Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey meet this Saturday at Madison Square Garden, and the dominoes will fall after they're done. (via www.boxnews.com.ua)
I'll tally up the Berto-Urango card picks on Monday with this card, so fear not, your picks are not lost or anything.
Miguel Cotto v. Joshua Clottey (HBO, Saturday - Welterweights, 12 Rounds - Cotto's WBO title on the line)
Cotto (33-1, 27 KO) and Clottey (35-2, 20 KO) are two top five welterweights, and while Clottey's lack of name power and overall danger has been a problem getting him good fights in the last couple years, this is a big fight. Madison Square Garden has had great advance sales and the building will be rocking on the weekend of New York City's annual Puerto Rican Day parade.
I've said a few times that I simply don't think Clottey is good enough or skilled enough to beat Cotto. His strengths are a great chin and really good defense. He's not too quick, not a big puncher, and is prone to bouts of inactivity and has some stamina issues.
I think Clottey could beat Cotto, but it would require Joshua's best night and an off-night from Cotto, and I don't see it happening. Miguel is on the verge of a potential huge money fight with Manny Pacquiao should he win, and at the least could find himself lined up for a big rematch with Shane Mosley.
But if Clottey wins, what happens then? Cotto wouldn't be a big money option, and would Clottey really be one? Mosley might fight him if he can't find anything else, but who else would? He would definitely not be worth the risk for Pacquiao or the Mayweather-Marquez winner. In short, a Clottey win gums up a whole lot of peoples' best-laid plans.
Cotto should be given respect for taking this fight, too. It seems like a no-brainer fight on the surface: Top five welter, Cotto needs a good win right now, and they're both promoted by Top Rank. But boxing doesn't always work with no brainers; more often, it works with no brains. Cotto has shown guts fighting Clottey. No one else was knocking down his door, even with Clottey holding the IBF title (which he's vacated to take this fight).
But when it comes down to the matchup, I love this one for Cotto if training camp went well after the rocky start with his now-fired uncle Evangelista. If he's prepared, he'll march to a wide decision over Clottey, who just doesn't have enough firepower. Cotto UD-12