Published Saturday, May 5, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.
Updated Saturday, May 5, 2012 | 9:44 p.m.
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- Miguel Cotto cites ‘great chemistry’ with his trainer for newfound confidence
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Floyd Mayweather Jr. weathered the challenge from Miguel Cotto and came out a perfect 43-0, winning a unanimous decision for his eighth world title.
The judges scored the fight 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110, all for Mayweather.
Cotto presented a great challenge and looked, at least to me, like he was winning the fight in the middle rounds. The key was putting Mayweather in the corners and on the ropes.
Once Mayweather was able to keep himself out of those situations, though, he started to take over and finished with an absolute flourish in the championship rounds.
In the ring after the fight Mayweather said he wanted to give the fans what they want, a fight with Manny Pacquaio. He said the only thing holding it up is Bob Arum, which is a bit of a conflict with Mayweather's impassioned speech four days ago about the concerns for his health and accusations that Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs.
Of course in boxing, it's tough to tell if you're ever getting a straight answer. We'll see what Mayweather says about it in the post-fight press conference.
Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report from tonight's fight.
Mayweather put some big shots on Cotto in the final round, but instead of going for the knockout he settled for what should have been the round and probably the victory by decision.
While Cotto controlled the fight in the middle rounds by keeping his opponents on the ropes, Mayweather was able to fight his way out of it and land some shots at the end that brought a great fight to an exciting finish.
The rapid exchanges picked up in the final minute of the round as both men, though clearly slowed a bit, are still firing their punches with a lot of authority and trying to win the decisive rounds.
Barring a miracle, this is going to a decision and the action has been so good that it could got to either man at this point. Entering the final round, it's possible that Mayweather is about to lose the first fight of his career.
Mayweather started enticing shots from Cotto, hoping to get something with a counter-punch but so far Cotto hasn't given him the space to do it.
Still, when the action is out in the open, as it was again in the tenth, the fighters are very even. Mayweather took the 10th on my card, pulling him even with Cotto heading into the championship rounds.
Cotto needs to dictate the action again in order to get the victory. Meanwhile, Mayweather just has to hope he can keep dancing away from it.
Mayweather kept the action in the middle and with that may have taken a round with that tactic.
Heading into the final rounds, it's very possible that both men will start gunning for the knockout as neither wants to leave this in the judges' hands.
Cotto went back to his strength and forced Mayweather into a corner and along one side of the ring. Every time Mayweather tried to get to the center, Cotto used an arm to keep him pinned and just followed him along the side.
As long as Mayweather fails to land punches when they're close like that, Cotto's going to have the advantage. Both men have been equal out in the open, but Cotto is killing Mayweather everywhere else.
I've got it Cotto 77-75.
With about a minute left in the round, something woke Mayweather up.
He started firing his right with more authority, bounced around more and stayed away from the corners. The round was so close, though, that it may not have been enough on the judges' scorecards.
Mayweather doesn't lose many rounds, but through seven he's in a bit of trouble here.
Smiling the entire time, Mayweather is getting knocked around by Cotto right now. The shots don't seem to be affecting him too much, hence the smile, but he's leaving himself open and Cotto is finding the holes.
But Mayweather hasn't lost any speed, and he can still use combinations, something he doesn't do much but could certainly pull out if need be.
And right now, it need be.
Cotto's continued success of putting Mayweather in a corner or against the ropes is the biggest advantage either fighter has so far.
Mayweather doesn't have room to breath, and Cotto's the only one who's been able to land some meaningful shots in close corners. Mayweather continues to shake them off, but make no mistake, he's feeling it. Another round of Cotto, who has taken three out of five.
Mayweather wobbled Cotto's legs with a series of shots in the center of the ring as the hometown boy tried to reassert himself as the aggressor in this fight. It worked only for a moment.
After shaking off the hits, Cotto against trapped Mayweather in a corner and landed a series of shots that forced Mayweather to run around to the opposite side. This was the closest round so far and also had the most important shots as far as setting up a possible, but unlikely, knockout.
Mayweather got trapped in the same corner midway through the third round and had to fight his way out of another barrage of Cotto's shots.
Cotto has started to find some opening's in Mayweather's defense, and whether they're in the center of the ring or on the ropes he looks very comfortable. Cotto isn't intimidated at all.
