Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto: 10 Things We Learned from Las Vegas
I had the honor of traveling to Las Vegas and covering the fight at the MGM Grand this weekend.
In fact, I am still here in Las Vegas and at an internet cafe, so since everyone's still talking about the big fight from last night, I thought I'd quickly get this one out for those of you who may not have had the privilege to make the journey or catch the fights this Saturday.
Even Though It Was a Mexican Holiday, the Puerto Ricans Came out Full Force
Even though it was the Mexican holiday Cinco De Mayo, Puerto Rican fans came out full force to support their biggest star Miguel Cotto this weekend.
I took this photo at the weigh-in. The energy at this weigh-in was incredible!
All you saw were Puerto Rican flags, colors of the Puerto Rican flag and Miguel Cotto T-shirts galore.
The crowd was chanting: COTTO! COTTO! COTTO!
A journalist next to me asked me if I thought it was a 70/30 crowd for Cotto at the weigh-in?
I had it more like a 80/20 crowd for Cotto supporters in the crowd for the weigh-in.
Of course for the actual fight, it did even out a bit more as Mayweather the hometown super star brings in the most famous stars whenever he fights.
But back to the weigh-in. Once Miguel Cotto went face to face in a very intense staredown with Floyd, the crowd was like a volcano erupting especially when Cotto started firing back verbally in their heated exchange.
I'm huge on predicting a fight based on the weigh-ins—not only factoring in the fuel of the fans driving the fighters but you must also see how physically strong and mentally strong and focused the fighters look as well.
The weigh-in told me it would be a competitive fight as both fighters looked strong and in shape, and both looked mentally focused to win.
In the past, Mayweather intimidated opponents and defeated them psychologically during the weigh-in with not only himself but his large entourage full of body guards and big dudes trash talking and bullying Floyd's opponents on stage.
Friday afternoon was much different, for Cotto was not phased by any of those tactics. He not only held his own in the staredown, he may have even got some mind warfare points of his own in that day.
The Ladies Love Miguel Cotto and Come out from All over to Support Their Man!
A lot of female fight fans and just females in general love Miguel Cotto for they find him attractive. They always tell me he's hot.
Here's a photo of a fine Texas lady who made the trip all the way to Vegas to support Cotto, and of course, celebrate Cinco De Mayo.
I was wearing a Muhammad Ali T-shirt, and she said she wanted my shirt...to be honest I almost gave it to her.
I met several female Cotto fans from this weekend. Most were of Puerto Rican descent. Some traveled all the way from New York and Florida.
They had a lot of cool accents—very East Coast and New York.
Even in this economy, Cotto, being the huge star he is, has the drawing power to bring in fans from across the country—from the other coast to Las Vegas. That really says a lot, especially for a sport that's supposed to be dying or dead huh?
Corona Girls Are Hotter Than Tecate Girls, Even AT&T Girls Are Hotter
If you are a big boxing fan, and of course, a fan of the models, who do promos for the fights, you would probably have the same opinion that Corona girls tend to be hotter than Tecate girls.
For whatever reason, the Corona girls just simply are hotter than the Tecate girls. Whether it's the Corona spandex gear they wear or just the look they tend to have, it's pretty well known by now most fight fans agree Corona girls are hotter than Tecate girls all the way.
But even AT&T, another sponsor of the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight, had their own promo models, and they were even hotter than the Tecate girls.
Here's a stunning AT&T promo model. I asked if she might be Puerto Rican, and she said she was Dominican.
Generally speaking, Corona tends to sponsor Golden Boy Promotions fights which Mayweather vs, Cotto was.
Rival boxing promotions company Top Rank tends to be sponsored by Tecate, so they tend to have the still hot but not as hot as Corona girls, Tecate girls promo modeling their fights.
Puerto Rican Fans Had a Lot to Be Happy with Early on Saturday
Al Bello/Getty Images
Puerto Rican fans had a lot to be happy with early on during fight night with the first televised fight of the HBO pay-per-view of Puerto Rican former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana knocking out contender and Mayweather protege Deandre Latimore in the sixth round of their 10-round fight.
Quintana was actually on his way to becoming the next big Puerto Rican star as he and Miguel Cotto went head-to-head undefeated back in 2006.
