Margarito Win; No Surprise

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[Black Star Sports]

I remember the face of Miguel Cotto after his first fight in Madison Square Garden two summers ago. It was the same look I always see after his victorious fights but this time, one could see the toughness in his face which stated he was paying the price. A price, in time, I felt he would pay for on the down side of the sport of boxing.

At Antonio Margarito’s NY press conference, Margarito appeared to be about the business of fighting.  He made himself accessible to the media and had an air of confidence and assurance that was unspoken but yet clearly visible.

There was an air of excitement among the fans as they awaited the Margarito vs. Cotto bout.  They kept their eyes glued to the two pugilists preparing themselves as they came close to fight time.  I felt myself edging toward Margarito and then I just flat out picked Margarito to win. By knockout, I liked him and liked him big. 

I understand that Margarito was so confident in his ability to win, he jumped at signing up for the fight immediately after it had been offered to him. It was Margarito who gave up his title to fight for Cotto's title. It was Margarito that came back from losing to Paul Williams to beat Kermit Cintron to death to again regain another world title and a true measure of respect in the sport.

It was Margarito doing all the talking before the fight. It didn’t come across as bragging, but more so as a confident man who was thankful to GOD for a second chance. The loss he took in the Williams fight had cost him his first shot at Cotto.  Now, that Margarito had Cotto in his sights again, this time he was determined not to lose.

Although a fine fighter, Cotto is not a great fighter. His loss against Margarito tells fight enthusiasts a lot about Cotto’s boxing style.  In the words of that great boxing genius, Marion Boykin, a man who brought fans boxing's greatest boxing television show,"BOYKIN ON BOXING" …it is what a fighter does after a loss, after getting knocked down and getting up off the canvas that tells us really what he is all about…."

Boykin said the greatness in a fighter is linked to just that… winning after losing and getting up after being knocked down.   Most fans perceived that this fight would be a Cotto win. Cotto was deemed to be unbeatable in a lot of eyes especially against Margarito.  But Margarito had already passed Boykin’s assessment of a true champion and made his step toward greatness.

It's true Margarito barely beat Josh Clottey but he did win. And he came back to regain a world title after his loss to Paul Williams.   I am sure Margarito fans realized that Cotto wasn’t that great and thought Margarito better.  So much better, that at one time the rumor was Floyd Mayweather Jr., was ducking him.

Two quick thoughts here: In my opinion, Mayweather is the best around and ducks no one. Plus, if Williams beat Margarito and Margarito beat Cotto, how could either one of them beat Mayweather? If you are going to say due to their styles, I contend that Mayweather can handle them all irrespective of their fighting styles.

I would even venture to say that during the bout Margarito was reminiscent of little Ray Leonard…run first, fight and knock out later. In the first four rounds it seemed Cotto had it all: the fight, the strategy and the momentum. But the fight wasn't just four rounds so Cotto didn’t have the stamina to make it to the final round…courtesy of Mr. Margarito. 

I have to say however, I felt that for Cotto to get inside he'd have to pay the price and he did. I felt that once Cotto got hit, he’d be hurt and he was. I also felt having the fight in Vegas gave Margarito a mental advantage and it did. All and all, it was a very good fight and a very good fighter won.  For me, that was no surprise.

RING ROSIN: Speaking of Paul Williams, it seems he priced himself out of a title bout with Kelly Pavlik set for September. Now rumor has it, that we'll get Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelley Pavlik fighting for Pavlik's title and Hopkin’s old one, which he held for so long. Good to see Monty Barrett winning on the Cotto-Margarito undercard.  TRUST*IN*GOD*


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