In this round Mayweather made the more convincing shots, but Cotto had far more of them and he takes a 29-28 advantage on my card.
Mayweather has barely moved his right hand away from his right chin, because he's doing just fine with all of his left jabs.
He's landing them mostly to Cotto's stomach while a few have gone to the head as well.
There was a brief gasp from the crowd when Cotto sort of picked up Mayweather against the ropes, but it was incidental. Things did pick up in the final minute, though, with Cotto landing a few shots while Mayweather was pinned against the ropes. In fact, that exchange may have been enough to give Cotto the advantage in the second round.
Mayweather and Cotto took few chances in the opening round. Mayweather mostly used his left jab to feel out Cotto's reactions while Cotto took some shots but mostly came up empty as Mayweather easily ducked out of the way.
Clearly no one wanted to win or lose this one in the first three minutes, but it did pick up a bit towards the end. Mayweather is playing his one-punch and then defend himself technique, though a couple of times he mixed it up.
Cotto will look to land a few of those big swings in the next round.
How Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights is really up to him.
Most of the time he’s a master technician, so skilled at getting in a well-placed punch and then retreating to safety. That type of style is the most frustrating for both his opponent and fans who want to see boxers mix it up with combinations.
It’s also what he will most likely do tonight against Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
But Mayweather is also an entertainer. He not only wants to win, he wants you to enjoy watching him do it.
On May 1, 2010, against Shane Mosley, Mayweather abandoned his regular tactic early in the fight for a more toe-to-toe style that resulted in a lot of rapid exchanges. Mayweather said after the fight, which he won by unanimous decision, that he traded blows because he wanted to give the fans a good show.
Think he’s just full of it? That’s possible. But considering his skill level you’d be silly to completely discount the idea that Mayweather may tailor his attack to both win and keep the crowd happy.
On the other side, Cotto doesn’t care one bit what the crowd thinks. This is the biggest fight of his career, a chance to end Mayweather’s undefeated streak prove to himself and everyone else that he’s as good as he ever was.
Oscar De La Hoya said Cotto doesn’t care if the crowd boos him. That’s an unlikely scenario but the point is clear: he’s here to fight. Nothing more.
So if Mayweather wants to keep the crowd into the fight early, he’ll stand in the center of the ring and attack the larger Cotto. He’ll smile and dance around a little bit. But more than he wants people to get their money’s worth, Mayweather wants to win. And the best way to do that in this fight is the calculated and precise defensive style that had made him a millionaire.
Cotto’s challenge is to force Mayweather out of that rhythm. One way to do that would be to fight a similar style. If Cotto were able to land a few more punches in the first couple of rounds while keeping himself protected, Mayweather would then have to open up a bit more to try to win some rounds.
But there’s a reason Mayweather’s undefeated. He rarely loses rounds, let alone fights, and beating him at his own game is just as difficult as forcing him out of his comfort zone.
Perhaps Cotto’s best chance tonight is also the simplest: land a couple of big shots to the head of Mayweather, who rarely gets hit hard. Like everything else, that’s easier said than done and no matter what he tries to do Cotto will likely need some luck to pull off the +500 upset.
With Mayweather again in top physical condition and at least a couple of questions about his opponent, this one feels like another Mayweather victory by decision.
Whether that’s entertaining, I guess, is really up to you.
Alvarez dismantles Mosley for a unanimous decision victory
Canelo Alvarez had a world title, the crowd and, most importantly, age on his side in Saturday night’s co-main event against Shane Mosley. And he used all three to crush Mosley for 12 rounds in a unanimous decision victory.
Alvarez, who retained his WBC welterweight title, used his powerful left hook early and often, going to Mosley’s body and jaw to wear down the man nearly twice his age.
“I got beat by a better man tonight,” Mosley said.
The judges scored the bout 119-110, 118-111 and 119-110. Alvarez dominated the fight from the opening bell, but it was actually exciting throughout.
While Alvarez was landing far more shots, Mosley kept swinging and exchanging in the center of the ring and along the ropes. Mosley was clearly much slower than his opponent, but to his credit he kept fighting and continued to challenge the young champion. It wasn’t nearly enough.
Alvarez is undefeated and heading toward the top. Mosley made it interesting, but he was nothing more than a stepping stone.