Arguably the biggest fight of 2012 takes place on Cinco de Mayo, with Floyd Mayweather looking to add another championship to his mantle when he takes on Miguel Cotto for the WBA light middleweight title.
Mayweather is coming off that controversial victory over Victor Ortiz last September. That was the first time he stepped in the ring in 16 months due to various issues, but he looked like the "Money" of old before the ending tainted his performance.
Cotto might not be the opponent everyone wanted for Mayweather, but he is certainly capable of holding his own against the undefeated challenger. He has looked impressive in winning his last three fights via TKO following a loss to Manny Pacquiao.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
When: Saturday, May 5 at 10:00 p.m. EST
Watch: Available on Pay-Per-View for $54.95
Steve Forbes (35-10, 11 KO) vs. Jessie Vargas (18-0, 9 KO)
DeAndre Latimore (20-2, 16 KO) vs. Carlos Quintana (28-3, 22 KO)
Mayweather's Keys to Victory
Use speed and defense to frustrate Cotto; don't get caught in a slugfest.
Everyone knows that Mayweather makes his living by countering what his opponents try to do. He is so fast and elusive that it is hard to lay a hand on him. On the off chance he does get hit, it's not likely to be with a lot of force.
As long as Mayweather is able to avoid the big shots that Cotto is going to try to unleash early, he should be able to wear the champion down in the later rounds to work a decision victory or even a knockout.
Cotto's Keys to Victory
Use combo punching to break Mayweather's wall of defense; keep stamina for later rounds.
If someone is going to defeat Mayweather, they have to be able to hit hard, be smart and efficient with punches and have the stamina to make it through a 12-round fight. That sounds simple enough, but we all know that there is a lot more to it than just that.
Cotto doesn't have the speed to keep up with Mayweather over the course of a 12-round fight, so he has to make sure to use his strikes are landing early in order to get "Money" off his game in the later rounds.
Speaking of the later rounds, Cotto has to keep energy for them. It would be a surprise to see this fight end early, just because Mayweather's style doesn't produce a lot of quick finishes. He must be smart when attacking and know when he has to pull back.
What They Are Saying
Everyone talks about Cotto as Mayweather's opponent, but no one seems to be mentioning that Mayweather is moving up in weight to take on this fight. He is putting himself at a power disadvantage in doing so, just don't expect him to listen to any criticism.
The fact that I'm a champion in five different weight classes proves that weight is not a factor, and I'm willing to consider more fights at 154 or heavier if I believe that it is the next, best move for me. After the Cotto fight, whatever is the next best option for me, then my advisors, Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe, will negotiate and make that happen. I have accomplished great things in my boxing career and will continue to look for the best fighters available to fight.
Main Event Prediction
Cotto certainly has that puncher's chance everyone talks about, but Mayweather proved against Ortiz that his speed and power did not leave him after he was gone for so long. Until Mayweather loses, it is impossible to bet against him.
Mayweather wins via unanimous decision