Saturday, January 16, 2010

Does Cotto deserve a title shot against Foreman?

By William Mackay

In the past couple of days there has been news of former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s) getting a title shot against WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) in June of this year. How in the heck does Cotto deserve a title shot given that he’s coming off of a vicious 12th round stoppage loss to Manny Pacquiao in November?

Cotto took a savage beating in that fight and probably only lasted that long against Pacquiao because he chose to run from the 4th round on. It doesn’t seem fair that Cotto should be able to jump in line in front of other talented top light middleweight contenders like Daniel Dawson, Nobihiro Ishida, Marco Avendano, Alfredo Angulo, Christophe Canclaux, Nilson Tapia, Zaurbeck Baysangurov, Alexander Abraham, Anthony Small, Harry Joe Yorgey, Austin Trout, Seshew Powell, Vanes Martirosyan, and Juan Ulbaldo Cabrera.

Granted, many of these fighters’ names aren’t recognizable to many boxing fans, but they’re still ranked in the top 15 in the WBA, unlike the recently beaten Cotto who is only ranked in the welterweight division. Doesn’t Cotto have to prove himself in the light middleweight division by picking off a top 15 fighter or two before he gets a shot against Foreman?

That makes sense to me. If Cotto wants a title shot against Foreman, let him beat Martirosyan and Angulo. If Cotto can get by those two fighters, and I don’t know that he can, then I would be alright with him getting a title shot against Foreman. I know people will say that Cotto is an elite fighter because he’d held a title previously, whereas the top 15 contenders in the WBA haven’t.

However, Cotto has lost two out of his last four fights and an argument can be made that Cotto should have lost three out of his last four because of his controversial 12 round split decision win over Joshua Clottey in June 2009. Even if we just look at Cotto’s two losses that would seem to me to be enough to disqualify him for a title shot against Foreman.

I don’t think Foreman is the greatest fighter even, but he’s a champion and he deserves to face contenders that have worked their way into a title shot rather than have had the shot given to them on a silver platter. I think Cotto can beat Foreman without too many problems, because I see him as the weakest of the four champions in the light middleweight division.

But Cotto should still have to at least knock off two top 15 contenders before he gets a title shot against the Foreman. I know that Foreman is making a voluntary defense of his title, but there should be a rule where the champions are required to defend their titles against top fighters in their own division and not fighters out of their class.

Because it seems only fair, because otherwise you have fighters picking and choosing smaller or weaker fighters to get an easy pay day against during their non mandatory defenses and it makes it a long wait for contenders in that particular division to get a title shot.

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"Foreman is bigger and if ever he will beat Cotto, I think it's the end of Cotto's career."

Brooklyn's Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto close to deal for fight on eve of Puerto Rican Day Parade

BY Mitch Abramson
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Brooklyn's Yuri Foreman is close to signing a lucrative deal to face Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

If the deal for June 12 is consummated, it would be another stunning turn in the career of Foreman, who two years ago was on the verge of quitting the sport, frustrated that his career was in a holding pattern. On Nov. 14, Foreman, who is studying to become a rabbi, dominated Daniel Santos to win the WBA junior middleweight title, putting him in position to fight the best in the sport.

"Both guys want the fight," Bob Arum of Top Rank, which promotes both Foreman and Cotto, said in a phone interview Friday. "In fact, Miguel asked me if he could fight Foreman. It's close to a done deal."

Arum will meet with reps from both camps next week in Manhattan to discuss the remaining sticking point: money. Foreman's manager, Murray Wilson, doesn't envision a lot of haggling.

"We want the fight," he said. "This is a different world for us. We want to make this happen. Bob has always been fair to us. I don't expect it to be difficult."

Foreman has had famous opponents dangled in front of him before, only to be disappointed. He was rumored to be the opponent for Manny Pacquiao on March 13 after discussions with Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. broke down over the issue of drug testing.

Wilson said he was in Arum's Las Vegas office on Jan. 7 to sign a contract for Foreman to fight Pacquiao when Arum excused himself to place several phone calls. According to Wilson, Arum phoned Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who turned down the match with Foreman, citing Foreman's height of 5 feet, 11 inches.

Arum will preside over a press conference on Wednesday in Manhattan to hype Pacquiao's next fight, against Joshua Clottey of the Bronx on March 13. Arum is still deciding whether Foreman-Cotto will be televised on HBO or on Pay-Per-View. The bout is for Foreman's title.

"That was extremely frustrating," Wilson said. "They had accepted the fight and then to have it fall apart because of Yuri's height. C'mon, Yuri is a half inch taller than Oscar De La Hoya (whom Pacquiao has already beaten). They chickened out. I just hope that doesn't happen again. I don't think it will."

