The Pulse 2.0: Roy Jones and Holyfield See Floyd's Win Differently

MayweatherCotto Hogan 48After Floyd Mayweather’s victory against Miguel Cotto, I asked Roy Jones Jr. and Evander Holyfield to give their take on the action. Both Hall of Famers disagreed with my 9-3 scorecard in favor of Floyd Mayweather. Both said Cotto won more rounds and used the same words to describe their point – ring generalship.

Nearly all sitting ringside were in agreement that Floyd Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto. By how much he won, and how he got there, is a different debate. So I asked the two legends to find out the answer.

Roy Jones Jr. and Evander Holyfield have had their share of dominant victories and close, controversial decisions. In 1999, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis fought to a draw when many thought Lewis deserved the nod. In 2003, Jones won a decision over Antonio Tarver that some still dispute. Yet Holyfield and Jones were in agreement about what transpired between Mayweather and Cotto.

Roy said, “Cotto deserved more rounds because he is the champ and he fought his fight. Floyd won the fight, but it was fought at Cotto’s pace. They fought Cotto’s style. And he is the champion. You have to make the champ adapt. Floyd did not do that. He fought Cotto’s fight. I think Floyd won. But I disagree with 118-110, or even 117-111. Come on, you mean to tell me Cotto only won two rounds? He wasn’t shook until the end.“

The lines blur between publicly recognized champions and the linear ones in boxing. Names announced first in the ring, and how many “champions” there are per weight class promotes confusion.

After the fight, Miguel Cotto, the recognized 154-pound champion going in, stated that he respects the judges’ decision but he thought he did enough to earn the victory. Jones does not fault the Puerto Rican for the mindset.

“I don’t blame Cotto for feeling like he won,” Jones said. “Because look, if you are champion and I fought you the way you want me to fight you, you would think you won too.”

The expression ‘ring generalship’ has a different meaning to those that have been in the trenches and have a distinct level of understanding of the fight game. To the common eye, boxing is black and white, blood and guts, win and lose. Jones,Holyfield, and many others with experienced eyes have a developed point of view.

“It was a close fight,”Holyfield said, echoing Jones. “See, that’s the thing with some of these judges. You never know how it will go. The system is flawed. If it’s close, who is to say they won’t give a round to one guy or the other guy? It hurts the fighters. The system is inconsistent.”

After the tenth round of the exciting Mayweather/Cotto bout, I leaned to quickly ask veteran boxer Ishe Smith how he felt about the action. When he started talking I knew I was on to something because fighters see details. They point out subtle mannerisms seldom seen by the average fan. They look at pace, body control, poise, movement and dirty tactics among other things. Smith pointed out Cotto’s roughhousing before referee Tony Weeks. (Granted Smith was in Floyd’s camp.)

I hear the same language from Andre Ward. Ward walks me through a fighter’s mind when we watch together, tells me why they move or punch the way that they do, and what he would do if he was in that particular position. Boxers have a stronger level of understanding to the elements of the game. There is no way around it.

A few weeks before Mayweather/Cotto, Ward, his managers Antonio Leonard, James Prince, and I had an interesting discussion about Floyd Mayweather’s split decision victory over Oscar De la Hoya five years ago. Most thought Floyd won 8 rounds to 4. Maybe nine rounds to three. But one official judge for the bout scored it 115-113 in favor of Oscar De La Hoya.

Imagine the impact on the sport if one of the other two judges saw it the same way.Mayweather would no longer be undefeated, Oscar De La Hoya’s legend would be even stronger, who knows if there would be a rematch, and Floyd’s persona would have been forever altered. Just like Biff Tannen going back to the future to use the Sports Almanac. The world of boxing can turn upside down because an imperfect human being like you and me, who watches the same sport we do, has a bad day.

After the 10thround of Mayweather vs.Cotto,Ishe Smith said, “It’s close, maybe 7-3 or 6-4. I don’t trust these judges. They might be seeing a different fight. Crowds going crazy every time he (Floyd) gets touched.”

I said, “But Floyd’s never been hit like that.” Smith said, “I know, that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if Cotto is up on one of the scorecards.”

