In boxing, it's a rarity for athletes to go from tough fight to tough fight with no tune-up in between.
Super middleweight tough-man Carl Froch and ferocious 122-pounder Abner Mares are the exception, as is Miguel Cotto (37-3-0, 30 KOs), whose resume resembles a who's who of modern boxing. The last year the Puerto Rican wasn't involved in a world championship fight was 2004.
Following a bruising 12th-round technical knockout defeat to Manny Pacquiao, some observers suggested Cotto was way past his use-by-date. But under current trainer Pedro Diaz, the 32-year-old is flourishing in a classic box-and-move style that employs the full use of the ring.
In the 2011 rematch with Mexican nemesis Antonio Margarito, Cotto showed discipline, busting Tony up and forcing a stoppage on account of Margarito's impaired vision from a swollen eye. And against Mayweather, he won worldwide praise for making Money bleed—a rare occurrence for a fighter known for his unrivaled defensive finesse.
In this weekend's fight, Cotto is the challenger. Reigning WBA junior middleweight world titlist Trout (25-0-0, 14 KOs) is a career 154-pound fighter, the champion with three defenses behind him and an ability to score an upset. If he does, it would be one of the weight division's best scalps and Trout would be in a commanding position for career-high paydays against Saul Alvarez or Mayweather.