By Bob Smith:
My first reaction to the Martinez-Cotto fight, like many others is: wow! How could Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) be so dominant? How could he knock down WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) three times in the first round, when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. could not do this in 11 rounds? Why was it that Martinez was not able to hurt Cotto significantly even once? And what was behind that massive left hook early in the first round that sent Martinez flying, from which he never fully recovered, in that round or after it?
I think first and before anything, we have to give Cotto his due. This version of Cotto would have defeated Martinez if he had fought Martinez at the time of Matthew Macklin and Darrin Barker. It would not have been a blow out, and he would not have gotten four knockdowns, but this version of Cotto would have caused Martinez enough problems to control the action. While it is true that Sergio used speed, movement, and power defeat the much larger and slower middleweights Pavlik and Cesar Chavez Jr., he never faced a ring technician with experience against true superstar competition as Cotto had. Yes, Macklin faced Felix Sturm, but there is no question that this Cotto would have defeated Matthew Macklin or Darrin Barker. This Cotto was powerful, cut off the ring, was quick and very accurate, followed his game plan well, and showed masterful defense. While this Cotto would likely lose against Pavlik and would definitely lose against Chavez Jr., he would defeat the small and national class (as opposed to world class) middleweights.
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