Back in 2006, Miguel Cotto was still a very one-dimensional power house, and many boxing experts viewed the more complete boxer/puncher Quintana as schooling Cotto when they fought.
Quintana held his own, but Cotto proved he was too much and stopped Quintana in their fight and this proved to many boxing writers that Cotto was the real deal.
Quintana then jump started his own career once again when he shockingly upset the highly favorite then "most avoided boxer" Paul Williams in 2008.
Quintana lost via knockout to Williams in the rematch, had a string of wins against no notable contenders and then lost again via knockout by Andre Berto in 2010 in the eighth round of their fight.
Which of course brings us to Saturday where Quintana once again opened a lot of eyes after knocking out Latimore in front of such a huge pay-per-view audience.
Many fight fans were all of a sudden back on Quintana's train and were calling for Quintana to fight a third match with Paul Williams who now seems like he's no longer anywhere near his previous "most avoided boxer" reputation.
Jessie Vargas Wins but Not Impressively
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Jessie Vargas is Floyd Mayweather's most prized protege. Floyd has put him on his undercard a few times now and has even called him the future of the sport.
The only problem is we have not seen anything in Vargas so far that proves he's the future of the sport—not yet at least.
Vargas won a unanimous decision against Stevie Forbes—a former world title champion who actually fights a bit like Mayweather for he has been trained by the Mayweathers.
So yes, Forbes is a good defensive counterpuncher who can move, so it's a bit hard to look good against a guy like that. But then again, if you are the so-called future of the sport, shouldn't you be knocking guys out or at least schooling them?
Vargas is still young at age 22 with an undefeated record of 19-0, 9 KO's.
His career is off to the right start, but I am just not sold on him taking on the elite just yet. Are you?
Canelo vs. Mosley Turned out to Be a Good One-Sided Fight
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Many felt Mosley was too old to compete with the young lion ready to take over the boxing world, but Saturday night despite all the criticism and doubting on the Sugar man he proved that he will go out on his own terms when he is ready.
Mosley and Canelo fought an exciting 12 rounds where the veteran Shane had his moments hitting Canelo with bad intentions, but the 154-lb champion showed he was a smart technical fighter who timed and countered Mosley coming in after him all night.
This was the first time we really saw Canelo cut and bleeding down his face like that, but he proved he had the heart to fight on and not let it bother him.
Canelo has improved so much at such an early age. I can almost say he might deserve the hype that he has been mysteriously been receiving mostly from his native land of Mexico.
But here's a question, why did Shane keep coming forward and trying to attack Canelo all night, despite getting hit cleanly several times—even having his head snapped back and startled?
Was Shane out to prove to all the doubters that he's not done, so he just ate all of those punches? Or is Canelo just not as powerful as other heavy hitters such as Cotto, Forrest and Pacquiao who had Shane running away for half of the fight and even begging his trainer to stop the fight?
Shane has one hell of a chin, and he still has never been stopped, but why did he run from Pacquiao, who looked sloppy and appeared to be having an off night, when they fought?
Even though it was rather one-sided, Canelo and Mosley gave us an exciting fight, but again, it may be due to lack of knock-out power by the Cinnamon guy?
Only in America!
Only in America!!!!!!!...can you make a living off one of the most legendary, notoriously infamous, iconic promoters of the sport of boxing by simply impersonating him.
Yes, this man is a Don King impersonator, and tons of fans could not stop lining up to take a picture with him.
Did some think he was the actual Don King? I believe so.
That's some cool hair though you must admit.
But here's the real kicker. When I asked him if it would be OK to take a pic for our site, he of course said yes, but he was talking to me in character as Don King. He never broke character as he was talking to me.
So apparently, this man makes a living impersonating Don King, and you can hire him for events or parties.
Only in America, huh?
Early Saturday, I Called It; Justin Bieber Would Walk Floyd into the Ring!
Al Bello/Getty Images
About a month ago, I wrote a piece titled: Floyd Mayweather and Justin Bieber Have Each Other's Digits.
Some fans expressed disapproval that Mayweather and the Biebs were apparently friends for whatever reason.
Early Saturday afternoon, I took to Twitter and expressed:
I got a real bad feeling Justin Bieber will walk out Floyd Mayweather to the ring tonight. This will not sit right with most of the brothers
A few of my followers retweeted, while others just simply waited to see if it was going to turn out to be true or not.
