When Miguel Cotto steps into the ring in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1, he will be challenging not just Austin Trout for his WBA super welterweight title, he will be facing Father Time as well.
And while Cotto is not old—he just recently turned 32—he's at that tricky age for a fighter where things can go south overnight.
You get into the ring and you're a half-step slower, or your punches hit with slightly less thud than before or you can no longer fight three minutes of every round.
This risk is amplified for Cotto by the fact that the man standing in front of him, Austin Trout, is a young, hungry champion with something to prove.
Now, people will rightly point to the last time we saw the Puerto Rican sensation in the ring, a spirited but decisive loss to universally recognized king of the sport, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., as proof he still has much left.
What remains to be seen is if that was a resurgence or a last hurrah.
This is not to say that Miguel Cotto will fall victim to this phenomenon; just that we should take the stories of the following five men as a cautionary tale.