This past Saturday, Miguel Cotto put forth a valiant effort against WBA light middleweight champion Austin Trout, but it wasn't good enough.
The 27 year-old Trout proved too youthful and too athletic for Cotto to deal with, but this wasn't all Trout's doing. It seems like Trout had a lot of help from Father Time in beating Miguel Cotto.
Miguel Cotto is only 32 years old and is in his 11th year as a professional fighter, but in the fight game 32 years old is an aging veteran who is usually past their prime.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case for Miguel Cotto.
Miguel Cotto isn't a shot fighter...yet. However, Cotto's career has been filled with a number of punishing bouts. He took hellacious beatings from Antonio Margarito in 2008 and Manny Pacquiao in 2009. Those two fights were so brutal for Cotto, that I wouldn't be surprised if they took years off his life.
That might sound like an overstatement, but remember that there is controversial speculation that Antonio Margarito wore loaded gloves in their fight. If he did, then Cotto took more damage than any one ever considered. A similar event destroyed the career of the late Billy Collins Jr.
But Cotto soldiered on an exacted revenge against Margarito in 2011 and gave Floyd Mayweather, whom many consider the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, a run for his money.
After his recent loss to Trout, it doesn't seem like Cotto has any more rabbits to pull out of his hat. He can still beat B-level fighters, but he can no longer hang with the A-listers.
Miguel Cotto is a great warrior and loves the sport of boxing. It is a joy to watch him fight, but he should stop before that joy turns to a sullen pity. A common problem with so many champions is that they don't know when to hang it up. I would hate to see Cotto fall into the same trap.
He will probably fight one or two more times, but it won't be long until he realizes that he isn't the fighter he once was. I hope for his sake that he is able to end his career on his terms with a victory.
It would be heartbreaking to see a brilliant boxer and man like Miguel Cotto stay in the game too long, to where he is getting decimated by subpar opposition.
Who knows when that point will occur, but if he retired now after a hard fought loss, he would eliminate the possibility of a sad ending to his career. Whatever he decides to do, I just hope he leaves the sport with dignity instead of hanging around to the point where he becomes a tragic figure.