Luckily For Miguel Cotto, Yuri Foreman Does Not Hit Like George
- Posted on Mon, May 24th, 2010 by Ja Dawson
- Boxing Tickets
I am in a somewhat irritable mood based on my recent boxing prediction failures. But as you probably guessed, I ain’t going anywhere. I’m in it to win it, like an accomplished boxer trying to save his career. It may sound kind of extreme, but when Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) meets Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) for the WBA alphabelt, he’ll be fighting to remain relevant as one of the sport’s elite.
The pride of Caguas, Puerto Rico will be successful in his trip to Yankee Stadium in two weeks, and here’s why:
- Location. "The House that Ruth Built" may not be the safe haven that Madison Square Garden has been to Cotto throughout his career. But I’m guessing that the convenient Bronx locale, with its heavy Puerto Rican population, will provide Cotto with a distinct home ring advantage at Yankee Stadium.
- Hand Speed. Don’t get it twisted, Cotto is no speed demon. But I think this will be a rare case (of late at least) in which he’ll have the hand speed advantage. Facing Yuri Foreman after the whirlwind that is Manny Pacquiao will be a relief to Cotto.
- Ring Generalship. Foreman is actually a clever fighter who knows how to maneuver in that ring. However, he’s not on the elite level of a boxer like Cotto. Cotto can box and brawl. Foreman can box and brawl too, sans the power. Advantage Cotto.
- Competition. Here is where the gap is as wide as Michael Strahan’s toothy grin. Miguel Cotto has faced Manny Pacquiao (loss), Shane Mosley (win), Antonio Margarito (loss), Zab Judah (win) and Paulie Malignaggi (win). Yuri Foreman’s biggest threat to-date? A woefully out-of-shape Daniel Santos (win) in his last fight. Welcome to the big leagues Yuri.
- Power. If you are Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, this fight is perfect for business. It’s a major event because of its location. The B-side of the matchup (Foreman) gets a big payday and big fight exposure. The A-side (Cotto) gets the chance to pick up another belt and restore his career against a guy with less power than clock radio speakers.
- Conditioning. From what I have seen from Foreman, he appears to have a pretty decent motor. In the closing moments of his alphabelt-winning performance against Santos, he really closed the show in the final round. That’s the sign of a guy who gives his all over a fight’s distance. And we all have seen how Cotto often wilts late in fights. Advantage Foreman.
- Chin. I would not say that Cotto has a bad chin, but he doesn’t exactly have a good one. Luckily for Cotto, Foreman does not hit like George (Foreman). If he did, this flaw would possibly be a fatal one.
- Footwork. Foreman has the advantage here. Neither man will make us forget the late Michael Jackson. However, I truly believe that the punishment that Cotto received at the possibly loaded (Margarito) and unloaded (Pacquiao, Clottey) hands of his recent opponents may have taken away his legs for good.
- Size/Strength. A career junior middleweight, Foreman is four inches taller, has a five-inch reach advantage, and is naturally stronger than the former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Cotto. Size often does matter. But in boxing, skills usually matter more.
- Defense. Cotto has never had the best defense, His offense acts as his defense. Foreman is no defensive stalwart from what I have seen, but he’s pretty good at using his size and ring smarts to avoid heavy punishment. I give him an advantage here.
Despite Foreman’s considerable size advantage, look for Cotto’s overall class to carry the day. Assuming that he still has something left, Miguel Cotto will capture his third belt in a different weight class and regain some of his lost confidence, via late stoppage.