According to Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s), when he steps inside the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday night to challenge for the WBA (Super) light middleweight title, he will be facing an undefeated fighter in Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s).
This is because Floyd credits Miguel’s only two losses to an unfair advantage, to put it mildly.
In the case of his loss to Antonio Margarito, which Cotto avenged via a 10th round TKO in December, the allegations surrounding the use of “loaded gloves” is more than enough to warrant a no-contest. For Cotto’s second loss, which ironically came at the hands of Mayweather’s rival Manny Pacquiao, the challenger contests Cotto was weight-drained.
I have no problem what so ever giving Cotto a pass for his loss to Margarito even though it was never proven he fought with plaster in his wraps on that particular night. But as far as his one-sided loss to Pacquiao that ended by TKO in the 12th round, I beg to differ.My reasoning is very simple, Cotto was the WBO welterweight title holder on the night he faced Pacquiao, the challenger. In fact, it was the ninth straight time over a 3-year span that Cotto fought at 147 lbs.
Granted he may have had some difficulty making weight by that point, which is supported by the fact Cotto moved up to 154 lbs after the loss, the bottom line is that he was the defending champion. So there was absolutely nothing mercenary done on Pacquiao’s part.
I have to give Floyd a plethora of credence for making this fight on Saturday happen and moving up in weight to challenge for the WBA light middleweight strap. Prior to his negotiations with the “Money Team,” Cotto was being courted for a rematch with Pacquiao.
The reason the deal couldn’t be made was due to the stipulation the fight would take place at welterweight. At this point in his career Cotto stated he would not be willing to subject his body to the demands of cutting that much weight, and when Pacquiao refused to meet at light middleweight, the deal was discharged and Mayweather stepped in.
That’s the backdrop of this highly anticipated title fight and though many believe this to be a relatively even match-up, the odds makers profoundly disagree. The current odds listed at sports books along the Vegas Strip list the challenger Mayweather as a -700 betting favorite to capture his eighth world championship belt.
The take-back on the title holder Cotto are a generous +500. A look at the Over/Under for “Rounds” suggest the decision will be left in the hands of the judges at 9.5 rounds with the Over a -230 favorite.
The challenger is undefeated for a reason, no fighter has been able to put together a blueprint that’s presented any real problems for Mayweather, let alone one that’s capable of actually beating him. When I spoke with his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather right before their fight against Victor Ortiz, he was convincing that none even exists and since 42 have tried and 42 have failed, it’s difficult to dispute.
The certain first-ballot Hall of Famer has proven to be one of the greatest counter punchers of all time, who possesses an almost impenetrable defense that’s founded on the old-school shoulder roll that he’s perfected.
Cotto will need to have a lot of success with his jab and attempt to do all of his work off it. To do so, he must break the habit of lowering his right hand when he snaps the jab, otherwise he’ll remain open to Mayweather’s lead straight right hand. He is a natural left hander that fights from the orthodox stance which is why Cotto’s had such success utilizing a switch-hit to fluster opponents.
Defensively, Cotto likes to get low and covers up rather well. But his ineffectiveness to tie an opponent up when he gets hurt is a shortcoming that can lead to his undoing against someone like Mayweather that appears to have the desire to finish fights this late in his career.
Many believe that Cotto maintains the best footwork of any Mayweather’s past opponents and being four years younger, he’ll have some advantages in this fight.
There is never any question as to Mayweather’s conditioning and after having the privilege of witnessing a workout, I can attest that few athletes push themselves that hard. It’s no secret that Pedro Diaz knows how to physically prepare a fighter, being a doctor of pedagogical sciences and having trained world champion boxers and Olympians in Cuba. So we should see an optimum version of Cotto for this fight.
Finally, though Cotto may be the bigger man when he faces Mayweather as far as weight is concerned, the challenger will have a 5 inch reach advantage and even a 1 inch edge in height. The last time Mayweather fought at 154 lbs, which was also the only time he’s done so, he beat Oscar De La Hoya for WBC gold.
Though Cotto enjoys a higher KO ratio (77% to 61%) over Mayweather, I believe Floyd has deceptive power that’s greatly underrated.
Cotto is prone to cuts and has accumulated a lot of scar tissue throughout a career that’s included some wars. When coupled with Mayweather’s superior hand speed and accuracy, I would not be at all surprised to see the champion’s corner having to deal with cuts throughout the fight.
In the end, though we may be in for a fan friendly bout especially early on, it should be only a matter of time before Mayweather penetrates Cotto’s defense and begins to land the bigger shots. I can only remember maybe two rounds in the last 40 plus that an opponent has gotten the better of Mayweather so I can’t see Cotto winning a decision.
If you plan on backing the underdog in this fight, I highly recommend betting the KO/TKO/DQ which pays better than +800.
Myself, the only way I can bet this fight is by taking Floyd Mayweather. I am hoping that like usual, there will be plenty of recreational bettors willing to lay small money on Cotto for a possible big payday if he’s able to score the upset.
Let’s face it, HBO’s 24/7 does a masterful job of making a mega-fight appear much more competitive than it usual results in being. Plus I’ve been to enough Mayweather bouts over the years here in Las Vegas to know that just as many fans come out hoping to see him lose, as do those that come to support him.
Therefore, the betting line almost always drops as the fight draws near especially on the day of. If that’s the case once again, then I will happily walk to the betting window and make an investment on Mayweather, which I expect to be rewarded for in less than an hour’s time.
For those that aren’t willing to lay the chalk to back the challenger that night, I would urge you to instead bet Mayweather by KO/TKO/DQ, which pays nicely at +145 at the moment and should ultimately climb as well. PICK: MAYWEATHER
MOSLEY vs. ALVAREZ
The co-main event pits the undefeated WBC light middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 Ko’s) against the 40 year old challenger Shane Mosely (46-7-1-1, 39 KO’s). “Canelo” as he’s referred to is one of the sports brightest stars, while “Sugar Shane” has not won a fight since 2009.
Odds makers do not expect that to change and have made the Alvarez a -900 betting favorite to retain his title. The take-back on Mosley is +600 and that should climb since few believe he’s got any chance after his last few fights, which include a draw to Sergio Mora.
Simply put, it’s not Mosley’s age that makes me almost certain he will be unable to beat the 21 year old champion because experience can go a long way. Instead, it’s the fact that he’s become gun-shy over his last few bouts and when a fighter isn’t able to let his hands go anymore, even when he’s got an opening, it’s definitely time to walk away from the sport.
The price on Alvarez may be too high to justify placing a wager on him to win but adding him to a parlay to increase the payout is definitely an option. Also, take a look at the payback for a win by KO/TKO/DQ because this kid is without a doubt a “finisher” and he will undoubtedly want to win by devastating fashion for this pay-per-view event that should do huge numbers.
He obviously wants to put his name in the hat for potential opponents to face Mayweather and since he’s represented by Golden Boy, it’s surely a deal that could eventually be made. But first, he’ll need to pad his resume and continue attracting fans in an attempt to stir up some interest. Therefore, the goal here will be to do something that both Mayweather and Pacquiao could not do, finish Shane Mosely.
RECORD 48-27 (64%) at Pregame.com
Vegas-Runner, a pro sports bettor in Las Vegas, has been featured on CNBC/ESPN and currently holds the record for “Most Units Won” in a single year at the Sports Monitor. Follow VR on Twitter @vegasrunner and at Pregame.com.
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