Predictions: Cotto vs. Margarito

The Franchise says...

It's Christmas in July for fight fans. The present that's about to be unwrapped is the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito clash, and it doesn't even need to completely live up to the hype to be worth watching.

Neither fighter should be lacking for motivation. Margarito sees this as the huge fight he's long been denied - though as Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports recently pointed out, it's actually his 13th career title fight. Cotto feels slighted because the Tijuana Tornado chose to face Paul Williams when they had a real chance to meet last summer. Both men are warriors who will lay it all on the line, and the always hot Puerto Rico-Mexico rivalry adds even more spice to the mix.

Confidence also shouldn't be an issue. Cotto has never tasted defeat, and Margarito bounced back from losing to Williams last July by blowing out Golden Johnson in one round and dropping Kermit Cintron with a brutal body shot three months ago. The boxing skills of both fighters are probably underrated, though they clearly think offense first and are often there to be hit - a fact that actually adds to the excitement of their fights.

Margarito gets the nod in terms of raw, explosive power, while Cotto's attack tends to use consistent punishment to wear opponents down over time. The champ actually has a higher career KO percentage, and he's been in with generally tougher foes that include Shane Mosley, Zab Judah and Paul Malignaggi.

Tony is known as a volume puncher, though the Williams fight showed that he can be slowed down by a boxer who's willing to apply the pressure himself, and Cotto certainly feels comfortable in that role. As he often does, Miguel will be facing a disadvantage in reach, but it's Tony's height that may cause the champ problems. Cotto hasn't faced a foe this tall in years.

I wouldn't be surprised by any outcome in this one, and either man could end up on the wrong side of a first career knockout loss. Still, I see Margarito storming out of the gate early and Cotto weathering the storm. With so many other factors appearing to be roughly equal, I think Cotto has just enough of an edge in boxing ability to win more rounds if it goes the distance. It's probably the toughest fight of the year to call, but I like Cotto to win a narrow, action-packed decision. And the fans, of course, will turn out to be the real winners.

Uatu says...
Uatu loves everything about Margarito.  He loves his attitude, his heart, his chin, his aggressive style, the way he handles his career, and above all the  way he fights.  But, Cotto has been very impressive over the last few years.  This is no knock on Margarito but giving credit to Cotto.  Until someone beats Cotto, or Cotto moves up further in weight, then Uatu cannot pick against him.  Look for Cotto to fight multi-dimensionally and do a little bit of everything like he did against Mosley.  Margarito will probably at least start more aggressively, but Cotto will out speed and skill him to a decision victory.

Spartan117 says...

Judging for Magarito's previous fights, most notably Magarito v. Paul Willams, he does have great attitude and heart just as Uatu stated above.  This will make for a great fight because I predict that Cotto will bring it hard tonight.  He's going to work his trademark body shots but Margarito will be able to fight through them.  Althought, in later rounds Cotto's shots will be too much for Margarito and he'll go down.  Spartan117 predicts a late round KO leading to a Cotto victory.

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