Miguel Cotto's next fight should be one of the tougher ones in his career as he will step into the ring with IBF welterweight champion, Joshua Clottey. The fight will take place next Saturday night as it will bring Cotto back to Madison Square Garden on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in June.
A fight between these two is a very intriguing matchup.
This will be the real test to see if Cotto has fully recovered from the Margarito fight. Clottey will definitely be a real tough challenge for Cotto, and certainly has the skills to win himself. Cotto should be the favorite for this fight, but not by much.
In a tale of things to come, after Cotto's win over Michael Jennings on February 21st at Madison Square Garden, Clottey was the first to crash the post-fight press conference promising some pain for Cotto if they did hook up.
"If they put me in with Miguel, I promise you that I would stop him. That's if he even would step in the ring with me. We'll see," Clottey said.
Clottey is going to be a very tough opponent for Cotto and is avoided by most fighters for good reason.
When Antonio Margarito defeated Cotto, everyone thought that Antonio's next fight would try to unify the beltswith a second fight against Clottey.
In that fight, Clottey was ripping short left hooks and jabs with tremendous hand speed. Early in the fight, Clottey won the second, third and fourth rounds on two of three scorecards. In the third, he stunned Margarito with a right hand to the head and repeatedly landed four- and five-punch combinations.
After the fourth round, Clottey came to his corner complaining of pain in his left hand. From that point, his work rate slowed and he absorbed tremendous punishment for the remainder of the match. However, he had demonstrated his abilities against a good opponent.
Clottey doesn't pack a knockout punch but he does hit hard enough to cause damage. Clottey has an iron chin and his defensive skills are very good. Clottey's biggest flaw is his lack of speed. He also tends to start slow in some fights.
Cotto's much-quicker hands and overall movement would be his biggest weapons. Joshua Clottey is no Michael Jennings and I give Cotto a lot of creditfor taking this fight. Like I said earlier, Clottey is one of those fighters that boxer's don't want to fight because he is dangerous.
Clottey does have a good chance to pull the upset but he is going to need a knockdown of some kind. If he remains overly defensive and gives away too many rounds at MSG on the eve of the Puerto Rican parade, there is no way he can win a decision. He must, at least, knock Cotto down to get a decision on June 13th.
But I just don't see it happening.
For Cotto, the big key for him is going to be his body punching. Clottey has a habit of keeping his hands so high that he exposes the body a lot and Cotto is as lethal as anyone in the sport when it comes to body punching.
It should make for a great fight and could be career-defining for each man. If Clottey wins, it will be his biggest win of his career, no longer be considering him a no-name. If Cotto wins, it will show, once and for all, that the Margarito fight is behind him. Then, he can be considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.