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Is Sergio Too Brittle? Cotto Too Small? 3 Days To Fightnight in NYC

BY Michael Woods ON June 04, 2014
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Photo credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank

The time for talk is very nearly over and quite frankly, the pre fight gabbing has not been a potent selling point for the Saturday clash between 39 year old Sergio Martinez, the WBC middleweight champ, and 33 year old Miguel Cotto, seeking to win a crown in his fourth weight class, the first Puerto Rican boxer to do so.

The bout and card, promoted by Top Rank and Lou DiBella, Sergio' s guy, does not need ancillary points of attraction because it has such merit on surface: two warriors, a bit past their prime, ok, but ever so ready and willing to walk on hot coals to get the W.

The event will run on pay per view, produced by Team HBO.

The principals gathered at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, where on Saturday night, eardrums will be ringing when 17,000 Cotto rooters and 5,000 Martinez fans will try to bolster their mans' chances to get the nod. The affair was respectful, with any folks desiring bombast getting their fill from Arum, the 80 something impresario never shy with an opinion, especially if it is a scathing one aimed at Richard Schaefer, the former Golden Boy day to day boss.

A boatload of supposed experts are saying that Martinez could have a cakewalk night, that his power edge, his familiarity with that weight class, will prove to be too much for Cotto. Miguel's power won't be enough to dent let alone crack Sergio, and the Argentine will have Cotto's face looking like it did when he met another crafty lefty, Austin Trout, in late 2012, they say.

But some smarties are also pointing out that Martinez' limbs have been failing him the last couple years and that his chin gets checked these days more often than it used to. If Cotto and trainer Freddie Roach are truly as simpatico as they say, and Freddie can get Miguel to command the ring, get the angles that benefit him, and Martinez' mobility has been compromised by leg injuries, then the Puerto Rican could collect that crown he seeks.

Martinez was asked about the excess of queries about his age and injuries. He said that is indicative of a lack of inventiveness on the part of the press, and he has a point. He said his knees are feeling great and that he will wear sleeves on them only because his doctor advised him to do so, for a bit of extra support. The hitter said that he thinks Team Cotto ratted him out to the commission and that Cotto will pay for that.

DiBella said he is a bit irked his guy had to do extra MRIs to prove he is healthy, but commended the NYSAC for promptly handling BraceGate.

Sergio does note that Cotto has taken heavy fire in recent fights, but expects the best of Cotto. His own chin is solid, he said, and noted that even Hall of Famers get knocked down...but like the best, he always gets up. One very key statement he made which stood out for me--the hands are secondary to the feet, he stated. I do not think enough of us harp on how important it is for your feet to move you into a spot where your hands can succeed...

Trainer Roach spoke, and said that his guy will want to control the ring 90 percent of the time and if he can, he will win. He said Sergio can be prone to wrecklessness and wants his guy to stay off the ropes and out of corners. Dedham Freddie admitted Team Cotto did alert NYSAC about the sleeve/brace issue...and I get the drift that they think that Sergio's mobility could indeed be compromised.

Roach also said that his kid, who he said is the most focused of any boxer he has worked with, is the better boxer, even if Sergio is a better athlete. "The fight against Chavez Junior was Sergio's ' last hurrah," said Roach. The wear and tear has gotten to Sergio, he believes; after all, Chavez trained only five days for him, and knocked him down, he pointed out.

Check back for much more material from the presser, including great stuff from Roach on Manny Pacquiao, and Arum on what is maybe next for Manny.

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Comment on this article

Froggy says:

If Martinez is 90% healthy he wins inside the distance and quite possibly the ninth round like he predicted ! The last time he was treated like the challenger when he was the recognized champ he predicted a second round KO and we all know how that turned out !

oubobcat says:

If Martinez is 90% healthy he wins inside the distance and quite possibly the ninth round like he predicted ! The last time he was treated like the challenger when he was the recognized champ he predicted a second round KO and we all know how that turned out !


Agreed, the fight to me comes down to the health of Martinez, particularly that knee. If 85-90, I not only think he wins but wins going away.

amayseng says:

Just a few more days for a fantastic match up that will I believe live up to the hype.

