Cotto Continues

Tonight Cotto will take on a Junior Middleweight gatekeeper in Delvin Rodriguez.  Rodriguez has been an ESPN mainstay for years because of his action-friendly style, but has never been able to handle the best, or even the second-best in his division.  Cotto has always been the latter, but now with his move up to 154, and the accumulation of punishment from so many high-volume fights, he might be vulnerable enough to give Rodriguez a chance.  Most fans are probably hoping to see Cotto come out on top, as much as they like Rodriguez, but they should be careful what they wish for if they want to see him retire in good health.  If he does win, Cotto will have defeated anotheropponent with enough name value to generate interest in a big fight, which means taking on one of the more dangerous fighters in boxing.  No one wants to see him against Mayweather again, and a fight with Pacquiao is unlikely (most fans don’t want to see that one either), and there aren’t too many other Junior Middleweights with Cotto’s marquee value, so that basically leaves Alvarez.  Cotto is the opponent Alvarez should have faced after his win over Trout.  After Mayweather’s boxing lesson, Alvarez is probably ready for a softer challenge, but Cotto should be looking for the same.  A fighter who’s sustained as much damage as Cotto over his career should be looking for a moderate challenge to solidify his legacy, not a young gun to test his mettle.  I find myself hoping Cotto isn’t as successful as he could be, even though, actually, because I’m a huge fan.  Logic would suggest, however, that Rodriguez will find himself overmatched against the venerable, talented Cotto, and maybe even a little bit outgunned.  I expect, but kind of dread, a unanimous decision win for Cotto, using his speed and defense to outbox Rodriguez.

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