By Jason Kim: This Saturday night at the Yankee Stadium in New York, WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) will defend his World Boxing Association title against former WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s). Foreman, 29, will have the size advantage over Cotto, and the better footwork. Cotto has looked less than impressive since his fight with Shane Mosley in 2007, and has problems in that fight, his fights against Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey and Manny Pacquiao.
Cotto lost to both Margarito and Pacquiao by TKO. If he fights like he did against Mosley, Clottey, Pacquiao and Margarito, I expect for Cotto to lose by another knockout. Cotto has signed on Emanuel Steward as his trainer, so this will be his first fight with Steward. Cotto has to fight much more defensively if he wants to keep from getting pummeled and beaten by Foreman this Saturday.
Cotto has taken too much punishment in the last three years and doesn’t seem to be the same fighter he once was. He is, however, still very popular among his fans in Puerto Rico and in the New York area. His promoter Bob Arum expects for the Cotto-Foreman fight to sell at least 30,000 tickets, which would put the attendance to a little more than half full for the stadium. That’s pretty good numbers for the little known Foreman and Cotto, who has lost two out of his last four fights coming into this Saturday’s fight.
In the co-main event, Top Rank fighter Vanes Martirosyan (27-0, 17 KO’s) will be putting his unbeaten record on the line against undefeated junior middleweight contender Joe Greene (22-0, 14 KO’s) in a 10 round bout for the NABF light middleweight title. This is a fight that would seem to favor the 24-year-old Martirosyan, but only because he has the slightly better offensive skills.
Martirosyan, ranked #3 WBO< #6 WBC, #8 IBF and #8 WBA, is badly flawed, has stamina problems and is easily hittable. I have him at number #11 in the junior middleweight rankings below fighters like Sergio Martinez, Yuri Foreman, Alfredo Angulo, Sergeii Dzinziruk, Kermit Cintron, Antonio and Margarito. I don’t see Martirosyan as a future champion, but I think he’s a good fringe contender and will stick around for awhile as a gatekeeper and an occasional opponent for the different champions in the division. On Saturday night, Martirosyan should have enough to get past Greene by a 10 round decision. I say ‘should’ because I thought Martirosyan was going to be able to get past his last opponent Kassim Ouma without any problems last January. However, Martirosyan struggled badly against Ouma and appeared to lose the fight. However, Martirosyan was given the questionable decision but it doesn’t get away from the fact that Martirosyan struggled against a fighter that the majority of the top junior middleweights would have totally dominated. It shows how much work Martirosyan has ahead of him in the division.