The Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto Prediction Panel


The Cruelest Sport staff and a few special guest panelists offer their thoughts and picks on the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto fight.


Jason Karp, The Cruelest Sport

A packed Madison Square Garden and what should be healthy returns on the pay-per-view front should not confuse the reality of what Saturday’s bout means in the grand scheme of things: it is merely another testament to boxing’s ability to deliver fights for which there is no mandate and even less demand. Most mismatches—and this certainly qualifies—benefit from the presumed presence of some x-factor, often nebulous but almost always tenuous. One-punch power. Speed. Regression, either by age or by ring wear, on the favorite’s part. And yet no such equalizer exists in the case of this middleweight contest. There is Martinez’s mended knee and shoulder, but that is neutralized by Cotto’s own diminished physical state. Size, speed, power, even fitness: they all fall to the Argentinian’s favor. There is Cotto’s vaunted left hook to the body, but for years now that has only existed as a rumor. Miguel Cotto has been a loyal servant to the sport of boxing. As one of the few figures managing to keep the sport relevant as anything more than a niche pursuit, he deserves to exit the stage with dignity. Unfortunately, both the physiology of the match-up and the ring histories of both fighters suggest a send-off far less vainglorious than what has been earned. Martinez KO7


Oliver Goldstein, Bad Left Hook and Boxing Monthly

Eighteen months ago, the notion that Miguel Cotto could prove a plausible challenger to Sergio Martinez would have seemed foolhardy. Then struggling through a second consecutive loss against Austin Trout, since defeated twice himself, Cotto had looked a faint shadow of the fighter who had made mincemeat of talent of Trout’s ilk in the pre-Margarito part of his career. That he is now deemed a possible winner is not so much an indication of what Cotto has done since as it is a testament to what Martinez has not. Though undefeated in seven, Martinez has been rag-dolled by Chavez Jr. and nearly conquered by Martin Murray in his last two outings. Nonetheless, though the Argentine is doubtless on the slide, he has, like Cotto, proven himself a special fighter, and his particular talents, combined with a significant size advantage, should see ‘Maravilla’ as a handy victor. Martinez TKO-9


Bart Barry, 15Rounds and Ring Magazine

There’s no telling what will happen in the first round of this fight, because there’s no telling the truth of Sergio Martinez’s fitness – though HBO’s cameras have yet to catch him looking more mobile than an orange traffic cone with quick hands. If Martinez is pre-Chavez Jr. fit, as his promoter claims, he’ll go right through the smaller Cotto. If he’s not, if he’s post-Chavez Jr. fit, there’s a very good chance Martinez-Cotto will be the best fight of 2014. I’ll take a combination of the two: Martinez UD-12 – in a fight that finds “Maravilla” just fit enough to win most rounds of a match ultimately more suspenseful than exciting.


Jimmy Tobin, The Cruelest Sport

It is hard to utterly dismiss Miguel Cotto’s chances in any fight he signs on for. He has faced the best in his 13 year career, and even in his stoppage losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao, acquitted himself well. Against Martinez however, Cotto is really up against it. Martinez is a stylistic nightmare for Cotto, not to mention a full- blown middleweight. Freddie Roach’s big talk aside, Martinez’ questionable health provides the only intrigue to the match up. If Martinez’ knees hold up, he wins; if not, it might be a fight. How’s that for in-depth analysis? Martinez TKO10.


Andrew Harrison, The Queensberry Rules and Boxing Monthly

It’s a fun fight between two faded names: Martinez comes equipped with training wheels as a consequence of those gimpy knees; Cotto – never ever a middleweight — has been worn down by a tough career, one that has seen him ravaged by the likes of Ricardo Torres, Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Freddie Roach seems to be gambling on Martinez being physically shot. The Argentinean, though, hasn’t shown signs of fossilization just yet and he’s unlikely to require as much movement against such an undersized foe (with an inferior reach). Huge in comparison, swifter and with an overwhelming edge in power, the 39-year-old will find the Caguas war hawk early and that might well be enough. The betting lines favour “Maravilla” by decision; however, judges are unlikely to settle this argument. I think Martinez lands something big. Martinez W TKO 6 Miguel Cotto


Michael Nelson, The Cruelest Sport

Though it’s tough to forecast how an inactive 39 year old is going to fare in a tough fight, the size and style of Martinez will likely be too much for Cotto to overcome. Cotto is a bit more uncomfortable with southpaws than he is with orthodox fighters, and Martinez is probably elusive enough to survive the tough moments. Martinez UD12


Joel Stern, The Sweet Science and Assistant Coach of the UC Davis Boxing Team

For such a somber man, Miguel Cotto has thrown the biggest possible party to stage his own funeral. In front of tens of thousands of his biggest fans, getting the A-side money and PPV upside, and fighting for the middleweight championship of the world, Miguel Cotto is going into the ring on his own terms. I just don’t see Miguel Cotto going out of that ring on his own feet. For all the metrosexuality and seeming whining that draws the ire of the hardened fan, make no mistake that Sergio Martinez is a fighter to the core. Martinez will be too big, too strong, too fast and too smart for a blown up Miguel Cotto. Freddie Roach may have revived Cotto’s spirit, but Cotto’s fragile chin and skin won’t be able to withstand Martinez’s punches. If Martinez can move, he will batter Cotto in a way that the light punching Austin Trout could only dream. If Martinez’s knee goes Yuri Foreman and limits his mobility, Martinez has shown the temerity to take a man’s best in order to give his better. Sergio Martinez will punish and finish Miguel Cotto somewhere in the second half of the fight. Martinez KO 9.


Andrew Fruman, The Cruelest Sport and Bad Left Hook

If Martinez is healthy, it’s hard to imagine Cotto having much of a chance. And it’s difficult to get too excited about a fight when the suspect health of one of the combatants is what might make it competitive. Cotto will have to attack if he’s to test Martinez and he’s just too wide open up the middle to press without getting hammered by counter lefts. Martinez by KO, somewhere between rounds 6-8 is my pick.


Corey Erdman, Co-host of Fantasy Sports Today, Contributor to Ring Magazine, and Analyst for The Fight Network

Miguel Cotto’s ability to resonate with an audience has made him a very wealthy man. But it’s perhaps his ability to resonate with boxing writers and commentators that has made him the most money. It is they who have spun the narratives of reinvention with every new cornerman, each one seemingly resulting in a larger paycheck. The twilight of his career has been one big excuse for him naturally getting older and worse, and continuing to be unable to beat the truly elite fighters he faces. He’ll face one on Saturday night. A bigger, stronger, faster one. His biggest fan will be calling the action for HBO, and chances are he winds up in tears once again. This time, they won’t be happy ones. Martinez UD-12


Mauricio Salvador, Esquina Boxeo and The Cruelest Sport.

If Sergio Martinez somehow manages to step into the ring healthy, then I don’t see how an orthodox fighter like Cotto will be able to get past Martinez’ jab to land that thunderous left hook on his southpaw opponent. Cotto will trap Martinez a couple of times against the ropes, but that will be it. Only a major injury befalling Martinez, I think, will allow Cotto to prevail. Martinez TKO9


Tags: Miguel Cotto SERGIO MARTINEZ

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