Martinez vs Cotto: BMB Predictions

On Saturday June 7, 2014 Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez will step into the ring against the challenger from Caguas, Miguel Cotto. This fight is for WBC Middleweight Title. But more than that, this fight represents multiple opportunities and possibilities. For Miguel, it means the possibility of becoming the first fighter in Puerto Rican history to win titles in four weight classes. It also means the possibility for a future fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. For Martinez,  this fight represents the defending of his middleweight crown but also solidifying himself as an elite fighter. In beating an A-Side fighter in Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez can add a reputable future hall of fame fighter to his boxing resume.

Both men are coming off wins. Cotto beat Delvin Rodriguez back in October of 2013 and Martinez beat Martin Murray in April of 2013. Cotto will come into the ring with more recent activity where as Maravilla will have had a whole year of absence from the ring. The question remains, will Martinez’s past injuries be a factor in this fight? Let’s see how the Blood Money Boxing team is predicting the outcome of this fight.

Jarrett Bato

The fight hype for Cotto-Martinez was a 100% immediately after the Mayweather fight, marketing the best thing they have going for the fight: there is no one with a clear advantage. Just for that small, significant, and delightful fact, I’m extremely happy, because all the fight fans I know and all around the world through twitter and facebook are excited about this fight. My Puerto Rican co-worker Julio is #teamcotto, and I am #teammaravilla since he took out Paul Williams. He predicts a 6th round stoppage, and I predict inline to Maravilla’s own prediction, a 9th round knockout. I am hoping that the fight goes the distance, personally, as the styles that will be displayed that night are very interesting theoretically.

Cotto’s brawling style has been tamed and refined somewhat by being in Roach’s stable, and given his last fight with Delvin Rodriguez, bringing in vintage-Cotto-style with strong left hooks felt by the light-middleweights, I think he is thriving under Roach’s guidance, bringing big power up weight classes.

Maravilla, however, has so many intangibles going for him, and against him too. His injuries, however much he claims healthy, will be a factor that Cotto will take advantage off immediately if he shows any sign of holding back in ring movement. But Maravilla’s strength in will and genius improvisation could steal the show if he is able to hurt Cotto, as Maravilla does have the power in his hands that brought bigger men down.

I think Maravilla’s mind will be the winning factor here, so much so that he will fulfill his own destiny and his prediction. #warmaravilla!

Sergio Martinez with the Win

Miguel Marino 

Home-court advantage is something that the ordinary boxing fan doesn’t normally associated with boxing. Fights occur sporadically throughout cities and venues that make it hard for fighters to call a venue their home. Well, there might be an exception.  Miguel Cotto boasts a proud 7-1 record at Madison Square Garden where he’ll face a “100% healthy” Sergio Martinez. Though Martinez is considered a slight favorite, I expect Cotto to be aggressive from the starting bell and land some quality punches. This will be closer than people think, but ultimately, the home-court advantage of the Madison Square Garden will favor Miguel Cotto.

Miguel Cotto via split-decision

Jose Hernandez 

Miguel Cotto wins a close decision 

Rudy Mondragon

This is the fight of what ifs? If Sergio Martinez is healthy, he should win a tough war. If his knee and hands are fine, he will be his usual self. If Sergio doesn’t blow up to more than 16 lbs, he will be able to maintain speed and fluidity. If Miguel Cotto brings back his signature left hook, he will be able to break down his opponent. If Cotto can outbox the athlete, he will make it a competitive fight that will go to the cards. In my honest opinion, I feel that a year off did Martinez well. He has healed. He will have ring rust, but he will command the ring, use his speed to counter attack, and when Cotto uses his signature two glove guard close to his temples, Martinez will make him pay with hard hooks that will connect to Cotto’s gloves, transferring pain to the mans head. Think Darren Barker fight. In beating Cotto to the punch, Martinez will draw blood midway into the fight and that is when Miguel will start to open up and go on survival mode. This is dangerous as Martinez will have more openings to execute. Look for a 10th round stoppage for your winner and still WBC Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez.

Sergio Martinez via 10th round TKO

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‘What If?’: Martinez vs Cotto

miguel-cotto-and-sergio-martinez

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: Bloodmoneyboxing

I just finished watching HBO’s 24/7 of Martinez versus Cotto or as Miguel the “A-Side” prefers it, Cotto versus Martinez. HBO 24/7 started off as a great show that gave fans an in depth look at two fighters leading up to their fight. Now, it’s turned into simply another promotional tool. What can we learn from the first of two episodes of Martinez vs Cotto HBO 24/7? Well, it’s the battle of the “What If’s.”