Obviously, my prediction was accurate. The world's biggest pop star Justin Bieber did show up and was seen holding Floyd's belts as the Money Team walked into the ring.
This was major publicity and buzz not only for Mayweather, but the sport of boxing to have such a huge pop icon with over 20 million Twitter followers do this publicity stunt.
It's interesting to note that Justin overshadowed the hip hop legends and superstars in attendance at the MGM Grand. Bieber fever seems to be stronger than Lil Wayne—and Diddy apparently.
In the post-fight conference, a journalist asks Floyd as he's leaving us heading to the lockers to tell him about Justin Bieber, and Floyd says, "Oh, Justin is part of the Money Team."
After my prediction turned out to be correct, several of my followers were impressed that I was able to call such an outrageous claim.
I'll give credit to @KingJ323 for being the first to say Biebs was going to walk out with Floyd. Ha 50 cent is all jealous now
Floyd and Cotto Gave Us One Exciting Fight!
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Many wrote Cotto off before this fight was even made months ago.
Cotto was a big underdog as far as -800 on some sports books.
However, Cotto proved that he came to fight and that he will give Money his money's worth.
The first few rounds seemed like it was going to go like any other Floyd fight with him picking apart Cotto and landing the clean precise shots.
Toward the middle rounds, Cotto pressured and pressured, landing both hooks and pressing Floyd against the ropes.
There were a lot of close rounds in this fight, and we have not seen Floyd pressured like this since the first Castillo fight where Floyd looked simply uncomfortable and forced to fight his opponents fight plan and not his own.
From my ringside media seat, I scored the fight a draw—six rounds to six rounds—a lot of close rounds that could have gone to either fighter. You had Floyd's superior ring generalship and clean effective precise shots to Cotto's aggressive attacks—many not landing all that clean but winning over the crowd and making this an entertaining fight.
I know the crowd definitely influenced me, and when I go home and watch the replay on HBO, I'll probably score more rounds for Floyd, but remember, traditionally close rounds are supposed to go to the champion who was Cotto last night, right? But obviously, that does not apply to a fight against Floyd Mayweather, or of course, Manny Pacquiao.
I thought the judges official score cards were a bit wide, and this is, in my opinion, the reason why I feel Cotto stormed out of the ring without doing the Larry Merchant post-fight interview.
At the post-fight conference, we were told that Cotto was not going to attend for he had to go to the hospital, but later on, we found out that was not true for he was chilling with his family and friends in his SkyLOFT.
Floyd's "Pretty" Face Was for the First Time Not so Pretty?
I snapped this photo of Floyd's face at the post fight conference
At the post-fight conference, I snapped this photo of Floyd's face up close. Legend has it that one of reasons why Floyd went by the name "Pretty Boy" Floyd was because he would never get his face bruised or cut during fights.
Floyd's defense and skills and God-given talent are just on a different level, but Saturday, against Cotto, for whatever reason, he was bleeding for the first time. Blood was falling from his nose, and as you can see, his face is marked with red marks and bruises.
What does this mean? Was Cotto really that good, or is Floyd finally starting to descend from the superior master boxer from a different level onto a really good fighter who is no longer as fast and sharp as he once was?
Floyd explained to the media that he said he decided to give the fans their money worth for once, and not just outbox Cotto but to stand toe-to-toe and trade with him to provide a more exciting fight.
Other journalists feel Floyd no longer has the legs to move out of harms way, so he has adapted a more walk-down approach to fighting.
One journalist even told me he feels Pacquiao can now beat Floyd based on how he fought Cotto that night. I then said but which Pacquiao are you talking about. We haven't seen the same Manny in his last few fights?
Floyd went on to blame Bob Arum for the Pacquiao fight not happening and feels it won't happen because Arum won't allow it.
Overall, Floyd was a more humble man at the post-fight conference. He knows what he must face June 1st with his prison sentence, and I think Floyd has had a bit of a changed heart recently as we even saw him in his words be the bigger man and patch things up with Larry Merchant at the weigh-in.
Floyd told us several times that this might be his final fight, and for once, looking into his eyes, it looked like he might have meant it?
But the rumors circulating in the press conference room that night was it will be Canelo vs Mayweather for the next big Mexican holiday in September.
King J is Bleacher Report's Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323