Monday, December 21, 2009

Cotto: Retired or Inspired?

By Eli Grant

The last time we saw former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in action, Manny Pacquiao just got done beating his face to a bloody pulp. Is this why Cotto has seemingly disappeared from the media? Is this most recent defeat combined with the relentless abuse administered by Marga-cheat-o just too much for one man to take? I think not. In fact, Cotto has been itching to get back into the ring, and it looks like we won’t have to wait too long for Arum to put something together, most probably with Yuri Foreman.

A recent interview, published by primerahora.com, showed Cotto looking like he has spent most of his life getting facials rather than climbing up the ranks of professional boxing. In fact, though nobody else would have been able to tell you, Miguel said he was completely fine after the fight with Pacquiao, stating that “it was just inflammation.” Why would anyone go to the hospital bleeding out the ears when you could just pop some Motrin? Regardless, his plans are to ease back into training, and hopefully headline a fight in June.

Unfortunately, for all the Cotto fans around the world, the good news stops shortly thereafter. Cotto’s plan from the beginning has been to retire by the time he turns thirty and it looks like he is sticking to his guns. He plans on two, maybe three more fights and then he is calling it a career.

Why!?!? He is one of the most exciting and explosive fighters to watch. Cotto-Moseley will never be forgotten. Neither will the two low blows he gracefully landed on Zab Judah. Besides, how often do you get to see a fighter break his opponent’s cheek bone? Thanks Malignaggi! I guess Paulie forgot to take the steroids that apparently make your face turn into steel like that of Pacquiao. Few boxers out there can make every one of their matches an instant classic.

Cotto is too young to quit, especially when we see Sugar Shane, De la Hoya, and Jones Jr. fighting like forty is the new twenty two. And he spent all that time learning English for publicity. Why let it go to waste? At twenty nine, one would have to suspect that Cotto has at the very least four more years in him.

Imagine this: Cotto dumps his school boy trainer and mends his relationship with his uncle. Then, Cotto takes on Margarito sans Plaster of Paris and reinstills a championship attitude that he maintained for his first thirty two fights. Cotto then runs over loud mouth Shane for the second time, sending him into retirement before he rolls over the hill. With peaking confidence, Cotto takes on Pacquiao one more time and this time actually throws punches, a gameplan that won him twenty seven knockouts, garnering him one of the biggest KO to win percentages.

Well, that’s just a fantasy because Cotto is considering moving up a weight class, probably because coming in at a 145 catchweight left a bad taste in his mouth. Not to mention the fact that he refuses to be a part of Margarito gaining another penny. And Pacquiao will be busy governing his country and hanging up the gloves for good after a Mayweather slaughtering. But it’s not so bad. It will be good to see him not looking like Skeletor fluttering his pitter patter while desperately trying to avoid getting hit by sprinting around the ring, forgetting to leave the defensive drills at his training camp. I guess it’s better to quit too soon rather than too late, where we would get to witness the all too familiar showcase of pathetic attempts trying to get every last bit of attention out there. So farewell to one of the classiest boxers in the sport – with the exception of that whole illegitimate child thing – we hope you go out with a bang.

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