Saturday, October 1, 2011

Two Views on Cotto

Tommy Jenkins and Bobby Archer are two lifelong boxing figures*.  Recently, they were discussing Miguel Cotto's boxing career.  Attached is the transcript of their conversation:

TJ: So Bobby, do you think Cotto gets by Margarito in the rematch?  

BA: I do.  I think without the loaded gloves, Cotto wins the first fight easy.  He was dominating Margartio early and it was only because of those illegal punches that Margarito won.

TJ:  I think Margarito beats him every time.

BA:  Really?  You do?

TJ:  Yes.  Cotto doesn't do well with pressure fighters and Margarito is a great second-half fighter.  Look at the way he finished against Clottey or Williams.  Cotto wasn't going to stand up to that pressure.  Also, there's no evidence that Margarito cheated against Cotto.  It's possible, but I'm not ready to say that he did.

BA: But if it did, the fight changed because of that.

TJ:  Nah.  He was losing that fight regardless.  

BA: That's why you don't know boxing.

TJ: And that's why you're an asshole.  What I don't know about boxing! You're a dumb [expletive deleted]  I remember when you couldn't even throw a hook.  [expletive deleted]  You would stick your tongue out every time you threw it.  Everyone at the gym laughed at you.

BA: [expletive deleted] Tommy, that was 35 years ago.  Give it a break.  Yes, I was a goofball.  Guilty.  But you're an idiot.  You know the difference between loaded gloves and not.  Don't act like it's not a big deal.  And if you say it's not a big deal, then I don't know what to tell you.  Just that you're an ignorant [expletive deleted] and a complete idiot who shouldn't be within ten miles from a boxing gym.  

TJ: Big words, my man.  Big words. [inaudible]  Then let me ask you this question: when has Cotto ever dominated someone good?  And don't give me Quintana.  He's garbage.

BA: Yeah Quintana's nothing.

TJ: Even when Cotto wins, he goes life and death with everyone.  Why are you so sure he beats Margarito?  You can't be sure about Cotto against anyone real.  

BA: He was giving Margarito a boxing lesson.  Margarito was just eating shots.  It was those illegal right hands that changed everything.

TJ: Nah.  Maragrito would come on.  You know that too.  You're just upset that you lost $250 on Cotto.  That excuse makes you feel better.

BA: [expletive deleted] Disagree completely.  Cotto holds him off to win the decision... and I should have won that bet.  That money was mine.

TJ: Who knows?  Maybe if Cotto had a real trainer, they find the illegal wraps.  You never know.

BA: Another thing: having a close fight against Mosley or Clottey isn't a crime.

TJ: But he goes life and death with everybody.  Or at least anybody that can fight.  I can't say that I've been too impressed with him.

BA: He only lost to Pacquiao and Margarito.  So Cotto's not on Pacquiao's level, but who is, besides Floyd?  He beat Mosley, a Hall of Famer, Clottey, a tough welterweight, and Judah.  Three good names.

TJ:  Everybody beats Judah.  You're not a good fighter if you lose to Judah.

BA:  Aha! So you're calling him a good fighter then.

TJ:  Sure, he's a good fighter, not a great one though.  I thought he was going to turn into something more.  

BA:  I think Cotto's had a hell of a career.  The Olympics.  Titles in three weight classes.  I think he's an "A" fighter.  He's a borderline Hall of Fame guy.  

TJ: Not a chance.  No way he's an "A."  You say that I don't know anything about boxing!  You're a [expletive deleted].  Cotto's a "B+" at best.  Clottey and Judah are not world-beaters.  Nobody will remember them in 20 years.  And I thought he lost to Clottey.  And if he doesn't pound Judah with those two low blows, maybe he loses that fight too.  

BA: But just to point out, Judah's a frontrunner.  He always fades down the stretch.  

TJ: I'll give you that.  But Judah maybe knocks Cotto out without those low blows.  He was in real trouble in the first four rounds.  But what's Cotto's best win?  A close win over Mosley?  And he wouldn't even grant Mosley a rematch.  I scored that fight even.

BA: I had Cotto by two points, but they should have fought again.  At the time, it was a great win and Cotto showed me something by boxing at the end.  He won that fight in the last three rounds.  He finished strong.  

TJ: But that wasn't even the Mosley who beat de la Hoya at 147.  That Mosley crushes Cotto.  

BA: I don't know about crush, but I think prime Mosley beats Cotto.  

TJ: So what are we talking about here?  A guy who squeaked by three top-ten welterweights?  Doesn't sound like a Hall of Famer to me.  

BA: I think he showed that he could beat any of the best welterweights of his day, not counting Pacquiao and Mayweather.  Anyone else, he could beat.  Floyd and Manny are all-time greats.  Yeah, Cotto is a step down, but he could beat anyone else on a given night.

TJ: Could.  Maybe.  Possibly. See, you don't know, and that's why Cotto's not great.  He never dominated a top guy.  Don't get me wrong, the kid fought with heart.  He had a great left hook, but he never put it all together.  

BA: If he had Manny Steward earlier in his career, does he turn out better?

TJ: Don't know. [inaudible]  His uncle knew boxing, but what a mess.  They wouldn't even talk to each other. They were brawling and fighting and crap.  What's the kid gonna learn in that situation?  However you look at it, the kid was slow and he didn't throw a lot of punches.  Maybe Manny Steward gives him a better jab and makes him throw more punches, but he's never been a great athlete.  I don't even know if the two of them are a great match.  

BA: I wonder what would have happened if he had Steward against Pacquiao.  He doesn't win that fight, but I think Steward makes it a lot more interesting.

TJ: I don't see that at all.  As I've always said, Bobby, speed kills.  Pacquiao would counter him all night.  Too much speed for Cotto.  Steward doesn't change a damn thing.  Awful style matchup for Cotto.  Sorry to upset you, but Cotto should never have been in the same ring with Pacquiao.  

BA: He was an Olympian, a champion in three divisions.  That means something.  Why not Pacquiao?  He earned the right.  

TJ: Whatever. [laughs]

BA: I'm sure you're going to tell me now how none of that means anything today.  The titles are all watered down.  Computerized scoring in the Olympics.  It's all B.S.  Blah blah blah!.

TJ: Bingo!

BA: So he didn't deserve a fight against Pacquaio?

TJ: Anybody can fight anybody.  It's a free country.  But no way he wins.  He's just not on the same level.

BA: But let me ask you this: did you enjoy watching Cotto fight?

TJ: I did.  His left hook was something and the way he walked guys down was a lot of fun to watch.

BA: So we'll leave it at that then.  On a positive note.

TJ: If you say so.  Whatever makes you happy, old friend.

BA: [expletive deleted]

TJ: [expletive deleted].  Just don't stick your tongue out. 

BA: You know maybe I became an asshole from being around you so much.

TJ.  I'd say it's possible.

BA: How about likely?

TJ: It's likely. 

*Tommy Jenkins and Bobby Archer are fictional.

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