There was nothing I wanted to see more this past Saturday than Miguel Cotto overcoming the stylistic and athletic challenges of facing a master technician and exceptional athlete. Instead, we saw him take on a handicapped heavy bag who could barely move his head.
Almost everyone predicting the fight expected Martinez to have a slight advantage for a legitimate reason that these same people seem to have already forgotten: Martinez had been athletically and technically superior to Cotto in almost all his past fights. Freddie Roach claimed that Martinez couldn’t “pull the trigger anymore,” and that he had bad defense. Lucky for Roach and Martinez, they didn’t have to deal with his “bad” defense, because he didn’t have any. Nor did they have to prove that Martinez could no longer pull the trigger, because his gun was never in the holster. Cotto should absolutely NOT take on Alvarez, Pacquiao or Mayweather, much less some of the larger competent middleweights. I am certain that, barring another unexpected disability like the one in this fight, the results of the first Pacquiao and Mayweather fights would be repeated in a rematch. It’s hard to make the case that Cotto is a shot fighter given his victory, but I’m not sure the label necessarily applies to Martinez either. Hopefully, we’ll see both fighters back in the ring against appropriate opponents, fighting as their fans have grown to expect.