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Miguel Cotto Vs. Joshua Clottey: The "Hitter" a Live Underdog

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)
Greg RiotAnalyst IJune 12, 2009

As boxing betting fans know, the welterweight division is the best division in the sport right now. Any way one can qualify the strength of a division—star power, competition, opportunity to make money—the online sports betting and pay per view numbers go through the roof whenever a fight is contested at 147.

One look at the welterweight roster and one can understand why this is the case: Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, Paul Williams, Andre Berto, Ricky Hatton.

But lost in the shuffle, despite sparkling records, and a title belt on the line, is the contest between Miguel Cotto and Joshua "Hitter" Clottey on June 13.

It is a testament to the logjam at 147 that a sold out event in the middle of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, at Madison Square Garden, for the WBO Welterweight strap could possibly be overlooked by those examining boxing odds.

In reality, this is one of the biggest fights of the year, and will have huge ramifications on the division as a whole.

Cotto is still looked upon as one of the few remaining cash cows in boxing, with both his ability to draw in New York City, and large following abroad. Beyond his tilt with Clottey, fights with Mosley, Williams, and even Pacquiao have been proposed.

However, if he were to lose the fight, his stock would drop dramatically. Not only would he have lost his belt, but he would also have lost two fights in a row (although his loss to Antonio Margarito is disputed, given the infamous hand wrapping controversy).

For Clottey, he truly has nothing to lose, but everything to gain in this bout, as evidenced by the fact that the Ghanian is a 3-1 underdog on the boxing odds listed at the BetUS sportsbook website.

Most of those who bet on boxing regularly are drooling at these odds, considering that Clottey's only loss came at the (possibly plastered) hands of Antonio Margarito.

Moreoever, Clottey was ahead on the scorecards through six rounds, before breaking his hand on Margarito's head, and being forced into retreat. Meanwhile, Cotto has looked very human against both Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, both in his home arena.

The boxing lines also fail to reflect the turmoil taking place in Cotto's corner at the moment. Cotto's uncle, Evangelista, was involved in a fist fight in their native Puerto Rico, prompting Miguel to promote his nutritionist to a training position for this event. Can Miguel really handle the preparation essentially on his own? Surely, Joshua Clottey is a bit too complicated for a nutritionist!

Those betting on boxing this weekend really have one decision to make: Does the intangible of Cotto fighting in front of his own rabid fans out-weight that of really not having a trainer?

Delay the parade, because the sports betting value on boxing lines this weekend in New York City is solely in favor of Joshua Clottey.

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