Knockout Nation: Cotto Explains Quitting; Mosley Wants Margarito! Hoya-Pac On Deck; Carlos Monzon Remembered

 

Cotto

Speaks About Loss

 

You would think after Miguel Cotto’s phenomenal

performance in a losing effort last month to Antonio Margarito that fans would

be celebrating the Puerto Rican star and looking forward to his next fight. But in a sport where fighters are regularly

dismissed after their first loss, that’s not always the case.

 

While the majority of fight fans have no bad words

to say about Cotto taking two knees after sustaining brutal punishment from

Margarito, there has a been a small but vocal majority that’s has labeled Cotto

a “quitter” who can dish out the brutality but can’t take it.

 

Even some fans in his native Puerto Rico are

upset, arguing that previous island fighters like Felix Trinidad and Wilfredo

Gomez would never have submitted like that, especially at the feet of a

Mexican, their fierce boxing rivals.

 

Tired of the accusations, Cotto conducted an interview on the andra pa’l cará show and clarified his position. Here is the translation (courtesy of maxboxing.com member beastineden) regarding the criticisms of him “quitting.”

 

Host: Ok, in your case as a boxer and champion I imagine that decision was very hard to make because you’re thinking “I’m the champion with no losses,” was it you that made the decision or your corner?

Cotto: I was the one that made it,

my family was there, my children were present and I was thinking more about

them rather than the beating I was getting.

Host: Did you get to see them?

Cotto: Yes I did, a few times.

Host: Really?

Cotto: Yes, there were right next to my corner.

Host: Does it affect …

Cotto: Well, in this case it did a little but they’ve always known what my job is and what the risks are.

Host: They are used to it?

Cotto: They’re not used to seeing dad in the situation that they saw me a week ago but they know the risks of my job.

Host: You gotta be brave to get up there?

Cotto: Very much, gotta be brave to get up there but it’s part of the job, had a bad day but I know many good ones are still ahead.

Host: Miguel being honest, and you always tell it like it is, is it harder to get on the ring or making the decision of putting the knees down?

Cotto: I think in my case it was harder to put a knee down, like you said I didn’t have a loss in my record and to lose this way it was difficult for me, but I want health and I want to see my children grow up and that’s what matters.

Host: Now that you tell me that it was you that made the decision not your corner, which is very important, did it ever cross your mind all the reactions that would come after your decision? Did you think about that?

Cotto: No it was all for the benefit of me and my family, I could care less about the comments people make.

Host: For example I heard a comment like … ‘he didn’t train hard enough to get on the ring’

Cotto: I always train hard before getting on the ring, Margarito was better than me that night.

Host: For this one you even said you trained more than any other fight.

Cotto: Yes, that’s how I felt.

Host: Also comments that you were drinking and partying in Las Vegas

Cotto: I party and have fun but on my time off, I’m very responsible with my job, there’s two things I’m very responsible with, my job and my family and I don’t play around with them.

 

Fighters know more than anyone else when their body has reached its limit. There’s nothing heroic or honorable about getting killed in a boxing ring in front of your family just so armchair commentators can put you a little higher on their pound for pound

lists. As boxing fans we’re the first ones asking why wasn’t it stopped sooner when guys are seriously hurt (Nigel Benn-Gerald McClellan) or killed.

Leavander Johnson-Jesus Chavez

Ray Mancini-Duk Koo Kim

It’s time to put the unwarranted criticism to rest when fighters have gotten their heads beat in round after round and feel they’ve had enough.

 

Mosley Looks Past Mayorga to Margarito

 Shane Mosley knows that he’s not getting any younger. Turning 37-years-old next month, he knows

the time to secure lucrative and legacy defining matchups is now. Derailed

earlier this year by the cancellation of his fight with Zab Judah, Mosley has

begun calling out new champion Antonio Margarito even as a September 27 date

looms with former champ Ricardo Mayorga.

 

“When Mayweather was on top before he retired I wanted Mayweather,” Mosley explained to media at the August 7 press conference. “Margarito is the best welterweight out there now, so I want Margarito.”

The declaration is a bold but welcomed change of opinion for Shane.  Previously the former pound for pound king turned down a Mayweather fight in his post fight interview after the second Vargas fight (Mayweather went on to fight champion Carlos Baldomir on November 2006), and also stated he wasn’t ready for Margarito after initially returning to welterweight in 2005.

 

Mosley is expected to easily defeat the limited Mayorga which would open doors for the Margarito showdown, a solid alternative for Antonio if he cannot secure a bout with cash cow Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley is on record as stating he would be ready for the Tijuana Tornado by December.

