Story by KM Stansen / Photo: Jesse Rican | Mon. June 7, 2010
A fair measure of congratulations must be given to Miguel Cotto for his impressive victory on Saturday night. In toppling Yuri Foreman, he defeated a solid fighter and picked up a new strap in his third weight class. However, many have expressed the feeling that Cotto's path from here on out needs to be carefully planned in order to achieve continued positive results, and I agree.
Cotto has already proved himself, and as responsible spectators of a brutal combat sport, we need to take heed to what fighters go through. A fighter like Cotto still has a good bit to give for fans, but also has taken his share of punishment that comes from what he's given in the ring. Needless to say, he looked exceptional against Foreman, healthy and sharp.
Fights that would be mutually beneficial to both fans and Cotto, would not include clashes with Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez or the controversial Antonio Margarito. On the other hand, fights made with other Caribbean fighters like Andre Berto or Kermit Cintron, would be very entertaining fights that Cotto would probably be favored to win. Ticket sales would be high as well. I'd personally love to see a scrap between Cotto and Berto. What boxing fan wouldn't?
At this point in Cotto's career the similarities to Fernando Vargas are striking. Both Cotto and Vargas are tremendous warriors that give it all in the ring, and possess somewhat similar styles. Both fell just shy of the very elite bracket of fighters (those who will likely become Hall-of-Fame inductees). Much like Vargas, Cotto at 29-years-old is much older than his age, due to wear and tear. He isn't as worn as Vargas was at that age, who was for all intents and purposes shot. Cotto though, is no spring chicken in boxing years, and should be focusing on amassing retirement money for the future. I hope fans and media in Cotto's home island understand this, and don't push for him into another fight that could have similar consequences to his bout with Manny Pacquaio.
All of that out of the way, Cotto has been great for boxing. He's given boxing some of his generation's most entertaining battles, and unlike the Gatti wars they also displayed a high amount of skillful precision. I never tired of watching his sledgehammer of a jab, and crisp, machine-like combination punching to the body and head.
Foreman fought against Cotto to the maximum of his abilities, and showed a lot of grit himself. He deserves his own fair measure of acclaim for stepping up and going out on his shield.