How much did Miguel Cotto’s 11th round stoppage of Zab Judah reveal about him as future superstar in the sport? First off, he did his job of systematically breaking down Judah as I expected him to do. It started with his total commitment to Judah’s body from round one on. Some of Cotto’s body work strayed a little low and that’s OK. When you work the body as he does it is going to happen, just like a pitcher from time to time hitting a batter and fighting in hockey, low blows are part of the sport, especially from a body puncher.
Cotto also showed fairly good boxing skills and better defense than we have seen from him in the past. Judah was able to catch him and even shake him a few times but Miguel did a very good job of shaking any hurt off and never letting Judah take control of the fight. Cotto was able to really nullify the fast hands of Judah as well. He did this with constant aggression throughout the fight and it was a great example of effective aggressiveness because Cotto was mounting his own offense while thwarting any real Judah attack. This consistency of Cotto wore down Judah physically and mentally and from about round 8 on I felt Judah knew he was beaten and was looking for, perhaps, a way out. I think he was hoping for another Cotto blow or two to stray low so he might have cause for a DQ. Just my opinion.
Zab is a good fighter, but he will never be considered a great fighter on my list because he lacks three major components that make a good fighter, a great fighter and a great fighter, a legend. Those lacking key components are stamina, chin, and heart. Zab just lacks in all three categories. The loss drops Judah to 34-5 (25kos) but will not end Judah’s career in all likelihood as he is still south of 30 years of age, and 2 of those 5 losses have been to guys like Kostya Tszyu and Floyd Mayweather. Zab is not done as a fighter but he is done as a marquee guy after this loss.
As for Cotto, well I’m not ready to crown him the heir apparent to Tito Trinidad, but the pugilistic sky is the limit, just as it was for Zab prior to his fight with Tszyu. Cotto could try to get another of the 147 pound titles by taking on Antonio Margarito, but what I would love to see him do is take on Ricky Hatton, ASAP. Hatton has a big fight coming up next week here in Vegas against Jose Luis Castillo. Would that not be a boxing barn burner, they could use a phone booth for that one. The winner of that fight would be able to lure Pretty Boy back inside the squared circle don’t ya think?
Nice big win for Cotto in what was an entertaining fight, and it was great to see the Garden in Gotham packed to the rafters. Between the Garden in New York this past weekend and the MGM Grand Garden a month ago for Floyd and Oscar, boxing still packs a major punch here in America.
Other action last weekend saw former light heavyweight Champion Antonio ‘Magic Man’ Tarver winning a majority decision over Elvir Muriqui with a very ordinary performance. Tarver’s best performance these days is after fights when sparring verbally as he is being interviewed. He seems to be very defensive in his interviews after recent fights, but I guess that should be expected because he certainly has fought very defensively in his last three outings. I personally think we have seen the best of Tarver in those first two Roy Jones fights and in fairness to Antonio he is 38-years old.
Not only has Tarver slowed down as a fighter but he I feel has lost that real edge. He doesn’t want to get dirty anymore, a bad thing for a fighter and I sign to perhaps think about calling it a day. Before he does I expect to see him matched against another light heavyweight featured last weekend, ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson. Dawson had no trouble in his first defense of his WBC title as he dominated and stopped Jesus Ruiz in round 6.
We featured Chad last week on our website WWW.INTHISCORNERTV.COM. At age 24 and with an unblemished record of 24-0 (16 KO’s), we should be talking about Dawson for a long time at 175 pounds. He still has more room for improvement and he admits it. This could make him a champ for a long time. Dawson beats Tarver, if that fight is made.
Last weekend was a good one and coming up next weekend Saturday June 23, it’s ‘The Hit Man’ Ricky Hatton vs Jose Luis Castillo. Hatton will be our guest this week on
IN THIS CORNER and you can see some highlights from the show at WWW.INTHISCORNERTV.COM.
I will break down that fight next week right here at FIGHTNEWS.COM.