Five-division world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather reportedly has the utmost respect for Miguel Cotto as a man, but not his mental fortitude when it comes to the harsh realities of the sweet science.
According to BoxingScene.com, Mayweather said:
I respect Miguel Cotto as a man always. I think he has a beautiful family. I don’t really know him, but he seems like a cool guy. But yes, I respect him as a man, what else can I say. Come May 5th he’s going to have to make me respect his boxing skills. Every fighter you have to earn that; that’s nothing you can't just get from me. Marquez he earned my respect, he made me earn his respect, a couple other guys made me earn their respect, Shane Mosley made me respect his power. But when it’s all said and done I’m pretty sure they respect in my fighting skills also.
In September of 2009, the Grand Rapids native returned to the boxing fray following a self-imposed, 21-month furlough to take on and defeat the Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a one-sided beatdown.
Eight months later, “Money” put on a boxing clinic against Mosley to take home a unanimous decision win, but not before suffering a shock to the system courtesy of two venomous rights that rocked him to his foundation—so much so, that Mayweather (42-0-26 KOs) was in danger of losing his perfect record at the time.
On Cinco de Mayo, Cotto (37-2-30 KOs) defends his 154-pound WBA title for a third time, having dispatched the likes of Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito.
However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Puerto Rican pugilist.
In 2008, he lost for the first time in his career, losing his WBA welterweight crown to the now disgraced Margarito, who later attempted to employ plaster of Paris in his title clash with Mosley—a fight he lost via ninth-round TKO.
In some quarters, the aforementioned defeat to “El Tornado” has been attributed to said loaded gloves.
“Junito’s” second defeat was a consummate blitzkrieg by eight-division champ and current WBO welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009.
Mayweather believes that Cotto’s weak mental state was the catalyst in the aforementioned routs, something which he plans to capitalize on when the two meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Via BoxingScene.com, Mayweather said:
Well I just say like this, it was one mind trick when Bob Arum made him fight Pacquiao at a catchweight. He fell for that didn’t he? Another mind trick is when his corner man didn’t thoroughly check out the hand refs of Antonio Margarito. He fell for that didn’t he? So if a guy fall for certain tricks he’ll fall for it again.