posted by Large
I’ve been asking that question myself lately since I’ve been sitting around watching fights in preparation for this weekend’s donnybrook. The other day I watched back-to-back the two masterpieces of Cotto’s 2007 campaign, the Judah and Mosley fights. As for Margarito, I’ve watched the three fights I have on hand – Cintron II, Clottey and Williams. And let me tell you something, people. You know what it’s like when you go to the night session at the U.S. Open and it’s a women’s match first and you’re like, “damn these ladies be smacking that ball” but then that match ends and the dudes come out and they’re hitting the ball about a thousand times faster and it makes it seem like the women were playing in slow motion?
Well, watch Margarito/Cintron and then watch Cotto/Mosley and you’ll achieve a similar effect. Cotto/Mosley was contested at such a high level in almost every facet at which a fighter can excel that it makes Margarito’s bout with Cintron seem like Toney/Rahman. At one point during the middle rounds of Cotto/Mosley, Lampley says something like, “this is one of those fights where you just sit back and think that it’s simply amazing that human beings can do this,” and to that I say hear hear. The shit is absolutely mindblowing.
Meanwhile, Margo was outspeeded by Josh Clottey and Paul Williams, crafty fighters, neither of them in Judah or Mosley’s league. I’ll give you my two cents right now – I don’t know about Zab because you never know how he’ll fare late into a fight, but I really don’t think Margarito could beat Mosley, not the Mosley who came to fight Cotto last November. Honestly, I think he’d get killed. I don’t think he’d get knocked out, but I think he’d get schooled and lose a lopsided decision. The speed exchange rate is horrifyingly to his deficit.
Now, to be fair, Cotto barely beat Mosley that night, and a lot of people think he didn’t beat him, that the fight was at the very least a draw. Myself, I thought he tipped it, but either way. Watching both the Judah and Mosley fights back to back it’s patently clear what a skillful boxer Cotto has become, how he’s developed his jab into a veritable poleaxe, how much improved he is defensively and how mobile and creative he’s become with his combinations. And for those of you out there who doubt his chin, watch these fights and tell me that he can’t take a licking at 147. Judah and Mosley aren’t big hitters, but then again neither is Margo. Zab and Shane both connected with huge, clean haymakers on Cotto, shots of the kind that I think Margarito will have problem landing, because he just doesn’t have anywhere near Judah/Mosley handspeed or reflexes.
So, well, what I’m saying is this – go to the videotape if you can and tell me what you see. I’ve been feeling for a while that this was a pick ‘em fight, but my own recent investigations into the archive has led me to conclude that the oddsmakers may know wherefore they speak on this one. Cotto is in a different league, a league that right now I think may only have one other occupant, and it sure as hell ain’t Margo. It’s Money-O.