 

At the press

conference Mayorga was his usual jovial self, bringing pink gloves for Shane to

wear at the fight, and proclaiming he was going to make Shane his “woman” and

also “retire him so he can enjoy the fruits of his labor.” Using Vernon

Forrest’s domination of Mosley in early 2002, Mayorga went on to say he’ll beat

Shane worse and take him out within three rounds.

 

Mosley of course took everything in stride and seemed to enjoy Mayorga’s entertaining promotion of the bout.

Ironically, this fight is over five years overdue. This bout was scheduled to take place in 2003 if Mayorga would not have been upset for the welterweight title by then unknown slickster Cory Spinks.

Overdue or not, Mayorga has never been in the class of a fighter like Shane Mosley. This truth has been proven correct most of time the Nicaraguan slugger has been in with

the elite fighters of the past 15 years (De La Hoya, Trinidad) sans Vernon

Forrest. Expect Shane to TKO Mayorga by the sixth or seventh round.

Pavlik-Hopkins – October 18, 2008 on PPV

 Also on the promotion trail, middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and former light-heavyweight and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins met in Philadelphia to officially announce

their October PPV bout. Pavlik has stated he can no longer make 160, so the fight will be contested at 170 pounds, new territory for the young champion.

 

Pavlik is coming off an easy mandatory defense against unheralded Gary Locket in June, while Hopkins is trying to rebound from a split decision loss to Joe Calzaghe in April. Pavlik has a record of 34-0 with 30 KOs, winning the middleweight title in September 2007. Hopkins is 48-5-1, with 32 KOs and has a record of 2-3 in his last five bouts. Pavlik also holds a 17 year age advantage over the 43 year old former

champ, something Hopkins dismisses based on his recent performances.

 

“I never been afraid of no Ghost. Challenges to me are motivation,” Hopkins explained at the press conference. “If anybody here feels I’m coming here like a loser needing to gain ground, then maybe I’m in denial. Most of the reporters were at ringside April 18 (against Calzaghe), I believe I’m coming in fighting as a winner…I’m a

threat to anybody that steps in the ring with Bernard Hopkins.”

 

Pavlik, who could not secure fights with Felix Sturm, Arthur Abraham, or Joe Calzaghe, is content to face the Executioner and feels they will deliver a solid fight for boxing fans.

 

“He’s (Bernard Hopkins) the biggest name out there,” Pavlik reasoned to media. “Calzaghe, I don’t know I gotta shoot him in the leg to stop him from running. Abraham has his mandatory coming up so when they said Hopkins I said ‘that’s it, let’s do this.’ It’s gonna be a blue collar fight. I don’t change my style, I come

forward. I get in the best shape I can possibly get into and that’s what we’re

going to do on October 18th. It’ll be a pleasure to be in the ring

with him and never in my lifetime did I think I’d be facing him”

 

Samuel Peter Vows to Retire Klitschko Family

 Samuel Peter has unfinished business with Wladimir Klitschko, but for now he’s willing to settle for big brother Vitali, who he faces on October 11 for the WBC heavyweight title. Due to numerous injuries, Vitali Klitschko has been on a four-year sabbatical from the sport since defeating Danny Williams in December 2004. Attempts to fight in 2005 and 2006 were mired by nagging leg injuries.

 

Since he never lost the title in the ring, the WBC guaranteed Vitali an immediate title shot should he ever return, prompting this October bout. Samuel Peter won the WBC strap in March 2008 after knocking out veteran Oleg Maskaev in 6 rounds. Now champion in a fractured division, Peter plans to erase all doubt about championship lineage starting with the Klitschkos.

 

“I want to send Vitali back into retirement and then end his brother’s reign as champion,” Peter vowed in a statement. “I will become the first fighter to end an entire family’s boxing career. Everyone is going down. The heavyweight division is mine.”

 

Obviously with different plans, Vitali sees this fight as the first step in a long standing

dream for both Klitschkos to reign simultaneously as world champs.

 

“I cannot believe this day is finally here,” stated Klitschko in a press release. “I am injury free and ready to take my title back. My brother, Wladimir, and I have had along-time goal of being heavyweight champions at the same time.  That dream will be realized when I take back what is rightfully mine, the WBC heavyweight title. The next step will be holding all of the heavyweight belts with Wladmir.”

 

Vitali deserves a lot of credit for taking on the number two heavyweight in the world in his first fight in nearly four years. However, I think it will prove to be a disastrous mistake. While a live underdog, Peter should be able to take over the second half when Vitali inevitably gets winded from the lack of ring time. In what should have been the main event, WBC light-heavyweight champ Chad Dawson (26-0, 17 KOs) will partially unify against IBF champ Antonio Tarver (27-4, 19 KOs).

