Fight fans, once again, it's the biggest fight week of the calendar year. With the Cinco De Mayo holiday weekend approaching, that can only mean one thing. We have the biggest pay-per-view star of boxing returning to the ring, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who will be going up back up to 154 pounds to fight Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto for his WBA championship belt.
Some quick updates to get everyone up to speed. Cotto will be earning his highest purse ever, and it has been reported that he will be making around $30 million just for this fight with Mayweather.
Floyd has been uncharacteristically respectful and even praised his opponent Cotto by telling the media that he's a solid, good opponent and should be viewed as undefeated. Floyd notes that Cotto's only two losses were to an alleged loaded Antonio Margarito and to Manny Pacquiao at a catch-weight, which he feels drained Cotto.
Mayweather tends to trash talk his opponents and play mental warfare, making it clear that they are not on his level of talent and skill inside the ring, but for whatever reason, he's going the opposite route for this fight.
Floyd is slated to begin a 90-day jail sentence on June 1, so will this affect his performance in any way?
Mayweather is the big favorite to win at -650, while Cotto is at +475.
Most bettors feel the fight will go at least 10 full rounds at -230.
So now, its time for us to take a look at the so-called boxing experts of the B/R Boxing Community and see what kind of wisdom or expertise they can offer for the rest of the fight fans shall we?
KING J, Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader/Featured Columnist
I'm a big fan of Miguel Cotto. He won me over ever since his 140-lb war with Ricardo Torres back in 2005 where both fighters knocked each other down hard, but Cotto showed his true heart by getting up to knock out Torres in the seventh round.
But in all honesty, Cotto has lost that killer instinct, and we haven't really seen that signature left hook that destroyed so many opponents since the Zab Judah fight. The real talk truth is Cotto has never been the same fighter ever since his loss to Margarito, and yes, this even includes the 144-lb version who lost to Manny Pacquiao.
The only reason why Cotto had success early on in the Pacquiao fight was because Manny wanted to prove that he could take a punch from the bigger guys as he explained after the fight.
Cotto looked ordinary in his 154-lb WBA title fight against Yuri Foreman and was not able to really hurt him until Foreman had a freak accidental injury preventing him from really moving around the ring.
Emmanuel Steward seemed to have Cotto trying to outbox the aggressive slugger Mayorga in what seemed like a fighter not fighting his own fight, and then all of sudden, Mayorga hurt his hand and could not continue?
The Margarito rematch proved that Cotto could outbox a shot, damaged goods version of the first man to ever beat him, whose eye was highly in question before the fight even began.
With all that being said, had this Mayweather fight taken place in 2007 at 147 lbs when Cotto was more so still in his prime and still had that killer instinct, then this might have actually been a good fight, but it's now 2012, and this current version of Cotto will get countered all night by the superiorly skilled best boxer on the planet who's already bragging about being 43-0.
History shows us this will most likely go to another comfortably wide decision for Money May. But if you have $200 that you absolutely do not need, then put a $100 on Cotto by KO, for that is the only way Cotto can win.
No one is going to win a decision against Mayweather. At 10-to-1 odds, you will win $1,000. Put another $100 on a draw at 33/1 odds, you will win $3,300. But again, this is if you absolutely do not need this $200, because you will have a better chance seeing the real life non-hologram Tupac Shakur walking down the street first before seeing either of these results happening Saturday night.
Vitali Shaposhnikov, Featured Columnist
This fight, despite being intriguing in theory, is nothing special. Cotto is a great fighter, with a big heart, but very little to no technical skill. If brawled with, he can surely take most fighters out. But, when faced with opposition, that can fight from the outside, picking shots and countering, he's doomed.
I predict Floyd to dominate the fight starting with Round 2 or 3 and end the fight early via KO/TKO. Actually, I believe the TKO is a more likely scenario. Predicting the round is the hard part.
My prediction: Floyd via KO/TKO in Round 10.
Mick Akers, Featured Columnist
I think Floyd Mayweather will dominate the fight, as Miguel Cotto is also a counter-puncher, but we all know no one matches up to Money May’s skills when it comes to counter-punching.
After wearing down Cotto, Mayweather will eventually win by TKO in Round 11.
I’m going to go against the grain here and pick Cotto in a SD upset. I like Pedro Diaz, a smart and intelligent man who can put in multiple game plans to defeat Mayweather. Cotto needs to go to the body as well. Everybody seems to be content head hunting the elusive Mayweather. Use the jab effectively to get into rhythm and disrupt Mayweather’s.
Also, Cotto understands the importance of this fight and has been training hard physically and mentally for the showdown (Not to say Mayweather isn’t). Though Cotto seems to fade down the stretch, he’s been working on his stamina.
Brian Mazique, Featured Columnist
Mayweather Unanimous Decision 117-111
Jesse Reed, Featured Columnist
Knockout for Mayweather in the sixth round. (Round-By-Round Prediction)
Allan Jiang, Featured Columnist
Mayweather TKO 10
Leo Reyes, Featured Columnist
Cotto KO/TKO 5
Austin Green, Featured Columnist
I’m taking Mayweather by 11th-round TKO.
