Until the bell rings to begin the June 7th bout between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto, Martinez's fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September 2012 remains his biggest fight to date. It was a good pay-per-view event, bringing in over 400,000 buys, pretty solid for a pair of men who had never headlined a major PPV before. But, ultimately, Chavez was not nearly on the same level as Martinez, save for the famous final round rally. So it comes as no surprise that Martinez views Cotto, a three division champion and one of boxing's best competitors for over the last decade, a better boxer than Chavez.
Via Miguel Rivera at Boxing Scene:
"Cotto is coming at a good time for me. He comes from a good fight with Mayweather despite losing. I'm coming from a fight with Martin Murray that wasn't so good and a very good fight with Cesar Chavez Jr. I think we are at a fairly balanced point (of time)," Martinez said to Jose Sanchez.
"(Cotto and Chavez) are totally different. Cotto is much more complete than Chavez. But it seems like the good joke continues (with Roach saying he has the perfect plan to beat me). In the last fight, Cotto had an opponent (Delvin Rodriguez) who can't be compared. Rodriguez had beaten nobody. (Cotto) will surely do a good job with Roach, but he won't reach the distance."
Cotto is clearly a more complete boxer than Chavez. I don't think anyone would argue the opposite. But Chavez did have something on Martinez that Cotto will not: size. Will it matter? Maybe not because, as we saw, the size didn't really give Martinez much of a problem. He had more issues with Murray, who was not as big as Chavez. My worthless opinion on what Cotto needs to do to win is to establish his jab, use it to get inside, and cutoff the ring. Of course, like everything in life, this is easier said than done.
I'll say this for the fight. A couple of years ago I would have never imagined it even being remotely competitive. But Martinez has aged and Cotto may have the style to trouble him. It's certainly an interesting matchup, if nothing else.