Miguel Cotto stole the spotlight on Saturday night and he didn’t even win.
Mark Sanchez, Lil Wayne, P. Diddy and the nation’s biggest stars showed up to see Floyd Mayweather shine. All eyes were on Pretty Boy Floyd from his ring entrance side-by-side with Justin Bieber and 50 Cent to when he raised his gloves in triumph. But Cotto’s heroics in defeat exposed a fighter that was just supposed to be another win for Pretty Boy Floyd.
Here are five things that we learned about Cotto in his loss to Money Mayweather.
5. He Isn’t Talented Enough to Beat Mayweather
Cotto walked out of MGM Grand Garden Arena with no regrets. He took advantage of every opportunity to land a blow to Mayweather’s bloody nose that presented itself. But despite delivering a challenge beyond all expectation, Cotto’s valiant effort wasn’t even close to dethroning the champ.
4. He’s a Respectable Competitor
Cotto repeatedly tapped gloves with Mayweather throughout the fight following accidental scuffles. At one point, Cotto drove Mayweather out of the ropes with a charge, but yet again, he reached out to offer a glove of respect. After being declared the loser, Cotto didn’t whine or demand a rematch, but he told the press (via ESPN):
"The judges said I lost the fight; I can't do anything else. I'm happy with my fight and performance and so is my family. I can't ask for anything else."
3. He Possesses a Heart of a Champion
Opposing fighters train to beat Mayweather—a feat deserving of the label impossible until proven otherwise. But simply lasting 12 rounds against him is difficult enough. Going into the sixth, Floyd’s uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather said of Cotto, "He's ready to quit."
He didn't quit.
2. He Isn’t Done
Cotto turns 32 years old in October. After 40 career fights, he’s on the backend of his career. And after a 32-0 start to that career followed by three losses in his last eight bouts, retirement would’ve be flashing brightly on Cotto’s radar with a Saturday-night slaughter.
But after hanging with arguably the best boxer in the world, Cotto showed that he still has plenty of fight left in him.
1. He’s No. 3
At the conclusion of the 12th round, Mayweather praised Cotto telling him: "You're a hell of a champion. You're the toughest guy I ever fought." Coming from one of the least humble athletes on the face of the planet, that admiration is an honor. No matter which fighter you rank No. 1 and 2 between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Cotto’s name better be listed at No. 3.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.