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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