Both guys have the skill, experience and PRIDE to make this a fantastic affair.


We may see both guys hit the deck in this one.


I am happy to shell out the money for this ppv.....for once..

oubobcat says:

Just a few more days for a fantastic match up that will I believe live up to the hype.

Both guys have the skill, experience and PRIDE to make this a fantastic affair.


We may see both guys hit the deck in this one.


I am happy to shell out the money for this ppv.....for once..


Good point amayseng, even if Martinez dominates most of the fight he could go down at some point. He has tasted the canvas in many recent bouts often times because of being off balance and being hit at just that particular time causing him to go down.

Radam G says:

You guys have been snow jobbed. Ser-Mart is getting knocked da double fudge out. Nuff said! Holla!

amayseng says:

You guys have been snow jobbed. Ser-Mart is getting knocked da double fudge out. Nuff said! Holla!


haha.. I love your fire RG, but Sergio is becoming old and bitter and that fire will add to the left hands he will be landing on Cottos statue static guard. Sergio makes a statement with a good win only to be dethroned by GGG next nov/dec

Carmine Cas says:

Even if Sergio falls Saturday night, he will rise up like the dark knight and return to glory.

brownsugar says:

The entire outcome of the fight is dependent upon how healthy Martinez is.

It has nothing to do with Cotto's renewed dedication to the sport or how much fun and benefit he receives training at the Wild Card.
We have heard all this before with the late Emmanuel Stewart and with the Cuban Coach where we saw Cotto dancing a salsa while grilling shish-ka-bobbs poolside at an opulent Florida residence.

The only factor to consider is the state of Martinez's knees... If he is up to snuff ...Martinez will feint and use lateral movement to set Cotto up for lethal combinations....until he can take no more.

Even if the knee is still not healed completely Martinez may be able to sucker Cotto into believing that he's still fit long enough to do considerable damage with his left hand.

Its like waiting on the weather report before investing stock in orange juice.

michigan400 says:

Been watching Cotto since he was fighting on ESPN back in the day. A healthy, focused and happy Cotto would be a problem for anyone in my opinion. I wish I still had cable and could get this PPV because I think Sergio is in for a rough night at the office! I'm not saying he's gonna get KO'd or anything, I think this is a 50/50 fight. Bottom line, Cotto is one of those guys that usually makes for good high drama fights. Good luck Miguel!!

The Commish says:

It's funny, but looking at this fight, we all wonder A) Has Sergio Martinez sufficiently recovered from his myriad of ailments and B) Is Miguel Cotto capable of beating a man so much bigger than him?

Then there 'What if Cotto is at 100% and Martinez is at less than 100%?"

From all reports, both men are 100%. If so, what does that mean?

In my mind, that means a good big man beats a good little man almost all of them time. ALMOST. This will be one of those times.

While I'm sure Freddie Roach has done a lot and meant a lot to Cotto, he can't fight for him. Would you agree that Martinez will present more problems for Cotto than Austin Trout gave him. I'll say he will--a world more problems! Trout is a hit-and-move southpaw who bewildered Cotto in the same ring and building as Cotto will be in on Saturday night. By the seventh round, Trout's boxing mastery had Cotto totally confused and the pro-Cotto crowd surprisingly silent.

If Trout could do that, Martinez will be able to do it even more. I see Martinez' sharp punches swelling the features of Cotto's face, giving the Cotto corner plenty to do between rounds.

Remember Jose Napoles vs. Carlos Monzon? Remember Bob Foster vs Joe Frazier? Napoles and Foster are two Hall-of-Fame fighters. Against their bigger Hall-of-Fame opponents, they were mere splinters in there when they tried to move up.

Unless he needs to be in traction, to have a walker and wear a knee brace,, this will be Martinez' fight. I see him taking a competitive decision, but it will not surprise me if the lumps, bumps, bruises and contusions which WILL be on Cotto's face force the referee to call an end to the contest the 11th round.

The winner and STILL...

-Randy G.

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