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Why Cotto -vs- Mosley is the most significant fight of 2007!

On November 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto and Former Two Division World Champion Sugar Shane Mosley will square off against one another in one of the biggest super fights of this year.

Not only is this match up a super fight, but it is also in this writer's opinion "the most significant fight of 2007." Now that the match is set to officially happen in a few months, I can break down my reasons for the substantial significance of this compelling matchup. This is a very important fight, not only for the 147lb weight class, but also for the sport of boxing as a whole.

Yes, De la hoya vs Mayweather was the biggest money making super fight between the biggest star in boxing and the best pound for pound fighter in boxing. Significance? Cotto vs Mosley bares more significance than that fight in my eyes and I am going to explain why.

1. Welterweight division...
is by far the hottest division in boxing right now. This is the division in which Cotto vs Mosley is taking place. This is a division, at this very moment, that is talent rich and money filled. There is a lot of money to be made in this division, with all of the names and super fights that can be made between those big names. Look at who campaigns at welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Oscar De la hoya is coming back down to welterweight, Ricky Hatton (facing Mayweather on December 8) is coming up to welterweight, Zab Judah is still around (although he's gone 0-3 over the last year and half, Luis Collazo is still a top second tier contender, etc. The division is hot right now.

2. Floyd Mayweather, Jr...
who happens to be the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world today, has chosen to vacate his Super Welterweight belt to campaign in the welterweight division, where the biggest match ups can be made. Floyd has never taken an L before and has won titles in five different weight classes, remaining unbeaten in doing so, over a span of nine years. Fans want to continue to see the Pound for Pound Picasso in the best match ups possibles. The most significant and most exciting match ups possible. In choosing to remain at welterweight, the winner of a Cotto vs Mosley fight becomes the heir apparent and most deserving challenger for Mayweather in 2008.

3. Styles of the two fighters...
make this match up intriguing. It's a classic match up of puncher vs boxer - physical determination vs speed of hand and foot. Cotto is that guy who does whatever it takes to win his fights. He fights with heart, applies pressure, and throws punches non stop until he accumulates enough punishment to prompt his opponent's demise. He's also a devastating body puncher. Mosley is the counter puncher. He fires quick combinations, displays beautiful ring generalship, and takes advantage of his opponent's openings and leaky defense. Not only do you have the contrast in styles, you have two guys who will let hands go. Therefore, expect these two competitive warriors to beat the living hell out of each other. Great fight style-wise.

4. Virtual toss up.
Although Cotto is the younger undefeated fighter and Mosley is 35 years of age yet more proven in the ring, neither fighter has a decisive edge going into this fight. Fans and experts are split down the middle as to who they believe has the edge between these two boxers. The element of unpredictability makes this exciting showdown all the more intriguing.

5. Pound for Pound candidacy...
is on the line in this match up. As you all can see, Cotto is currently number 10 on the Boxing Chronicles Pound for Pound List. With Vasquez getting revenge over Marquez (who himself was a pound for pound entrant and will likely face Vasquez in rubber match), he's barely hangs on at number 10. The winner of Cotto -vs- Mosley becomes a sure fire Pound for Pound candidate, especially if the winner makes a bold statement with his performance and the way he wins. When is the last time anybody saw Mayweather, the Pound for Pound king, in the opposite corner of a ring from a fighter who was also a top ten pound for pounder????

(Mayweather has faced some really good opponents, but top 10 pound for pounders???? Gatti, not even close. Mitchell, no! Judah - had just lost to Baldomir. Baldomir, might've been top 20 if that. Oscar De la hoya was probably the closest at t0p 12).

Exactly! It's been a while since we've seen Mayweather in the ring with a fellow Pound for Pound entity. The winner of Cotto -vs- Mosley surely gains a solid Pound for Pound spot on the general consensus Pound for Pound lists.

5. If Cotto wins...
this sets up a huge match up between two undefeated Welterweight titlists, in their primes. Mayweather is the Pound for Pound king, and more or less, the modern day Golden Boy. Cotto, in many ways, is emerging as the Felix Trinidad of this era. He's Puerto Rican, undefeated, fights with relentless aggression doing whatever is in his power to emerge victorious in his fights, and has a nice fan base on the East Coast. Mayweather has his own following and is probably the 2nd highest grossing money maker in boxing underneath De la hoya. Both fighters have their respective fan bases, and this would be BOTH the BIGGEST and the MOST SIGNIFICANT welterweight fight since De la hoya vs Trinidad in September of 1999.

6. If Mosley wins...
he further solidifies his argument that Mayweather picks and chooses his opponents, should Mayweather still refuse to face Mosley because of his earning potential in comparison to himself, or lack thereof. As Mayweather stated, he made almost three times as much for his fight against Oscar De la hoya (approximately $21 million) than Mosley did in two fights with De la hoya (approximately $4.5 million for each fight). The fact would still remain that Mosley would be the most viable challenger to Mayweather. In my opinion, because of styles, he already is. A victory over Cotto, pinning the first loss on the undefeated Puerto Rican superstar's record, would give Mosley every reason to chase down Mayweather - much Antonio Tarver did for years with Roy Jones when Jones was the seemingly invisible Pound for Pound king.

7. Madison Square Garden...
is the Mecca of Boxing. This fight is happening at Madison Garden Garden. The Garden is not far from where I live, so I could easily commute to NYC to attend this fight. Given the significance of this match, and the fact that I have not been to a fight in almost four years (Hopkins vs Joppy in Atlantic City - December 13, 2003), there's an excellent chance that I will be present at the Garden on the evening of November 10.

Folks, if you can make it Madison Square Garden on November 10, do so. This is a very important fight in boxing. It will likely be a memorable fight - a memorable super fight. If you can't make it, order this fight on HBO PPV. I personally can't wait!



Tim -- said...

Couldn't agree more on your reasons this fight is the biggest and the best, although I would note that Mayweather's next fight is against a top-10 pound-for-pound guy. Still, if he wins as expected, he should take on ANOTHER top-10 p4per, be it Mosley or Cotto.

B. Bradley said...

Point well taken, Tim. Ricky Hatton, with all due respect, is a top 10 Pound 4 Pounder. Mayweather deserves a lot of credit for fighting him. I coined it the wrong way in this post. Mayweather is fighting a P4Per in his next fight, but the winner of Cotto vs Mosley is a P4P entrant, who also happens to be the top contender/heir apparent in the welterweight division. Hatton, who is a P4P entrant, is naturally a 140lber who went up to Welterweight one time for a fight with Luis Collazo, won in a close debatable call, and moved back down to his natural weight of 140. But you're absolutely right, Mayweather is fighting a P4P contender in his next fight. If he beats Hatton, and then fights and defeats the winner of Cotto/Mosley, is further solidifies his bridge to immortality.