"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
~Mike Tyson

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Weekend One-Two: Miguel Cotto Strikes A Deal

Enough Is Enough

Miguel Cotto
Photo: boxrec.com
There are very few happy endings in boxing. Being a proud breed, boxers often stick around long after their prime has faded from view. Be it their love of the sport, an inability to accept that their time has passed, or a career's worth of mismanaged finances, boxers always seem to find a reason to extend their careers and seldom does that turn out well, at least in the long term. In the short term however, shop worn fighters in the late twilight of their careers can pad their bank accounts (and records) with safe fights, layups, exhibition bouts...call them what you will. Though his career extension plan was put into play several years ago, it was announced yesterday, May 31st, 2017 that Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto had signed a multi-fight deal with promotional outfit Golden Boy Promotions.

If you only read Twitter headlines and/or skim through boxing articles it would be easy to walk away believing that Oscar De La Hoya's promotional firm would merely be promoting the next couple of the future hall of famer's fights. Those who dig a little deeper however know that Miguel Cotto hasn't given GBP full promotional control over his career. Instead the fading star has formed a partnership with Golden Boy who will be acting as Cotto's co-promoter for the next couple of fights. Oscar De La Hoya and company will also be working with some of the prospects Miguel Cotto has signed to his own promotional firm. As it stands now there are plans to feature Cotto's stable of young prospects on ESPN cards in the coming months. Be sure to check out Montero On Boxing's video for more on this deal, it's good stuff.

Mike Montero on the Cotto/Golden Boy deal

While the latter part of this deal is certainly good for the sport, good for fans, and for the young fighters involved count me among the seemingly few that just aren't excited about seeing Miguel Cotto fight. Don't get me wrong, Cotto was a very good and exciting fighter in his prime but as is often the case with fighters who take a severe beating, Antonio Margarito robbed Miguel Cotto of much more than his undefeated record back on July 26th of 2008. The pre-Margarito Cotto hit much harder than the post-Margarito version of the fighter. He was also more aggressive, took more risks, was faster, and seemed to be more concerned with winning than he was with surviving.

David Lemieux
Photo: http.cdn.softlayer.ne
I guess I have to ask, why is anyone but Miguel Cotto excited about his deal with Golden Boy Promotions? Cotto believes he is bigger than the sport, having a skill advantage isn't enough so he weight drains larger and less talented fighters to give himself an additional advantage, he uses catchweights as a shield rather than as a way to make interesting fights, he's a part time fighter, and he hasn't even looked great against the mediocre competition he's fought after the first Margarito fight.

There is talk of a fight between Miguel Cotto and hard hitting Canadian David Lemieux (38-3 33Ko's). Shame on any boxing fan or pundit that wants to see that fight. Do we really want to see Cotto force a man down to another catchweight, especially a man that's had trouble making weight in the recent past? I am interested in watching fights between two combatants whom are as close to their best as possible. Should that fight even be made at 160 lbs I still have little interest in it because at this stage of Cotto's career Lemieux brutalizes and stops him before round 6. David is too young, too big, too strong, and too ferocious for the now timid Cotto. If Cotto wants to fight on I won't bemoan his decision to do so, however I haven't any interest in watching and I don't want to see his cherry picking and love of catchweights keep more important or meaningful fights from coming to fruition. Miguel Cotto isn't going to be effective with any top name in the sport at this point and watching faded champions cherry pick their way into retirement is not something I have much interest in. 

Mikey Garcia vs Adrien Broner

Announced just this morning, Mikey Garcia and Adrien Broner have reached a deal for a fight on July 29th, 2017. Although one could be very critical of this fight since it's a clear mismatch in favor of the vastly more skilled Garcia, this fight should actually be fun...at least while it lasts. In Broner we have a man who's dedication to the sport has long been in question. Moreover his extra curricular actives have landed the clownish and sophomoric boxer in some real hot water. If "The Can Man" comes into the fight at his best he could make the fight interesting and his antics in the lead up to and during the fight should make for some buffoonish entertainment and low brow laughs. Again, this may not be a big test for the lethal Garcia but it will be entertaining simply because of Broner's involvement.

Adrien Broner almost won an AVN Award for his
performance vs Marcos Maidana

Adonis Stevenson vs Andrzej Fonfara

This weekend's rematch between Adonis Stevenson and Andrzej Fonfara is a fight no one asked for and is the next in Stevenson's ongoing irrelevant and pathetic reign as WBC Light Heavyweight champion. Stevenson isn't a man interested in sport, legacy, his WBC title, or pushing himself in any way. Instead the Haitian born Canadian seems interested only in those paths which offer little resistance; for the boxing uninitiated that's boxing lingo for "easy money". In their first meeting Fonfara hurt and dropped the seemingly fragile Stevenson but ended up losing a unanimous decision to the champion. That was back in 2014 mind you and in the three years since, Stevenson has had some shaky moments against ham and eggers. Fonfara on the other hand has gone 4-1 in his last 5 since losing to Stevenson. While that may seem impressive he hasn't looked great recently and I expect Adonis Stevenson to knock him out before the fight reaches round 6. Stevenson may be aging, his skills may have eroded, and he may be largely inactive but he still has the eraser in his left hand and he'll still be the more talented fighter when they meet this weekend.

Enjoy the fights!

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split Decision Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.


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