Floyd has only knocked out two of his last seven opponents, but I’m sure he wants to leave a lasting impression before he heads to prison.
He’s moving up in weight for this fight but don’t expect the added bulk to affect his world class speed. In his one career fight at 154 pounds, he landed 43 percent of his punches on Oscar De La Hoya, while the Golden Boy connected on just 20 percent of his attempts. Mayweather also had a 138-82 advantage in power punches.
I really like Miguel Cotto, but I think we’re in for another classic Money May beatdown.
Joseph Santoliquito, Featured Columnist
Mayweather KO 11 Cotto:
Cotto will keep coming forward and make it a battle, maybe even stun Mayweather like Shane Mosley did. But overall, Cotto has bald tires from a long, arduous career and scar tissue around his eyes that seems to break open during his ring walk-ins.
Eventually, Mayweather's accurate punching and speed will be the telling difference. Eventually, Mayweather will make Cotto's face look like it came through a meat grinder, cut up and bleeding.
Mayweather wins by late-round stoppage on cuts, but it promises to be an entertaining fight, only because Cotto will make Mayweather fight and keep engaging.
Justin Tate, Featured Columnist/ One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
Mayweather has made promises to stop Cotto all throughout the promotion of this fight. As hard as that is to believe, Mayweather has made good on past performances. He said he’d be more aggressive in the past and he has.
If Mayweather's increasingly aggressive style continues to develop and improve, it could prove to be formidable vs. Cotto. Mix in Mayweather’s aggression, accuracy and skill with Cotto’s easily cut skin and lack of speedy opponents over the last two years to prepare him for this moment and you have a tough but dominant eight-round TKO in Mayweather’s favor when the doctor steps in to stop the fight on cuts.
Riley Kontek, Featured Columnist
Floyd Mayweather, despite the “cheap shot” on Victor Ortiz that got so many boxing fans hot, is still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet, if not the best.
It looks like Mayweather has not lost a step, besting such big names as Shane Mosley and Zab Judah.
Look for Cotto to win a round or two but get dropped en route to a 10-8 round. Cotto will have his moments, but in the end, Mayweather is too good and too fast. Hopefully, Mayweather can finally get his fight against Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather wins via unanimous decision (118-109).
Because of his significant advantages in defense, speed and ring generalship as well as his underrated power and unparalleled conditioning, Floyd Mayweather will dominate Miguel Cotto and stop him in Round 10 (due to Cotto’s failure to answer the bell). See the complete breakdown of my prediction.
Richard Langford, Featured Columnist
Floyd in a comfortable unanimous decision.
In this fight, in order for Miguel Cotto to defeat Floyd Mayweather, he’ll have to seize the initiative and bang Floyd hard to the body and not be afraid to be countered in return.
For Floyd to win, he just has to be Floyd. It seems as if most are picking Floyd by a UD, but I’m going to roll the dice and pick Miguel Cotto in this one.
I have a feeling Cotto’s large size advantage, which should be 15 pounds or so on fight night, will be a big factor in this fight, and Cotto will bully Floyd around and grind his way to a majority decision, call it 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112 for Miguel Cotto.
Stewart Flaherty, One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
Mayweather to win by KO in Round 11.
Cotto is a game and tough fighter and will make this interesting for five to six rounds. However, Mayweather is the king of not being hit, and we will see Cotto be worn down before succumbing in the 11th round.
Money to win by late KO. Take that to the bank!
Dave Carlson, One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
I like Miguel Cotto. He's one of the nicest guys in boxing and one of its most sympathetic figures. His only two losses have come against a probably cheating Antonio Margarito and against Manny Pacquiao, as honestly the best non-Marquez Pacquiao fight we've seen in the last five years.
But what advantage does Cotto have against Mayweather?
I can't think of any. Cotto's 67-inch reach is exceptional for someone who is 5'7" on a good day. But guess what—Mayweather is an inch taller and has an even more impressive reach at 72 inches. Cotto is four years younger but probably has endured more wear and tear than Mayweather.
Power is debatable, but speed goes to Mayweather. Money also possesses the sweetest technique in boxing today and one of the sport's three fastest minds (Sergio Martinez and Bernard Hopkins have the others). Plus, there's the simple fact that Floyd doesn't pick fights unless he knows he can win.
So what will happen? If it goes to a decision, Mayweather will win with at least 116 points on all three scorecards. However, my money is on Money knocking out Cotto. When? Late in the fight—I'll predict the 10th round—give or take two rounds.
So there you have it fight fans, another edition of the so-called boxing experts of B/R have spoken, and now, they will once again forever gloat in victory or be humiliated in the agony of defeat as we await the results of Saturday's super mega fight.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto is taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Saturday, May 5th. It can also be seen live on HBO pay-per-view at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
For all the best fight coverage, check out the Bleacher Report Boxing Community.
KING J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and Featured Columnist. All official prediction statements were submitted verbatim to him to be used in this collaboration piece.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323