June 7th is the date for the Middleweight battle between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez at New York’s venerable Madison Square Garden. Cotto originally opened as the underdog at (+180) despite fighting in his adopted home of New York. Martinez was initially (-240) as the favorite when the bout was announced. The question is, is there value in Cotto as the underdog in this fight? For Cotto, who is 33 years old, it is a must-win fight. He remains a huge draw because of his ethnic Puerto Rican following, however he has gone 1-2 in his last 3 fights and he has seemed to really slow down since his big fight with Floyd Mayweather. Slowing down for Martinez is not a good thing, as Martinez has shown much fresher legs in his recent outings despite being 38 years old. The weight class is also working against Cotto. As a Middleweight, he is a full two dozen pounds over his fighting weight at his prime as a light welter and welterweight. That may be responsible for his lack of speed. Martinez, at 28 will be cutting to 154 for the first time in a bit, but unless he suffers from the weight cut, he will come into the fight light and feeling fast. He has KO’d bigger opponents and has KO’d slightly more than half of his opponents, so look for Cotto to get his face marked up if he doesn’t get KO’d. This looks like a fight that will go the distance, however. Martinez is a technician first, and he will outbox Cotto from the outset. If Cotto cannot hurt Martinez at all, he is in for a long night. Much is made about Martinez getting caught by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and getting dropped in the final round of a fight he dominated. Though Cotto is a better fighter than JCC Jr, he is unlikely to have the starch left in the final rounds to hurt Martinez and slow him down. For his part, Cotto will go out on his shield. He is unlikely to be KO’d, as the only time he was stopped was by Antonio Margarito in a match haunted by Margarito’s plaster cast hand wraps, so Cotto will be there all night, and martinez will be happy to dance and punch his way to a W. Take Martinez in a fight that goes the distance.
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