Cotto Seeks to
Deliver in Showcase Fight
RING Magazines #1 welterweight Miguel Cotto (31-0, 25 KOs)
faces off against Contender alum Alfonso Gomez (18-3, 8 KOs) this Saturday on
HBO. The bout will be for Cottos WBA title. Gomez is coming off a decision
over a shot Ben Tackie last October, while Cotto secured a hard fought decision
win over Shane Mosely in November.
Theres a huge disparity in skill level between these two.
Cotto is the more accurate and powerful puncher. The Puerto Rican star also is
a better boxer, having a superb jab and better handspeed.
Gomez likely has the better chin, since hes fought as high
as 160 and has not been KOd. However in this fight that will probably only
ensure that he takes a few more rounds of brutal punishment. Bob Arum has made
this fight to make Cotto look good. Gomez cannot outbox Cotto on the outside,
nor can be outwork him on the inside.
I like Cotto by TKO corner stoppage around round 8. Itll be
entertaining early, as Gomez will exchange and take advantage of Cottos
tendency to start slow. But by round 4 Cottos superior skill and debilitating
body shots will slowly break down Gomez. His toughness will make some of those
last rounds difficult to watch as Cotto works him over. Gomez is not a big
puncher, so its unlikely he can land a peach of a punch to gain an upset.
Its expected that Cotto will unify with the winner of
Cintron/Margarito, ensuring a clear challenger for Floyd Mayweathers linear
RedemptionIBF welterweight champ Kermit Cintron (29-1, 27 KOs) will
face dangerous Antonio Margarito (35-5, 25 KOs) in the co-feature. Cintron
suffered an embarrassing fifth round KO loss to Margarito back in 2005. Since
that loss Cintron has entrusted his career to Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel
Steward, whos guided the heavy handed titlist to wins over David Estrada,
Walter Matthysse, and Jesse Feliciano. Margaritos two notable opponents since
the first bout include a hard fought decision over Joshua Clottey, and a close
loss to Paul Williams.
Margarito hasnt changed much from 2005. Hes still a limited
boxer, but he has endless stamina and size which enables him to wear down
opponents. Cintron has become an Emmanuel Steward fighter, which means he now
uses his jab very well to establish distance and set up powerful right hand
shots. While Cintron has always been a good puncher, Steward has maximized his
punching power as seen in his brutal knockout of Walter Matthyse. But will that
be enough to stop Margarito?I dont think so. I pick Margarito by 10th round TKO. Antonio has a sturdy chin and will be able to withstand the bombs that Cintron
will land. So the question becomes will Cintron maintain his composure when
Margarito inevitably presses his attacks in the second half? Hints can be seen
in Cintrons wins against Estrada and Feliciano, where they were able to rattle
and win rounds from Kermit with sheer pressure and volume punching. Margarito
will bring double that pressure and I feel Cintron will again get discouraged
and have flashbacks from the first fight.
However, Cintron is a live dog here and an upset would not
surprise me. If he wins, itll be behind his improved jab which will keep
Margaritos wild hook attacks at bay.
Woods and Tarver Exchange Pleasantries
IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Clinton Woods (41-3, 24 KOs)and Antonio Tarver (26-4, 19 KOs) escalated their war of words this past weekend. Tarver was in rare form, see for yourself.
Woods is a tough swarmer wholl put immense pressure on the
slowed Tarver. Last year unheralded Elvir Muriqi found success when he forced
Tarver to the ropes and worked the body. To counteract this, Tarver will seek
to keep Woods on the end of his southpaw jab, and time him with the left when
he rushes in.
Woods should be able to
pull off the upset. His recent competition has been much better, as the
titlist won grueling decisions over Glen Johnson and Julio Cesar Gonzalez in
his last two bouts. In recent years Tarver has not shown the mobility needed to
nullify a pressure fighter like Woods. Look for the Sheffield veteran to
Chad Dawson (25-0, 17 KOs) seeks to add a big name US scalp
to his resume when he faces The Road Warrior Glen Johnson (47-11, 32 KOs) on
Showtime this Saturday. For Johnson, a win adds a title back to his ledger, and
keeps his name in the mix with the other elite light heavys. A loss severely
erodes his chances of getting another title shot due to his age and the
impending arrival of younger stars in Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe.
This fight will be very difficult for Johnson. Dawson has
slashing, stinging power in both hands, and uses his speed to dart in and out
with fluid attacks. Johnson wont have a stationary target like he enjoyed against
his recent group of opponents. Johnson will be competitive, but at this stage
of his career Dawson has too much speed, skill, and power for the crafty
Prediction is a clear unanimous decision win for Dawson.
Sleeper Fight for the
Thomasz Adamek (33-1, 22 KOs) returns to the big time with a
cruiserweight showdown against slugger ONeil Bell (26-2, 24 KOs). Both former
champions are bangers with Adamek carrying the edge in skill. Unfortunately this
fight wont be televised in the States, but be sure to check Youtube the next
day for updates. Someone is getting knocked out, and my money is on Adameks
superior boxing technique to get the job done.