Miguel Cotto’s Fight Performance: What It Means For Him And For Boxing

Speculation has been flying wild for the last few days as bloggers and sports analysts do their best to make sense of what Miguel Cotto’s total destruction of Sergio Martinez means for the sport of boxing.

Inquisitr covered the original fight in detail (read our exclusive fight roundup here), noting that this is the first time that a Puerto Rican boxer has ever managed to “claim championships in four weight classes” and that Miguel Cotto’s performance in the fight was just spectacular.

The Associated Press (via ABC News) reports that Martinez did not rise from his stool when the bell rang for the tenth round, that he did not speak to the press after the fight, and that he was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Miguel Cotto’s victory over the reigning champion was total, and Martinez was no slouch himself. Cotto simply enjoyed one of those rare sporting moments when the full force of his talent was aligned perfectly with his stamina, health, and mental focus.

The New York Daily News takes it a step further, commenting not only on Cotto’s dominant performance but also on the likelihood that he will wind up fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. at some point in the near future. Miguel Cotto lost to Mayweather at their last match-up in 2012.

Cotto’s record now stands at 52-3, and having the chance to revisit one of those three losses has to be appealing to the fighter. Miguel Cotto mentioned to Freddie Roach before the Martinez fight that he felt like he only had about 3 fights left in him (according to the Associated Press).

The Latin Post is more skeptical. In a fight follow-up that includes a recap of coach Freddie Roach’s interview with BoxingScene, Roach stated that he believed Mayweather would make excuses in order to avoid fighting Miguel Cotto, citing the behavior of the “reigning pound-for-pound king” toward Manny Pacquiao as an example of the kind of avoidance that the Cotto camp expects to see.

Mayweather’s exact claim, as reported by the International Business Times, is that he will not do business with Top Rank promotions, Bob Arum’s promotion company. This was the reason he gave for avoiding a fight with Pacquiao, and if it is an accurate description of the situation, then it hardly seems like an “excuse.” The Times article also points out that it is Miguel Cotto’s affiliation with coach Freddie Roach that has really caused him to emerge as a fighter. They quote coach Roach as saying:

“Miguel said last week, if I had been in his corner for the first fight against Mayweather – he would have won.”

Bleacher Report, for its part, focuses on the draw that Miguel Cotto’s fights bring to Madison Square Garden, the importance of the timing of those fights, and the way that Cotto’s consistently dominant performance helps to bring pride to the city, the sport, and the local community.

Whichever angle we look at, one thing is certain: Miguel Cotto has set a tone for the next year or two in boxing coverage, and the sport might just see a resurgence if his one-off dominance turns into an identifiable brand. It’s happened plenty of times before: a strong contender rises, dominating the sport and drawing in casual viewers by the thousands until his inevitable, tear-stained retirement.

Only time will tell if Miguel Cotto will be one of the greats, remembered years after his exit from the sport (like Oscar De La Hoya), or if he will be a bright star running a fast but brilliant streak across the skyline of the sport.