I had a good conversation with my good friend, Edgar Villeda. The man know’s his boxing, we’ve been watching it since our early high school days and continue to debate. His thoughts on this fight lean towards the Puerto Rican fighter. My thoughts and bias, are with Sergio Martinez. In our conversation, Edgar commented on my assessment and said, “bro, you got a lot of what if’s man!” He is right and this first episode of HBO 24/7 confirmed it.

For Martinez, the ‘What if’s’ revolve around his health and age. Will Martinez benefit from his year off? Has he healed from his fractured left hand injury suffered in his fight against Martin Murray? Has his shoulder and left knee healed after his year away from the ring? If Martinez is healthy and has benefited from that year off, it will allow for this athletic boxer to do what he does: Move like a general in the ring, out speed Cotto, and as a south paw, force Cotto to adjust and avoid his massive left hooks.

At the age of 39, Martinez could get old in his next fight. With a whole year off, in his late 30s, ring rust takes on a whole new definition. We also see older fighters doing big things however: Juan Manuel Marquez and Bernard Hopkins are two great examples of this. Having started his boxing career late and not seeing many wars in his boxing days, Martinez does not run a huge risk in getting old in this fight. But nonetheless, it is possible. If Martinez comes fresh and healthy into this fight, he will give Cotto hell.

Cotto is known for changing trainers like he changes his underwear. He has had one fight with Freddie Roach and that was a simple tune up fight. Biggest thing taken away from that fight was that the honeymoon between Roach and Cotto was great and that Cotto’s confidence was built after beating an under par boxer in Delvin Rodriguez. Changing trainers this late into one’s career is also not a panacea. Just as Robert Garcia once told me, when training Antonio Margarito, he wasn’t out to change Antonio’s style, but to work with what he had and best prepare him for his next fight. Same applies with Roach. Roach cannot change Cotto, but he can provide him with a great game plan. If that game plan is a superior one and Sergio comes into the ring under 100 percent, than Cotto has an opportunity to make history.

As the perceived A-Side, Miguel Cotto moves with a mentality of having the power to pick his opponents. When one picks their next opponent as the A-Side, one looks for fighters they can exploit and have the edge over. As Sergio Martinez said, if Cotto picked this fight based on Sergio’s performance against Martin Murray, then Cotto is in trouble. However, if Cotto picked this fight for that reason and Sergio performs at that same level, then Cotto’s career as a matchmaker has great promise!

Boxing is a sport with many dynamics. There are many things that can influence the outcome of a fight. Many of those happen before the first bell, during training camp, the physical and psychological health of a fighter, chemistry in each teams training camp, etc. Different set of factors come the night of the fight: how well each fighter recovers from the weight in from the day before, judges, referees, psychological warfare, and home court advantage. This fight is no different and because of the many “what if’s,” it makes this match up the best 2014 has seen.

Cotto vs Martinez: Who is the A-Side?

A Side

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: bloodmoneyboxing

In boxing, there has always been an “A Side” and a “B Side” when it comes to the two fighters stepping into the ring. Simply put, the “A Side” is the fighter who has the most power. I don’t mean punching power, I mean political power and leverage. Boxing is a business and fighters these days play multiple roles beyond their fighter role. They play the promoter role, the matchmaker role, and the negotiator. We see this done very well by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Miguel Cotto has said in an interview that he is the “A Side” and that the champion, Sergio Martinez, is the “B Side.” How is the “A Side” determined? Does it even matter any more if you are the legitimate champion? What are the factors that go into deciding one side of the coin over the other?

Below I will briefly discuss the different angles that can help us see more clearly who is the A and B Side between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez in their upcoming June 7th, 2014 fight, which will take place at the Garden in New York.

Promotion Company 

Miguel Cotto has been on and off with Top Rank. Top Rank is one of the top boxing promotion companies in the game. Miguel has been able to find a way to fight under the Top Rank banner both as a member of their stable and as an independent partner. The partnership that Miguel has with Top Rank provides him with power in the context of the fight against Martinez. Sergio is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, the smaller of the two boxing promotion companies. Their top fighter is Sergio Martinez, whereas Top Rank has a larger stable with multiple big names (Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Nonito Donaire, Juan M Marquez). As far as Promotional Companies, Miguel Cotto has the power and leverage here.

