Cotto Returns Against Rodriguez, BC’s Prediction
ORLANDO, FL –
Fight week for the Miguel Cotto vs Delvin Rodriguez fight officially gets underway tomorrow as both fighters have made their way into Orlando.
As expected, the focus is on Miguel Cotto and his return while little attention has been paid to Rodriguez. Spending two of his last three fights as a fixture on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, Rodriguez has flown under the radar during the promotional build up to the fight.
Rodriguez’s most recent victory came at the hands of Freddy Hernandez in May on Friday Night Fights. A bloody, ugly brawl featuring numerous head clashes, head snapping hook exchanges, and more blood. The war continued until round eight when ring referee Harvey Dock stop the fight after seeing Hernandez’s head continue to gush like Ole Reliable for far too long and Rodriguez emerged the victor. At the conclusion of the bout, he called out Cotto and watchers smiled that “that’s so cute he wants to fight Cotto” smile usually saved for children but yet, here we are.
In February, against “Comanche Boy” George Tahdooahnippah, Rodriguez battered the talented prospect into submission for six rounds and found his hand raised after ring referee Eddie Cotton had seen enough.
In the loss against Austin Trout, Rodriguez’s performance was boring and uninspired as he allowed himself to be outboxed by Trout. Lacking urgency and aggression, he spent much of the bout standing around and spectating while Trout did enough to defeat.
Aside from the uninspired fight against Trout, Rodriguez is a battle tested, strong willed brawler who will test Cotto. His resume touts the names of hard fought battles but unfortunately for him, he’s come up on the short end of the stick every time he’s stepped up in competition.
The recent fight history of Miguel Cotto has been well chronicled in print and on TV. Destined for the Hall Of Fame, Cotto enters the ring with an advantage in experience (although he’s younger) and boxing skills.
Fighting against Floyd Mayweather, Cotto became victim to the same ills that plague all Mayweather opponents. He was out boxed and outclassed by a fighter with superior hand speed and better conditioning. In Cotto’s defense, he never folded and continued to apply pressure the entire bout but couldn’t find a way to deliver blows in the same way he absorbed them.
In the match up against Austin Trout at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Cotto was the heavy favorite but found himself defeated by a bigger, younger, hungrier competitor. Lacking defense and moment, he had no answer for Trout’s varied punch selection and he found himself tiring in the late rounds.
Rounding out his recent three matches was the final stanza of the war symphony against Antonio Margarito. Cotto was finally able to avenge a loss against boxing’s version of the 80’s Detroit Pistons. A man accused of being a cheater when his hand wraps appeared to be a-typical or containing plaster or some other illegal substance (something Margarito continues to deny). Cotto never seemed the same in the ring after the Margarito days.
At this late point in his career, Cotto is now working with Freddy Roach, a trainer best known for training offensive minded fighters. Hopefully the focus of camp has been more on movement and not solely on volume punching. While Rodriguez isn’t the fastest puncher he does have the ability to slip punches through if Cotto gets lack on defense. Cotto, who’s been known to perform poorly against taller fighters will need to work the body of Rodriguez early to chop him down to set up the victory. Both fighters are durable and will go the distance but I give the advantage to Cotto, a proven harder hitter with vast ring experience against tougher competitors than Rodriguez ever faced.
Decision: Cotto, UD
Will Cotto pull out the victory? Share your thoughts and predictions and follow me on twitter @jethang & @theBadCulture.