In the end, official judges scorecards read 118-110, 118-110, and 117-111 for the winner Floyd Mayweather.

Twenty years from now people are going to remember that Floyd Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto; it will not matter how he got there. But it might have mattered if two judges felt like Jones,Holyfield, and Smith to greater degree.

Follow Ray on Twitter @Raymarkarian

Comment on this article


-MisterLee :

I actually gave Cotto 7-8 rounds, and Floyd 4-5 rounds tops. For that exact reason, pple say Floyd "chose to stay on the ropes", but several times we saw Floyd try to push his way to the middle of the ring and Cotto would wrestle and push and grapple him back on the ropes. Floyd is stronger than pple give him credit for, but Cotto is a VERY strong dude. I also think Compubox only scored 1/3 of Cotto's actual connects. Can't trust 3 pple who click buttons, esp if they're closeted Floyd fans or influenced by the crowd/atmosphere. To me, 3 sharp counters doesn't nullify 3 mins worth of work unless there's a stagger in there like round 12. Cotto's body work, sharp left hooks and uppercuts inside, and his hard jab won the fight imo. Cheers to Cotto. Tss rules!

-dino da vinci :

Cotto deserved more rounds because he's the champ??? The mind boggles.

-puncher :

Hmmm somebody that really was in the ring has to me a better understnding than those that don't. Very different perspective that I agree with!

-puncher :

Cotto deserved more rounds because he's the champ??? The mind boggles.
No because they say he dictated the fight and that is what happened. If it was Floyd that dictated the fight he would have been in the center of the ring all the time...which he did not because he was not allowed!

-deepwater :

even rounds go to the champ

-dino da vinci :

even rounds go to the champ
Is this a recommendation or a fact?

-deepwater :

To take the belt you must beat the champ. not do ok with the champ. there is more to a professional boxing match then just punches landed(that is amatuer boxing). ring generalship( making the other fighter fight your fight) and effective aggression are the 2 main things judges look for. cotto def. imposed his will on mayweather and mayweather also adjusted and did what he had to do to score. If this fight was at the garden it would have been a draw for cotto because the judges would have favored cotto for the very close rounds. either way both guys come out looking better after this fight. nothing to be ashamed of for either guy

-jzzy :

Cotto didn't score enough on the inside, he kept loading up and trying to land upstairs which is why he lost. Cotto's superior strenghth combined with a methodical body attack I think would've made a big difference for him. These Vegas judges aren't funny anymore, the boxing powers that be need to come up with a better system for the sport to gain a little credibility.

-puncher :

Cotto didn't score enough on the inside, he kept loading up and trying to land upstairs which is why he lost. Cotto's superior strenghth combined with a methodical body attack I think would've made a big difference for him. These Vegas judges aren't funny anymore, the boxing powers that be need to come up with a better system for the sport to gain a little credibility.
What fight were you watching?

-Radam G :

@ Jzzy, go back and take another peep at the bout. And you will see that you were suffering from inattention blindness. Cotto did indeed score a lot "on the inside." Maybe you were listening to those taking heads when you should've been watching without the sound. Sometimes when you're listening to what to see, instead of seeing what you see, your brain signals will block out the reality and actuality and accept the distortions of the talking heads. You may not believe what you hear, but you hear what you believe. You believed that Money May was doing syet and Cotto was not doing enough, so that is what you saw. Your brain simply responded to your desire to believe the distortion of reality and rejected the actuality. Where is the Psychologist -- 2011 Super ROTY -- Mortcola. He's the one, who is a professional at how the eye-brain signals can be fudged up by strong-talking know nothings and bullsh*tters. These dudes are arch-masters at controlling fans' thoughts. Holla!

-amayseng :

compubox stats are HORSE SHIIIIIIT. they scored round 6 in favor of floyd with floyd having 9 punches landed and cotto 8. i rewatched that round 25 times scoring 19 clear connects for cotto. dont ever go by compubox....also harold lederman has lost it. he must be facing the other direction while watching the fights, he is always completely off. and lampley is clueless, he counts misses and whiffs and clearly blocked punches and damaging blows yipping and yelling in excitement....emanual steward barely saves the commentary.