Tonight’s WBC middleweight title clash between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto has all the hallmarks of being a Fight of the Year candidate as the two hardened warriors gear up for a grudge match at Madison Square Garden.
The pair have been linked to a high-profile battle for some years and now finally come together following some heated debate in the weeks leading up to the New York encounter.
Martinez, 39, puts his coveted strap on the line against 33 year-old three-weight world champion Cotto as the Puerto Rican hunts for that supreme status of holding recognised belts in four divisions.
On paper the two look quite evenly matched, although if you asked me the same question three years ago there may well have only been one winner as Martinez was at the peak of his powers back then. After suffering injuries later in his career, the Argentinian is not the force he once was and Cotto will be looking to capitalize on this and etch his name even further into the boxing annals.
Both can bang and have lost considerable movement in their advancing years, so it’s fair to say we can expect toe-to-toe collisions at points in the fight – with Cotto making most of the running as Martinez gets in with his shots and back out again sharpish.
It’s not often that I can’t pick a clear winner after witnessing the pre-fight build-up, but unfortunately this has been the case with this one. My head is leaning towards Martinez, although I keep thinking back to his last performance against Martin Murray and that makes me believe Cotto may just be able to pull of the victory.
I have tried to have some sort of prediction ready as I knew this write-up would have to be done, but between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto, I just won’t be able to pick out a winner until I see the demeanour of both fighters in the ring.
A twelve round fight is certainly on the card in my view, but we could be looking at a closely run decision on the cards, or whisper it quietly, an ill-fated draw. Bring on the rematch already!
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Cotto vs. Martinez happens Saturday, June 7 live on pay-per-view beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. The fight is also live on BoxNation in the UK. Subscribe at BoxNation