On May 5, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0 26KOs) fought Miguel Cotto (37-3 30KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in one of the biggest fights of the year.
Cotto was the fifth common opponent between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, and he will no doubt be used as a measuring stick between the two to see who is better without them actually fighting. The other four fighters were Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
Starting off with Pacquiao's fight against Cotto, it was a tough and competitive fight for the first few rounds. It was a back-and-forth battle where it looked like Cotto could possibly beat Pacquiao with his combinations and trapping Pacquiao on the ropes.
This soon changed, though, as Pacquiao used his weird and awkward south paw angles to down Cotto twice in five rounds. As soon as this happened, the tide changed, and it was all Pacquiao from there.
Cotto spent the rest of the fight back-pedaling to avoid Pacquiao's shots. By the 12th round, his face looked like tenderized meat, and Kenny Bayless felt that a stoppage was necessary to prevent further damage.
When Mayweather fought Cotto, it was more of a boxing clinical and dissection compared to Pacquiao's win. Whenever Cotto would come in, Mayweather would catch him with an uppercut that would get Cotto almost every time. His right hook behind his left would catch Cotto behind his gloves almost every time.
Mayweather's accuracy overwhelmed Cotto, but this fight wasn't without its struggles. While Mayweather clearly won the opening rounds, Cotto began to become more active as the fight went on, and he put the pressure on Mayweather. He bloodied Mayweather's face and made his night harder than it should have been with his jab and pressure on the ropes.
When comparing the two fights, a lot of people will come to the assumption that, since Pacquiao dominated Cotto and Mayweather seemed to have a harder time or didn't win as impressively, Pacquiao would do better in a fight with Mayweather.
That isn't the case, though.
Pacquiao doesn't have Cotto's same jab to back Mayweather into the ropes, and he makes a lot of mistakes that Mayweather can capitalize on; for example, Pacquiao likes to sometimes lunge in with shots that leave him wide open for counter-punching.
The Cotto fight was just another fight for fans to make comparisons between Pacquiao and Mayweather without the two actually fighting. However, Mayweather's performance against Cotto doesn't really indicate if Pacquiao would fare well against Money May.
As the saying goes, styles make fights. Cotto's style on the night he fought Pacquiao favored Pacquiao more than it did Mayweather in making for a dominant performance.