This week, Michelle Beadle of HBO's The Fight Game, sat down with the current WBC and Lineal middleweight champion of the world in Miguel Cotto to discuss retirement plans, his trainer Freddie Roach, and the upcoming pay-per-view fight between Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
In an act of transparency, let me admit the following. I'm a huge Miguel Cotto fan. He is my second favorite Puerto Rican fighter of all-time (what up Tito) and easily in my top five of all-timers. I've watched this man rise from Caguas as a nappy-headed brooding bull of a body puncher, to witnessing his career low and pondering if he should continue, to now being a methodical and thoughtful thinker inside and outside the ring. Now at age 34, with the growth and maturation that comes with more life seasoning, the challenge that stands in front of him on November 21st is something I'm not prepared to witness.
Cotto will face a younger, stronger and even more bullish fighter in Canelo Alavrez that even he never truly was.
That doesn't mean I don't think Cotto can win, but as the ongoing pugilist war between Mexico vs. Puerto Rico continues it's long legacy in November, I do ponder whether this is a challenge that Cotto can ultimately meet.
In the interview with Beadle. Cotto is reserved and steely-eyed, with a sense of focus that's borderline chilling. An objective man could observe this and think that he's singularly focused on achieving his goal in defeating Alvarez. However, I am subjective about Cotto, and I look at his face and just wonder, "hey man, you gonna do this for real or nah?"
There's nothing quite like hearing Michael Buffer get on that mic and announce a fighter's professional record, his list of titles held, and most notably his home town and country. You ask anyone who's ever watched me during a Miguel Cotto or Felix Trinidad fight, I damn near lose my mind every time.
When Cotto's 411 is bellowed from Buffer's voice on November 21st, I can guarantee that Cotto will be the same reserved and steely-eyed assassin of a boxer he's always been. Don't worry though, I'll be hootin' and hollerin' in my fake spanish gibberish repping Puerto Rico like I always do during a boxing match. This is just how it has to be, and I hope Cotto gives Canelo hell in six weeks.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”