Well conventional pugilistic wisdom played itself out again this past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden as the young unbeaten lion Miguel Cotto beat the once great veteran ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley scoring a unanimous 12 round decision. There was really no controversy in the decision as Cotto built up a nice early lead before dramatically slowing down in some of the later rounds. In fact, Miguel slowed down so drastically that I really believed he had suffered some sort of injury. I actually thought he had hurt one of his hands, but apparently that was not the case.
Before the Cotto slowdown, I thought he was fighting an excellent fight, not only being the effective aggressor, but even out boxing Mosley much of the time. Cotto was even able to out jab Mosley. I saw this in round one and knew that it would be a long night ahead for Shane if he could not get that jab going.
Mosley’s most effective shot was the looping overhand right, which found it’s mark often but that punch never really hurt Cotto. I really felt the one shot that Shane missed out on was the uppercut, especially the right uppercut. Sometimes a fighter can take anything on top or side of the head, but can be very vulnerable on the chin. That’s the punch Shane should have been throwing as Cotto was, and seems always to be, open for that shot as he has a tendency to square up and look down when he is on the inside.
Cotto never really hurt Mosley the way he did against Zab Judah. He systematically broke Judah down and then stopped him. He never was able to really break Mosley down, although he appeared headed in that direction before totally taking some rounds off. The bottom line is the fresher fighter had more than did the aging fighter.
A rematch is not called for and Shane showed no real interest in that when being interviewed after the fight. Shane, like Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and Roy Jones three of his same age group, should retire. All four of those fighters are Hall of Fame boxers and have nothing to prove and all should have made enough money to live comfortable lives. I hope Shane hangs them up, even though he is still very competitive.
As for Miguel Cotto, there are so many appealing fights out there for him. Obviously, he will be looking forward to a mega-fight with the winner of the December 8, fight between Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Hatton. Another very appealing fight would be for him to fight former WBO Champ Antonio Margarito who had the perfect opponent in a shop-warn Golden Johnson, who he blasted out in the opening round on Saturday’s undercard. Margarito, who lost his title recently to angular southpaw Paul Williams, can really punch and he and Cotto would make for a great fight. Williams would be the last guy Cotto would want to fight due to Williams’ size and style. Both Cotto and Margarito are Top Rank fighters so it will be interesting to see if that one comes to fruition.
I expect Cotto will have at least one fight before taking on the winner of the Mayweather vs Hatton winner. I for one would love to see a Cotto vs Hatton fight someday soon. That fight is the most natural and exciting one that could be made in boxing today, but I don’t think it will turn out that we will see that before Cotto vs Mayweather. Mayweather would certainly be the favorite now if they fought but at least Cotto would make it a fight, as Hatton should in less than a month. Cotto, I feel, might present more problems for Mayweather than Hatton.
One final comment on Saturday nights card. What a horrifically bad decision with former champ Joel Casamayor in his bout with Jose Armando Santa Cruz. Casamayor who is said to be 36-years-old, (yeah right) looked well past that as he maybe, maybe won 3 or 4 of the 12 rounds. Yet, somehow, someway, two of the three judges had Casamayor winning the fight by a point. The third judge had Santa Cruz winning by a single point and even that was way off as he actually won easily on points. Will this ludicrous scoring ever end in boxing, at least at this high level of exposure? Those judges should go back to pugilistic scoring school.
Less than a month away from Floyd and Ricky here in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand!