During a recent Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, something gave me a slight adrenaline rush for a split second. I saw what looked to be a high octane portrait of the cast from one of my favorite action movie series at courtside [click here to see this].
Then I realized I wasn't looking at Vin Diesel- or the same picture at all.
Not long removed from a domestic disturbance call made to authorities by his wife, Miguel Cotto didn't look too comfortable sitting next to the wild actress Michelle Rodriguez from “Fast and Furious” fame. But Cotto really isn't a man engineered for nonsense, drama, or too much talking from a distance.
Especially bitching from Sergio Martinez.
On the attack and feeling some kind of way because of contentious negotiations, the on-the-mend WBC middleweight champ had a few choice words for the ballsy Puerto Rican product.
"He should never forget that I'm the champion. He has a lot of demands but I'm the champion. I'll say it, I don't think that he'll last five rounds. I would like to fight Cotto, but he is showing signs that he doesn't want to (fight), by asking for complicated conditions and he does not respect boxing history. I'm ready to knock Cotto out in five or six rounds and I know I will. He can not resist me. Disrespecting me is a very unfortunate thing. He should not forget that I'm the champion," Martinez said, in an interview with notifight.com
Now- I don't know about you, but he has a lot of nerve making those remarks. Let’s remove how crass and obnoxious they are, and point out a few facts.
For starters, Cotto doesn't really need Martinez. This is a fight that Martinez has been lobbying for- and for obvious reasons. It is a big fight with an opponent who has name recognition and star power.
I might also add that his name isn't Gennady Golovkin, who I believe terrorizes the exhibitionistic “Maravilla”, and he's shown on more than a few occasions “signs” that he doesn't want to fight “GGG”. Since he likes to pose naked a lot publicly (hey- to each his own), let’s just tell the naked truth about this why don’t we.
Man up Martinez.
It is Cotto who would be the draw in a bout for the middleweight title that shouldn’t even be allowed. Miguel is not rated at 160lbs by any governing body, and Sergio has no problems with the fight taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A fight which (by the way) would just happen to take place on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Gee Sergio, I wonder if Miguel may have overheard you saying that you had no problems coming down in weight for “the right fight”, or how you’d even come down to 150lbs to face Mayweather or Pacquiao?
Is it because you're a little older now he’s just supposed to forget about that?
Cotto can realistically pursue a rematch with Mayweather, a bout with Canelo, or even a showdown with “GGG” if he wanted to instead of dealing with Martinez at all. This just so happens to represent a unique shot at history for Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach.
Martinez fought just once in 2013, barely escaping Martin Murray (I thought Murray beat him), and has been the beneficiary of “boxing history” and the pound-for-pound ranks based on things he did.
But what would he do with Cotto?
SERGIO MARTINEZ VS. MIGUEL COTTO
I’ve always wanted to see Martinez opposite one of a few stars from the welterweight division in recent years at a catch weight. Why not?
Potential fights with Mayweather or Pacquiao would have been intriguing, as would tilts with Shane Mosley or Antonio Margarito.
Or Miguel Cotto.
His pairing with Roach adds another dimension to how this fight might unfold, and I see this being a war of contrast and attrition.
Martinez wants to move, is a spectacular athlete, and offers plenty of volume. His epic battles with Pavlik, Barker, Macklin, Chavez Jr., and Murray are all revealing for what seems to be a trend with him.
He either seems to make the fight harder than it needs to be, or works entirely too hard in victory.
As of late, he’s been getting hit a whole lot more and moving a whole lot less. His power is still there, but he’s not really an ominous KO threat.
Miguel Cotto is more talented than anyone of Martinez’s recent opponents. I still believe he’s shopworn, while still being a more than capable warrior. But here’s where the right matchmaking- with the right trainer- might make all the difference in the world.
I see Miguel forcing Martinez to fight in a much more conventional way. He won’t be able to just drop his hands, move around the ring the way he wants and just slap Miguel around.
Under Roach, you would see a very measured ring general in Cotto, and a fighter capable of nullifying the left hand of Martinez (which is his best weapon). I believe he would resemble the Chavez Jr. we saw against Martinez in round 12, and a more polished version at that.
Miguel Cotto is due for a major win in a star fight, and he’d get one this time. By limiting “Maravilla’s” space and motion, unleashing a debilitating body attack and crowding him at times, Cotto will systematically breakdown and halt Sergio Martinez in the 11th round, to capture the WBC middleweight title in the most electrifying win of his proud career.