ARUM OPTIMISTIC: Arum, who is also promoting a show at the Garden on Saturday, is still hopeful that Pacquiao and Mayweather will meet in potentially the biggest money-making fight ever. He said Pacquiao would probably drop his defamation suit against Mayweather for making statements that "Pac Man" has used performance-enhancing drugs if Mayweather apologizes. Arum also said he could probably get Mayweather to back off his stance that Pacquiao be subjected to Olympic-style drug testing.

"This fight will get made in two seconds if Mayweather comes to me and we talk," Arum said.

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"Can Cotto still bounce back from his loss to Pacman?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yuri Foreman To Face Miguel Cotto June 12th?

by James Slater

According to a number of web sites, there is a strong chance WBA light-middleweight champion Yuri Foreman could be making the first defence of the title he won with a points win over Daniel Santos against another Puerto Rican , in Miguel Cotto. Nothing has been made official as of yet, but it will be no real surprise if the fight does get the go ahead.

The date being bandied around is June 12th, and the suggested venue is Madison Square Garden in New York. So, the hugely popular Cotto would be having yet another fight on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade and against a fighter who has his own army of fans in New York. A natural fight, then. But who wins?

Cotto would, of course, be having his debut up at 154-pounds and he will also be coming back after a most brutal loss to Manny Pacquiao. Added to this is the fact that the 29-year-old former champ recently lost his beloved father. Could all three of these factors serve to give the underrated Foreman a great chance of wining the big fight?

We don't know what Cotto has left any more than we know what his mental state will be come fight time. Foreman, the same age at 29, may not be any huge puncher, but he is a fine boxer and his confidence will be soaring right now due to his having become champion and in so doing making history (as the first ever Israeli world boxing champion). The timing for the fight (if it indeed goes ahead) could be just right for the unbeaten Foreman.

On the other hand, Cotto, 34-2(27) has something to prove, and he is anxious to let his fans know he is not done yet just because the mighty Pacquiao beat him. Cotto will be hugely motivated, no doubt, at the chance to win himself a title at a third weight. And as big as he was as a welterweight, there is no reason to think 154-pounds is step too far for the Puerto Rican legend.

Perhaps fans of a slugfest could be disappointed if and when the two get it on in June, but admirers of gifted boxers would surely enjoy the possible chess-match affair. Both men have good all-round skills, and the fight could well be a contest of pure boxing. Foreman, 28-0(8) has a proven chin, and Cotto has always had proven toughness himself. Add it all up, and the styles of the two men could mesh together very well.

Cotto will most likely be seen as the favourite by most, but Foreman, who showed he can handle a southpaw by beating Santos the same night Cotto lost to Pacquiao, should not be overlooked by anyone (Cotto is a natural lefty who is prone to switching during the course of a fight, of course).

I see a definite distance fight, but until we hear more about how Cotto's mental makeup is today, I hesitate to say who wins the decision.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Boxer Cotto Taking Father’s Death Hard

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto said he was going through an “extremely painful” time over the tragic death of his father, Miguel Cotto Sr., who died over the weekend at the age of 57, apparently from respiratory problems.

“We appreciate all the expressions of love and the condolences. This is an extremely painful time for me, and for all my family. I hope you will respect our space so we can get through this difficult time,” the former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion said in a statement.

Don Miguel, as Cotto Sr. was known, died after stopping for help at a bar in Caguas, outside San Juan, Puerto Rican newspapers reported on their Web sites.

Cotto Sr.’s body will be on view for two days at his Caguas house and he will then be cremated, Cotto family spokesman Jose Pereira said.

Miguel Cotto Sr. was a “great human being” who took his son “to the highest level of the sport of boxing,” Sports and Recreation Department Secretary Henry Neumann said.

“He was an untiring worker with young men in the gym. Puerto Rican sports have lost a bastion,” Neumann said. EFE

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Miguel Cotto’s Dad Dies At 57

Don Miguel Cotto Carrasquillo or Miguel Cotto Sr., father of former WBO and WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, died on Sunday, January 3, 2009, at the age of 57.

Miguel Cotto Sr. was said to have died of heart attack while driving in his hometown Caguas near the shopping center Oscar Cash & Carry. He has been known to have suffered from a heart disease and asthma for years.

Joseph A. Sanchez of El Nuevo Dia reported that a young bartender named Douglas Melendez was asked to call an ambulance by Cotto Sr. but he said that the ambulance never came. Melendez said he called around 2:04 p.m, 2:14 p.m, and twice at 2:15 p.m., and until 2:53 p.m. He said that around 3:15, the old man died on his arms. At around 4 p.m. his body was moved to the Institute of Forensic Sciences for autopsy purposes. He said that he didn’t know that the old man is Cotto’s father not until Caguas police officer Emily Rodriguez fond the information on his profile.

The 911 service was blamed in this incident for they never responded to Melendez’ emergency call.

Miguel Cotto were very close to each other. His father was present during his title defense fight against Manny Pacquiao on November 14, 2009. He was the one who forced his son to stop the fight for he had been badly beaten by Pacquiao.

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