Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey: Predictions

The Franchise says...

It's funny how perceptions in boxing change so quickly.

A few years ago, Miguel Cotto probably wasn't given enough credit for his overall game. He got his props for his tenacity and ability to break down foes, but it wasn't until he defeated Shane Mosley toward the end of 2007 that he got his just due for his boxing skills.

In the eyes of this observer, those same skills were very much on display for most of his fight with Antonio Margarito. But after that one now-suspect (yet undeniably brutal) loss and one bounce-back fight against an outgunned opponent, Cotto all of a sudden is seen as ripe for the picking.

Some of that has to do with the respect that pundits and hardcore fans have for Joshua Clottey, the current trendy pick as the underrated man in the welterweight division. While the returning Floyd Mayweather, Mosley and Cotto get the headlines, Clottey simply does his thing, going 5-0 over the past two years.

His counter punching ability seems to be the perfect weapon against a foe whose first instinct is to come forward, though Cotto has shown he can modify his style when needed. Clottey is also effective at preventing flush shots to the head, and he's never been knocked out in 37 pro fights.

Both men are superior body punchers, and since neither has especially fearsome one-punch power, there should be plenty of time for body work to take its toll. Clottey may be a little more comfortable in the late rounds, as seven of his last nine fights have gone the distance.

On paper this fight looks like a toss-up, and since the winner is likely to be prominent in the "who's going to fight Manny Pacquiao" sweepstakes, there should be plenty of motivation to go around. That means picking a winner largely boils down to gut instinct.

For me, that instinct is telling me Cotto finds some way to come out on top. Even though it's a pick that doesn't make me super confident, I'm taking Cotto to win by close decision.

Uatu says...

Ever since this fight was announced I have been riding the Clottey wagon against Cotto. I think this guy is a very hard out for anyone at 147, including Paul Williams and Money May. He has tight defense, a strong and sturdy frame, and comes into his fights in tremendous shape. No one ever blows him out, and I have never seen him in trouble in any fight. Add on the fact that Cotto has a new trainer, and signs point to Clottey for the upset.

I have decided to change my opinion, however. I have thought about this fight from many angles, and I just think that Cotto is the better actual boxer. I believe we will have a repeat of both the Mosley and Margarito fights. Cotto is going to outbox and outwork Clottey and get himself a comfortable points lead. He is going to fade down the stretch, and Clottey will be pressing him towards the end. However, Clottey lacks the (possibly questionable) "power" that Margarito had in the final rounds, and he will not have the activity that Shane had either, and of course, Shane came up short anyway. So even though there will be drama in 10, 11, and 12, and Clottey will not be in any danger, I now like Miguel Cotto by decision, possibly split.

Posted by The Franchise

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