Cotto vs. Clottey: Keeping Pace In The Welterweight Division

Gary Johnson@BMIAWEBContributor IJune 12, 2009

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 21:  Miguel Cotto celebrates a 5th round TKO over Michael Jennings in their WBO World Welterweight title bout at Madison Square Garden on February 21, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)


By Chris Johnson

 Saturday night is a huge night for both Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey. Both men will battle it out in a fight to keep pace in the exciting welterweight division. Cotto is the champion in this fight but Clottey is a legit contender, and has a real chance of winning.

Boxing is all about match ups, and both Cotto and Clottey are offensive fighters. This bout has all the makings of an offensive slugfest. Cotto is a devastating body puncher but showed that a big puncher can give him problems. Clottey is the big puncher that could pose the same problem Antonio Margarito was able to do. Margarito exposed a lot of Cotto’s defensive shortcomings in his knockout victory over the then undefeated Cotto. Even after his devastating defeat, Cotto is right in the thick of things in the welterweight division. A win Saturday will help redeem him and help the fans forget about his knockout loss.

Joshua Clottey is not as well known as Miguel Cotto but has proven himself against the same caliber of opponents. I recently reviewed some of Clottey’s fights in recent years. Clottey has wins over fighters such as Zab Judah and the late Diego Corrales. The only to losses on his résumé are:  Carlos Baldomir and Antonio Margarito, two guys who aren’t exactly known as scrubs. Margarito knocked out Cotto.  Don’t forget that the fight with Baldomir was controversial because Clottey was disqualified. Also Clottey was not knocked out by Margarito.

Saturday’s fight is pivotal for both fighters because the welterweight division is loaded with talent. With names like Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao, Williams, Marquez and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.  The welterweight division is where the money is right now. Everybody wants to fight Pacquiao because of the pay day. One mistake and you could drop out of the picture like a lead balloon. The same is true for Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who is preparing for a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Boxing needs to keep riding on the success of the welterweight division to combat the growing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA). Fortunately for boxing the welterweight division is providing enough excitement and star power to keep its fan base. This Cotto-Clottey fight should be an exciting fight which is what boxing needs more than anything. Some believe that a boring fight could lead boxing fans to MMA. That’s not likely to happen.  Boxing purists might peek at MMA but they will never leave boxing.

The bottom line is this fight should be a great action packed bout. Both of these fighters need a big win to stay in the mix in the busy Welterweight decisions. This is a big chance for Miguel Cotto to really bounce back and get a win on the big stage. As for Clottey, this is his chance to break into the elite ranks of the division. A win for Clottey could mean an even bigger payday with all of the big names in the division. The time for talking and speculation ends Saturday night. It’s a fight that shouldn’t disappoint!