When Miguel Cotto, 37(30)-2(2), meets Floyd Mayweather Jr., 42(26)-0, this coming Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, Mayweather will be a heavy favorite, both in the betting and in the miles of copy that will have been written during the buildup to the event. A sizable majority expect Mayweather to win, and for good reason.
But future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto is a live dog in this fight, and it would hardly be the biggest upset in the sport's history if he won.
Cotto is four years younger than Mayweather, but I don't make much of that number. Mayweather has always taken exceptional care of himself physically and Cotto's 31 has a lot more tough ring miles on it than Mayweather's 35 does.
The single area where I see Cotto with a significant advantage is in strength. Although he is coming up yet another division, Mayweather is actually the slightly taller, longer fighter. Cotto is naturally thicker and sturdier, and over the past couple of years 154 pounds has appeared to be a very comfortable weight for him to fight at.
A strength advantage against Floyd Mayweather Jr., in the hands of a highly skilled, strategically solid fighter like Cotto, can go a long way towards negating some of the areas where Mayweather has clear advantages.
I've got Mayweather winning a hard-fought decision Saturday night. He'll come away undefeated and nobody will really question that he deserves to be. But I think it will be tougher than expected.
This is the five-point plan for how Miguel Cotto can the close distance on the fleet-footed Mayweather, and just maybe shock the world.