Friday, January 15, 2010

Cotto vs. Foreman: Is this a style nightmare for Miguel?

By Jim Dower: Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s) looks to be aiming at World Boxing Association light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) for his comeback bout in June, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Cotto, 29, was stopped in the 12th round by Manny Pacquiao in November. In losing, Cotto lost his WBO title to Pacquiao and took an enormous amount of punishment during the process. Instead of facing another welterweight to try and capture one of the titles, Cotto instead will be moving up in weight for a bout against the elusive Foreman.

Cotto might regret taking a fight against Foreman, because his style of fighting is one that Cotto might have problems against. Foreman tends to give nightmares to many of his opponents with his hit and run style of fighting. He’s simply hard to hit, period. Even if his opponents do get close enough to hit him, Foreman grabs them in a clinch to prevent them from hitting him. Foreman is great at what he does, and I don’t know that Cotto has the ability to get close enough to hit Foreman enough to win then fight.

Both Foreman and Cotto are Top Rank fighters, so it shouldn’t be problem putting this fight together unlike the Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather bout that recently went down the drains during a failed negotiations process.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says “You will see Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman at Madison Square Garden on Jan 23. The reason they will both be there is to start the promotion for their fight in June. Miguel wants to fight Foreman. Yuri wants a big fight. Yuri will have the Jewish fans behind him. And we already know what a big attraction Miguel is in New York and how much the Puerto Rican fans support him.”

If this fight is put together, it will easily be the biggest bout of the 29-year-old Foreman’s eight year pro career. Up until now, the best opponents Foreman has been in with is a rusty Daniel Santos, who Foreman recently beat by a 12 round decision to capture the WBA light middleweight title in November, and fringe contenders Andrey Tsurkan and Cornelius Bundrage. Cotto will be a big step up for Foreman. Obviously, Yuri won’t be standing and trying to trade with Cotto, because that’s a fight that Foreman can’t win. He has very little power to speak of and is only effective as long as he can continue to stay away from Cotto.

However, Cotto has problems with the quick and elusive Zab Judah in the early part of his fight with him in June 2007. Cotto also has problems with the movement and punch and grab style of Oktay Urkal in March 2007. Cotto eventually won the fight, but he didn’t look good and seemed to really struggle with the constant movement and grabbing by Urkal.

Foreman makes Urkal’s movement and clinching seem like child’s play in comparison. This has the makings of a really ugly fight. The only good that I can see coming out of this fight is that Cotto won’t be in danger of being knocked out or taking a lot of punishment from Foreman, because Yuri can’t punch very well.

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