Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez: Fight Time, Date, TV Info, More
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When is it time to walk away from boxing?
We seemingly ask the same question about any fighter in his mid-to-late 30s—or older—who has strung together consecutive losses. Miguel "Junito" Cotto (37-4, 30 KO) is one of those fighters. Cotto lost unanimous decisions to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in his last two fights.
His legacy in the sport is secure, but still he fights on. On Saturday, Cotto will face Dominican contender Delvin Rodriguez (28-6, 16 KO) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. A win won't bring either man a world title, but it would allow the victor an opportunity to pursue another run at the gold.
Here's how you can watch.
Fight Time: Undercard begins at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Date: Saturday, October 5
TV Info: HBO
The Book on Cotto
No One Has a More Impressive Battle List
His list of past opponents reads like a who's who of the sport from the past 10 years: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Austin Trout, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga and others have all been in the ring with Cotto.
He didn't beat them all, but he won enough against well-known fighters to make himself a legitimate future Hall of Famer. He's 5-4 against the aforementioned group.
No matter what happens on Saturday, Cotto's legacy won't be tarnished. He's been a warrior in the sport for 13 years.
The Book on Rodriguez
Last Chance at Glory?
The 33-year-old has had opportunities to win world titles, but he hasn't been able to get over the hump. He lost a narrow split decision to Isaac Hlatshwayo in 2008 for the vacant IBF welterweight title.
In 2012, Rodriguez was easily out-boxed by Austin Trout, when the latter was the WBA light middleweight champion. As big as those opportunities were, neither bout came against a legend like Cotto. This fight will also be broadcast by HBO, so the exposure opportunity is huge for Rodriguez.
Combine the major network with Cotto's name and potential vulnerability, and this is Rodriguez's biggest opportunity of his career.
Keys to Victory and Predictions
What Cotto Must Do to Win
Both men are better than average punchers, but few punch as hard as Cotto in the weight region. Junito is at a three-inch height and a 3.5-inch reach disadvantage. His biggest challenge will be getting inside to do damage. Counter body shots is the best weapon Cotto will have against Rodriguez.
The Dominican has a good chin, and he's mobile. As powerful as Cotto is, he isn't likely to turn out Rodriguez's lights with one shot. He'll need to put money in the bank with body shots early in hopes of cashing in late.
What Rodriguez Must Do to Win
Speed, agility and reach are all in Rodriguez's favor. At this point in Cotto's career, Rodriguez should have the faster hands and feet. Perhaps Rodriguez's most underrated punch is his left hook. He's good at landing it in very close quarters when he's lying on his opponent's left shoulder.
Often times, the opposition doesn't see it coming, and it lands with great force.
Rodriguez needs to pick his spots to exchange with Cotto on the inside. He must throw rapid combinations and disengage before Cotto can mount a rally. Mixing this strategy with jabs and movement from the outside could frustrate Cotto all night.
Who wins Cotto-Rodriguez?
The sport may be in for another decision that leaves a bad taste in our mouths. I can easily see Rodriguez out-boxing Cotto. However, the fight may have a good number of rounds that are mildly uneventful. In those types of frames, the bigger name fighter could get the benefit of the doubt.
I'm expecting Rodriguez to get the better of the legend, but for Cotto to win a close unanimous or split decision. Rodriguez could change this by pressing the action, which is something he usually does.
That said, his best game plan is to use his physical advantages to out-slick Cotto.
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