDGE is WRONG with you, Condor -- in that pseudonym? Trying to turn da awesome Know-dey-syet readers and scribes against me ain't workin! Just enjoy the Universe and pass by my every post, because for you, your sanity is apparently paying a heavy cost. Ya ain't slick. Talkin' about a slow, slow trick. I wonder how many times that you have been hit with a rhetorical brick? If you have a reading comprehension problem -- obviously you do -- maybe you should take up remedial classes. They're free throughout the world, I'm certain. Never try to think for me. I can do a good job for myself. I could say that I thought that you had matured up and quit making up ridiculous lies and mutli-pseudonyms, but I would be doing a you -- STRAIGHT-UP fibbing to the 19th degree. I'll say it a million TIMES, and I WILL NOT BACK down from IT. "An in-shape, keeping-his-arse-in-the-gym, away-the-food-table, away-from-the-drinking-homies and focus-on-whup-arse "Chicano Cali Crusher" Cris "The Mex-Am Nightmare" Arreola would whup Doc Vitali "Ironfist" Klitschko's long-tall, fragile-boned arse every day of the week. Condor, you may mock and intimidate other readers -- but NOT I! This is a FREE UNIVERSE about boxing. Now keep cojones-less nickpicking about that. Goodluck on gettin' down with your notorious CLONE-ism and pseudonym-ism in this NEW Universe, and keep that infinite behavior of making up bullsyet. NYET! I'm "PICKING' that you miss those dimwitted days of your cloning, so now you are moaning. MAN UP! OR JUST SHUT UP and SIT DOWN and stick with talking boxing. Nobody want to hear your inflammatory nitpicking and make-believe. "Believe me, if" that were the case, you would have the same Universe, as the last one. And you again would be the greatest cloning-and-multi-pseudonym illusionist gettin' on your optical illusions and causing mass confusion. Get with the TYME. An IP tracker is da BOMB! Or is that a LANDMINE? Holla!

-brownsugar :

Contrary to what Stewart said....Pad work is crucial... that's why Roach has Pac doing 10 rounds at a time for Mosely,.. we have some pads at the house...still haven't developed a routine that's worth filming and putting on youtube... that's one gruelling exercise and it's meant more for coordination ,positioning, and punch placement than power augmentation...I remember Stewart saying that Tommy Hearns didn't like jumping rope so he gave him a pass... but if Tommy did more jump rope he could have had the legs to dance his way out of trouble more effectively against Ray Leonard. Just Saying...(not to get into the above debate).... I've been seeing a lot of comments all around the web regarding Martinez vs Pacquiaou. Probably because of the concealed barbs being tossed at Pac from the Martinez camp and the media to instigate web worthy responses from Pac.......and possibly heating the embers of contention into a full blown war. But it'll never happen,.. Pac has never competed against a true junior middleweight/middleweight... and I wouldn't expect him to do so... there's nothing for Pac to prove at 154... the fans have become so accustomed to Pac beating guys at higher weights they think he can fight anybody...But even Pac has his limits... If Arum, Roach, or even Pac himself really thought they had a chance against Martinez the fight would already have already been made. ....Similarly Floyd would've come out of retirement to face Martinez in a Megafight himself....but Martinez has too much speed, strength, boxing ability and desire.. I'd like to see a stop to this trend of the big guys crying out after the little guys and challenge the best in thier own weight class instead... let Martinez call out Pirog,.. or Golovkin... or Korobov... all 3 are world beaters.....but In a way I can't blame Martinez for chasing a multimillion dollar payday... where else can he find it except against the most well known fighters in the sport like Floyd and Pac... but it's extremely unrealistic to even dream that those fights will ever happen.

-Condor :

Well at least we agree on something Radam. Solis will be obliterated. Hmmm, attacking readers and fibbing? Yeah, right! You are a joke Radam. A joke. You make absolutely NO sense at all, and your so-called poetry is just rambling, incoherent nonsense. You say the same things over and over and over (in your teen speak, of course). Ray Robinson was a bum, and not a nice guy; Camacho is an all time great; Floyd was the best ever once upon a time in your warped world; Larry Holmes was a bum; you are "in da know." You know something, those that truly are "in da know" don't need to state such a thing. But you do. Who are you trying to convince? And yes indeed, if the Klitschkos were Pinoy, you'd sure value their work a little differently, isn't that right. I don't like you, and you don't like me. And I'm glad. Condor - "Three Days of the Condor"

-Radam G :

As I said, Condor, quit being a childish chump and pass my posts by. You are not slicking, so stop tricking. With me, I don't expect for you to ever be clicking. A fight with somebody else, your trif___g arse should be picking. If the Klitschkos were Pinoys, they would know how to fight or QUIT! Did you ever hear of Bobby Pacquiao? Did you see Teddy Atlas and the Hayemaker on ESPN tonight. You are so immature and phony and you know nothing about boxing talk or slanguage. You take everything literally because of your apparent low self-esteem and your trifling agenda to instigate and cause chaos in a near-prefect pugilistic Universe of exchange of views, having fun and shootin' da syet. Learn something about hyperbolism, chump! You love faking in cyberspace, because in real space, you'll be shaking. My "teen speak, of course" is much better and understood than your lacking in reading comprehension in your only language. All of your life, you wished that you could be someone of my status, reality and confidence. Thanks be to God. You have the internet to nitwit sit you off the streets from committing crimes and out of the mental wards attacking health workers and wasting their time with another one of those disturbed delusional minds. You show how delusional that you are by attempting to trash and crash me, but you keep reading my posts that you "can't understand" and responding as a confused master idiot. Guess WHAT! I'm the BIGGER and the SMARTER man with da BIG COJONES and LARGE BRAIN, so I can gaurantee your peabrain that THIS IS IT between you and I. So go ahead and use some of your other pseudonyms, and I will still not respond because my IP tracker is da BOMB! Holla!

-the Roast :

Hmmm. Decent back and forth Radam and Condor. Not quite at Roast vs anyone level but hey, all fights can't be on PPV can they?

-Condor :

Again, paragraph after paragraph of your little boy nonsense. Let me ask you something: In your day to day life, do you speak as you write? My God, when you venture out into public, the 911 system must blow up (we've got a guy here, mentally challenged, that clearly has separated from his caretaker - send someone ASAP). You're right, I do read your posts. Call it a morbid curiosity. The diarrhea you've spewed...I marvel at it. Your fascination between Lou DiBella and porn, quack Doc Vitali and his toddlers pee-pee, that ridiculous A-Side meth lunacy you reference all too often, Margarito was innocent (but contested nothing), Panama Lewis was/is righteous, Larry Holmes ducked everyone (but was on-board fighting the wrecking-ball that was Tyson after a long layoff and at nearly 40 years old), Tommy Burns would KO a Klitschko, reach and height are immaterial, on and on and on. But you're "in da know." LOL I will close with a quote from a fighter that I respect and you loathe (because he's not a Pinoy, of course): "I can say to kiss where the sun don't shine, and since we're on HBO (TSS), that's my big black behind." - The GREAT Larry Holmes

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