Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cotto-Foreman: Will Steward make any difference for Miguel?

By Jason Kim: Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s) recently picked up a new trainer with Emanuel Steward, who is said to be tinkering with the fighting style of Cotto and trying to improve his punching and defensive flaws. Cotto will be facing Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) on June 5th at the Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, New York. Cotto has lost two out of his last four bouts, and not looked particularly good on defense. Steward thinks that he can help him. I’m not so sure he can. Cotto is basically a slugger, and that’s what has made him so successful during his career. At light welterweight, the 5’7” Cotto was an awesome puncher.

However, he was still hit an awful lot and hurt in fights against Ricardo Torres and Randall Bailey. Cotto could punch but he was very vulnerable on defense and he had problems making the weight. Cotto eventually moved up in weight to the welterweight division in December 2006 and found immediate success in stopping Carlos Quintana in the 5th round. Cotto looked good for the most part, although he did struggle against Oktay Urkal, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley.

Cotto was hurt twice in the Judah fight but turned the fight around after landing some nice low blows that seemed to take the life out of Judah, making him much more passive and manageable. However, Cotto continued to take a lot of punishment for the most part despite the fact that he was still winning. In 2008, Cotto finally ran into Antonio Margarito and took a horrendous beating, losing by an 11th round TKO. Cotto tried to box in that fight and still ended up getting stopped. It’s unclear what Steward figures to change with Cotto, because he doesn’t have the stamina or the height to box from the outside for 12 rounds and find success.

He also is quite small for a light middleweight. It’s a curious move by Cotto for him to move up in weight to the light middleweight division, because he’s really kind of undersized for the welterweight division, and by moving up in weight against the even bigger junior middleweights, Cotto is really asking for it. He’s going to be facing Foreman, a fighter that will be three inches taller than Cotto at 5’10”. A lot of people think that this is a temporary move on Cotto’s part so that he can win a title that he can use to lure Pacquiao into fighting him for a second time, and also a move that satisfies his Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, because Foreman is one of the many fighters in Arum’s stable.

Cotto, the much star in Arum’s stable, would be helping him out by fighting one of his fighters instead of a more popular fighter than Foreman. But whatever the case, Steward may not have much effect on Cotto for this fight. It’s kind of late in the game to be tinkering with the fighting style of the 29-year-old Cotto, and he doesn’t have the body or the stamina to make many changes. He tried running against Pacquiao and Margarito, and only ran out of gas. He doesn’t move well enough or have good enough stamina to be much more than a slugger. He can move a little for awhile, but he quickly tires out and becomes very vulnerable to getting knocked out when he stops running.

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