Miguel Cotto is, in theory, the bigger man against Floyd Mayweather Jr -- but does he really have any significant physical advantage? (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather Jr and Miguel Cotto kicked off their promotional tour today in Puerto Rico, and Mayweather gave an indication of respect to his May 5 foe, but still believes (of course) that he'll end Miguel Cotto's 154-pound title reign. From BoxingScene.com:
"Miguel Cotto will fight hard....it will be a very exciting fight. On May 5th, it won't be an ordinary day. We're going to give people all around the world what they want to see. It will be a challenge for me to fight Miguel at this weight, but this will be the kind of test that will motivate me to train harder. I have no doubt that my collection of belts will increase again and Cotto's reign will end on May 5th," Mayweather said.
Cotto, meanwhile, guaranteed his hometown press and fans that he'll return to Puerto Rico still the WBA titlist on May 6.
Right now, Mayweather is listed by Bovada as a -700 favorite, with Cotto a +450 underdog. Those are pretty wide odds, about on par with how the bookies had Mayweather vs Ortiz last September:
Sportsbook Mayweather Ortiz 5Dimes -750
SBG Global -800
Mayweather (42-0, 26 KO) will be fighting heavy, which is the only wild card here, it would seem, other than the off-chance that he's distracted by his impending jail surrender in early June, or he got old (he did just turn 35) since his last fight, or something isn't right, or whatever. The weight is the only issue you could really count on -- he's fought once over 147 pounds, when he faced Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, and he clearly wasn't himself. Mayweather weighed 150 to Oscar's 154 on the scales for that one, and was quite clearly the smaller man. In the end he won anyway, because he was better than Oscar.
Cotto (37-2, 30 KO) doesn't have Oscar's size, either. Oscar is 5'10", not a natural junior middleweight but did fill out pretty well into the weight. Cotto is about 5'7", shorter than Floyd, and while he might carry the weight better than Mayweather does, he doesn't carry it like Oscar or most other junior middleweights either. Miguel is dinky at 154 pounds. Just a really little guy compared to a lot of the other 154s.
Physically, I don't even expect Mayweather to have the sort of matchup problem here that he had with Ortiz, who weighs in around 165 on fight night and is a big, sturdy, broad-shouldered welterweight.
In other words, I have my doubts that Cotto has any significant physical advantage in this fight. He will be a bit heavier, but I don't think that's going to help him much. He's not really a pressure fighter anymore, doesn't go to the body the way he used to, isn't going to crowd Mayweather and lean on him. Well, he might try to, I guess, but that hasn't been his style of late, and it's difficult to see the trend reversing and Cotto returning to the left hook body destroyer he was in his younger days. And even if he tries, is he really good enough to get the job done with Floyd?