Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cotto Grinds Decision Over Mosley

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Miguel Cotto faced the most experienced fighter of his career Saturday night in "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Shane provided all of Cotto's former opponent's strengths, plus one: experience.

Mosley's determination also made the fight another stellar Madison Square Garden classic. In Cotto's last fight he faced a true crossroads fight against the ever dangerous Zab "Super" Judah. Last night he faced the quintessential torch passing fight between the proven great against the next great fighter. So far, Cotto has passed with honors. His next fight should be the superstar fighter gateway fight, against the winner of Ricky Hatton - Floyd Mayweather.

Cotto, in his own right, has the persistence of a woodsman chopping a thick piece of wood. No matter how stubborn the wood is, no matter what the weather conditions are outside, and no matter how much the woodsman muscles ache, he will eventually cut through the wood and have his say. Cotto has continually proven to be a persistent force. Only an ant is more persistent. And Cotto has augmented to his mental game with adept footwork and well placed combinations.

It was those type of just fast enough combinations that allowed Cotto to always be a step or two ahead of Mosley. In the first round, both fighters came out with a solid game plan but Cotto was flashier with his; a bit more persistent. The fight was an even sway of powerful bombs thrown and landed by both men, with Cotto landing he more head snapping punches.

It was in rounds 9 and 10 that Cotto reminded everyone why is may just be the next great fighter in a long line of Puerto Rican greats. He suddenly started to backpedal against the type of fighter you never show a hint of doubt. Mosley, sensing that his pressure was finally starting to wear down the less experienced fighter, began to turn on the pressure and stalk his opponent with a purpose. What did Cotto do? He fought back the way he always does when in doubt.

Though Mosley won those rounds,the 11th round was all Cotto. After showing some doubt, he fought as if he was sure of what he was about to accomplish. Cotto
landed some of the best combinations of the fight and while Mosley was fighting back, it was now he who was hesitant to maul in against the younger bear. In the 12th and final round, both fighter coasted to the finish line,with Mosley the ineffective aggressor and Cotto the confident winner in retreat mode. A dull round that was preceded by a great fight.

For Cotto, the road to super stardom is through the winner of Mayweather-Hatton. For Mosley, the road will be filled with more gravel than Cotto's but it by no means leads to nowhere. Mosley proved once again that at age 36 he belongs among the elite. Cotto, 27, proved that he has the "it" factor. To quote HBO ringside commentator Max Kellerman, Cotto has just enough vulnerability that he makes you sit at the edge of your seat until the final bell, or count, has been heard.

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David slays Mormeck

David "Hayemaker" Haye ascends to the top of the crusierweight with a definitive knockout of undisputed cruiserweight champion Jean Marc-Mormeck.

The 27 year-old Brit looked to be in trouble in the fourth round against the 35-year old French champion when he was felled by a powerful right hand. Ironically, it was that same exact punch by Haye that ended Mormeck's reign as ruler of the cruisers.

Haye, who displays just as much vulnerability as Cotto and some magic in his own power has many options. He can either defend against other qualified cruiserweights or move up to the heavyweights and go for it all.

Though Haye will be bit smaller than some of the gargantuan heavies, he has already proven that he has the power to average things out. Now his chin and stamina are altogether different matters.

If Haye were to square off against the reigning bad boy at HW, Wladimir Klitschko, Haye would be lucky to leave the ring with his accent intact.

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