Round 1: Miguel Cotto 

Years Boxing

Next we look at the years both fighters have spent in professional boxing. The amount of years put into the sport are the dues one pays. In simply looking at these numbers, we see that Sergio Martinez has put in 17 professional years whereas Miguel Cotto has invested 13.

Round 2: Sergio Martinez 

Boxing Records 

The boxing records of these two reflect the amount of years they have put into the sport. Sergio Martinez has a record of 51-2-2, with 28 KOs. Miguel Cotto has a record of 38-4, with 31 KOs. The amount of wins is on Sergio’s side whereas the amount of KOs favors Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto has fought in his weight class (welterweight) and went up to light middleweight when he outgrew the 147 limit. Sergio on the other hand, had a hard time finding opponents at the 154 lbs limit and moved up to the 160 limit when he fought Kelly Pavlik. He has since stayed at that weight class and in 7 middle weight fights, he has secured 4 stoppages.

Round 3: Sergio Martinez 

Quality of Opponents 

Boxing records tell us a lot. An important thing to look at when analyzing a boxer’s record is the quality of their opponents. Below are the top 5 fighters Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez have faced:

Miguel Cotto:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr (Loss)
2. Manny Pacquiao (Loss)
3. Antonio Margarito (Loss and Won)
4. Shane Mosely (Won)
5. Zab Judah (Won)

Sergio Martinez

1. Paul Williams (Loss and Won)
2. Antonio Margarito (Loss)
3. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Won)
4. Kelly Pavlik (Won)
5. Kermit Cintron (Draw)

These opponents inform me that the quality of opponents faced favors Miguel Cotto.

Round 4: Miguel Cotto 

Title Defenses 

Lastly, in analyzing the records of Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, we see that Miguel has been in more title fights. Sergio has been in 19 title fights whereas Cotto has been in 27. The experience of being in title matches favors Miguel Cotto in this round.

Round 5: Miguel Cotto 

Current Champion

The current champion between these two is Sergio Martinez. He holds the WBC middleweight title. This round goes to Sergio Martinez.

Round 6: Sergio Martinez 

Fan Base

Fan base says a lot in boxing. Boxing is a national sport. A sport where fans uphold their nation and select a fighter to represent that land. In the case of Miguel Cotto, his fan base comes from the colonial USA commonwealth territory of Puerto Rico. Fight fans come in the bunches from Puerto Rico, having had the likes of Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho, Wilfred Gomez, and others. Argentina on the other hand, has not had the same kind of following in boxing until recently. Names like Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse, and Sergio Martinez as of the last 5 years have put Argentina on the map of popular boxing. Due to the richness of boxing in the Puerto Rican community, Miguel Cotto earns this round.

Round 7: Miguel Cotto

Pay-Per-View History

Business as usual. Boxing is a business and what drives the “A Side” majority of the time unfortunately is pay-per-view sales. Who can boxing exploit as their cash cow? In this case, it is Miguel Cotto. His top three pay-per-view events as well as Sergio’s are listed below:

Miguel Cotto:

1. vs Floyd Mayweather Jr (1.5 million sales, $94 million)
2. vs Manny Pacquiao (1.25 million sales, $70 million)
3. vs Antonio Margarito II (600k sales)

Sergio Martinez

1. vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (475k sales, $25 million)

Looking at the numbers alone, it is all Miguel Cotto. An argument can be made that Mayweather and Pacquiao drove those sales. Although the Argentine fan base is growing, there is no evidence that says that this will make a difference in the future ppv sales for this upcoming fight. Miguel Cotto’s track record in ppv sales speaks volumes and therefore earns Cotto another round.

Round 8: Miguel Cotto 

Conclusion 

So there you have it, 5 rounds to 3 for the winner, Miguel Cotto. Based on this, Miguel Cotto has the right to claim the “A Side.” It’s a wicked world when the “A Side” can be determined by the amount a fighter sales, promotional partnership, and fan base. More importance and emphasis on the quality of one’s opponents, title fights, and current title holder should hold more weight when making negotiations and writing out contracts. For a fighter who is not the champion, to say he is the “A Side” and validate that signals one of many problems that exists in the boxing world. Miguel Cotto is great, future Hall of Fame figure, but this fight is evenly matched with two “A Side” fighters. As Sergio Mora put it: