Last I checked, Cotto is about a 5:1 underdog against Mayweather. So, how can Cotto pull off the upset?
Earlier today I had some free time, and with a recent subscription to HBO Go, I decided to re-watch Cotto's last fight against Antonio Margarito. This time, I really tried to focus on Cotto's game plan and how he executed it against the Tijuana Tornado.
As I watched Cotto, it became clear that his strategy was to keep the fight in the center of the ring and not allow Margarito to bang on the inside or get him to the ropes.
In fact, almost every time they got tied up or near the ropes, Cotto dug in and drove his legs forward in order to use his bullish strength and superior leverage to push Margarito, who is a large guy, much bigger than Mayweather, wherever he wanted him.
Cotto followed this game plan almost perfectly. Upon close examination, you'll see that he really did do a fantastic job of staying 100 percent disciplined, fighting the perfect fight and following trainer Pedro Diaz's instructions to a T.
Now, how does this strategy translate to the Mayweather fight?
Well, it doesn't. Not directly, at least.
However, Miguel Cotto showed that he is extremely strong and has the ability to control a fighter's position around the ring when he wants to.
He is able to manhandle his foes when they get in close, and having the strength advantage over Mayweather will allow him to use his lower body to position Floyd where he wants him.
This all hinges on Miguel following the game plan, which is to bully Floyd to the ropes and swing away. Cotto will need to constantly move Floyd to the ropes, be mentally strong and follow instructions. The moment you have a mental lapse against Floyd, he'll take advantage of it.
Just ask Victor Ortiz how losing focus against Money May turned out for him.
The blueprint to beat Mayweather lies in his first fight with Jose Luis Castillo almost a decade ago—a fight in which Castillo was able to bang away at Floyd against the ropes in a fight many thought Floyd lost.
If Cotto can use his superior strength, weight advantage and punching power while staying disciplined and quick, he has a good shot to defeat Floyd and prove the experts wrong.
Ask yourself this, if Cotto could manage to stay disciplined enough to fight a perfect fight and stay within himself against a man he absolutely detested in Margarito, why can't he do the same against Floyd, where he'll be cool-headed?
While Floyd is clearly much more talented than Margarito, I just have a sneaking suspicion that Cotto and trainer Pedro Diaz know what they're doing and will show the world that Floyd can be defeated.
Tune in on May 5th to see what happens.
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