On Saturday night, Transnational Boxing Rankings Board recognized middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, defends his WBC title, against four division titlist, Miguel Cotto at the Madison Square Garden, New York, New York.
In the buildup of this fight, animosity becomes evident to both fighters. There were issues of disrespect. Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) being the defending champion feels disrespected on Cotto’s demands.
In this card’s billing, Cotto demanded that his name should come first, although, he’s the challenger. This fight is billed Cotto vs. Martinez, which is supposed to be Martinez vs. Cotto, being Martinez as the champion. Maybe to some people or fighters this is no big-deal. But for Martinez he feels disrespected. He branded Cotto a “diva”.
Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31 KO’s) said, in the program Face-off, hosted by HBO’s Max Kellerman that he has been in this “position” before. It’s not being who the champion is. But who packs the arena. When Cotto defended his WBO welterweight title against Pacquiao in 2009—that was billed Pacquiao vs. Cotto—wherein he lost via knockout.
Cotto says that Madison Square Garden is his “second home”. He fought in the iconic Madison Square Garden eight times. And he has a terrific record of 7wins with only 1 loss. No wonder who packs the arena.
But Martinez wants respect. And he wants to gain respect in the ring come fight night.
The factor I see here for Martinez to win is his size advantage. An old boxing adage: A good big man always beats a good little man.
Sergio has been haunted by knee injuries since his win against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He’s sideline for more than one year. And at 39, he’s no longer the same fighter who knocked out cold the taller and bigger Paul Williams in their rematch four years ago. He’s power obviously looks diminished against a much bigger Chavez whom he blooded and bruised but unable to stop.
Although, Martinez’ speed cope up with bigger and usually slower fighters but against a smaller but faster Cotto, it could be critical.
I think, it boils down to how Martinez will capitalize his size advantage to secure victory. Martinez used to fight much taller opponent. But he beat them with his speed and power. But with his knee issues, against a faster Cotto I think Martinez has serious problems.
I think, Cotto, under the guidance of Freddie Roach, will employ the same strategy that gives Martinez his victories in the ring—fast combinations and stay away in the pocket using foot speed.
I believed Cotto will be much faster than Martinez, so his speed will cruise to a unanimous decision.