 

Both guys are

excellent counter-punchers and have proven themselves against elite fighters

like Glen Johnson, Roy Jones, and Tomasz Adamek. While the experience edge goes

to Tarver, in a boxing contest Dawson’s speed edge should help squeeze out a

close decision.

 

Formal Negotiations Open between De La Hoya and Pacquiao

After months of speculation, formal talks officially began as Pacquaio promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank) met with Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer to start hammering out details on a proposed December 6 superfight between De La Hoya and Pacquiao. The first meeting commenced on August 6, and according to both parties the two hour plus session went extremely well.

 

“We met and there are some issues, but it was a good meeting,” Schaefer explained to ESPN.com. “I think what it will take is for a Manny to give and for Oscar to give to get a

deal done. That’s pretty much what it is. But the fact that we had a two hour-plus meeting is obviously a good sign. If it had been a five-minute meeting it would indicate the gaps are too big.”

 

Arum whole-heartedly agrees. “I can say without any question none of that will be a problem, weight or gloves,” Arum clarified. “We are working essentially on the split.”

 

Pacquiao last competed at lightweight on June 28, stopping David Diaz in nine rounds to pick up the WBC title. De La Hoya won a decision against Steve Forbes in May, weighing 150

pounds for that bout. In order for the fight to come off, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach has been adamant that the fight must take place at 147 pounds.

 

Arum also promotes Antonio Margarito, who has expressed his preference of facing De La Hoya in his next bout. But with Pacquiao being immensely more popular, Margarito’s chances of landing De La Hoya are very slim. “I think Margarito has some other things planned,” Schaefer stated to Espn, alluding to the last man to defeat Antonio. “I think he should go fight Paul Williams.”

 

Arum remained a little more hopeful and upbeat. “Antonio is still out there and hasn’t been totally rejected by the De La Hoya people,” Arum clarified. “It came up, but Richard has to sit with Oscar and see what he wants to do.”

 

Cintron Signs with Promoter Lou DiBella, Eyes Miguel Cotto

 Kermit Cintron has signed a multi-year contract with New York-based promoter Lou DiBella. The power punching welterweight is seeking to immediately rejoin the title race

after being overwhelmed and stopped by Antonio Margarito in April. DiBella has

booked Cintron for a tuneup bout on the Jermain Taylor-Jeff Lacy undercard, and

is already looking towards a Puerto Rican showdown with Miguel Cotto.

 

“Cotto-Cintron is an interesting fight,” DiBella told espn.com. “I mentioned that to [Cotto promoter] Bob Arum. I’m happy to be working with Kermit. I like the guy and it makes sense for me to work in the division. Kermit is the young guy and losing to Margarito is no disgrace because the guy is a beast.” DiBella also

represents WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto and former WBO titlist Carlos

Quintana. Cintron’s record is 29-2(27 KOs).

 

Throwback Fighter of the Week: Carlos Monzon

 

There’s many reasons you could list why Carlos Monzon is considered the best middleweight of all time. First, you could look at his record of 87-3-9 (59 KOs). Or you could point to his seven year middleweight reign, where he made 14 defenses. Tall and rangy with a powerful right hand, many didn’t expect much from Monzon early in his career after losing three fights in his first 20 bouts.

 

That all changed when Monzon stopped veteran Nino Benvenuti in 1970 to win the middleweight title after 12 rounds. He was even more dominant in rematch, stopping Benvenuti in 3 rounds in 1971. Monzon continued his reign by being the second man to stop Hall of Famer Emile Griffith in 1971, and outpointing him in a 1973 rematch.

 

Great welterweight Jose Napoles also found himself overwhelmed at middleweight, and Monzon battered him 1974 to a corner stoppage. After two hard-fought decision victories over younger rival Rodrigo Valdez, Monzon retired on top in 1977. However, Monzon’s rage outside the ring proved to be his downfall. A notorious woman beater, in 1988 Monzon was sentenced to 11 years in prison after killing his

wife by throwing her off a balcony.

 

In 1995, he was killed in a car crash on his way back from an approved weekend furlough with his children. People to this day continue to speculate if Monzon used the crash to

commit suicide. His final record stands at 87-3-9 (59 KOs).

 

Benvenuti-Monzon I (Round 12) (Monzon in lighter trunks)

Benvenuti-Monzon II

Monzon-Griffith I (Round 14)

Monzon vs. Napoles

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