After the former undefeated champion Miguel Cotto tasted his first defeat, he wasn’t been himself for most of his career. The proud Puerto Rican with a confidence bordering into cockiness was humbled in defeat. He was considered boxing’s biggest superstar at that time. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. tried to evade him and only fought Cotto when he was half the fighter he once was. Going to the fight with Antonio Margarito, even though it wasn’t an easy matchup, everyone thought Miguel would easily dispatch the slow footed Margarito who only knew one direction which is to move forward. But after a series of power shots after power shots, Miguel Cotto on the 11th round took a knee as his father throw down the towel signaling the end of the fight. It was one of boxing’s biggest rivalry at that time, and on the biggest stage and with the world looking in, Miguel Cotto with his bloodied and grotesque face, failed to get his WBA title back, and failed people’s expectations. The confidence, the cloak of invincibility and those stinging body punches has slowly lost its power.
Seven years after, Miguel will be fighting for another Puerto Rico – Mexico rivalry. He will be up against a hungry fighter in Saul Canelo Alvarez, a relentless power punching brawler who fights similarly to Cotto. Canelo had only one defeat, and that was against Floyd Mayweather Jr. But it wasn’t much of a fight. We all know Floyd will use every ounce of area on the four cornered boxing ring. But with Cotto this is going to be war. And this would really end ugly. There won’t be any running this time, and there won’t be any need for the judges’ decision because this would end early. Miguel knows his experience would be a big factor going to the fight. A young fighter fights with emotions on his gloves. If Cotto will just stick to the plan and not trade punches with Canelo, it would be enough to frustrate him.
Cotto had to learn that lesson the hard way. He was young, he was cocky and he fought angry against Margarito. He was a technical fighter, dissecting every opponent operating from inside the body and finishing it with head shots. But against Margarito it was the other way around. Even though Antonio Margarito’s boxing license got suspended after he fought Shane Mosley, in which Mosley’s trainer found a plaster hidden in Margarito’s wrapped hands before the fight. But we could only make assumptions, on his fight with Cotto. But none the less the damage has been done and it took years before Miguel found peace on that fight.
At 35 years old and nearing retirement, everything is essential now for Miguel Cotto, without his defeat against Margarito, he would never be the fighter he is now.
Long before the bright lights of Mandalay Bay starts to flicker, darkness surrounds the area. This was a place Miguel has been before. Never will he be on that place again… and if the inevitable happens, he simply knows the way out.
In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.
Come this Saturday, a different Miguel Cotto emerges.