Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito do not like each other. One doesn't need to question how legitimate that dislike is. Watching 24/7 or HBO's Face-Off made it crystal clear that this is no friendly "professional rivalry." It hasn't been pretty and it's not likely to end pretty.
Record: 36-2 (29 KO)
Last 5 Fights:
- March 12, 2011 - W (TKO-12) vs. Ricardo Mayorga
- June 5, 2010 - W (TKO-9) vs. Yuri Foreman
- November 14, 2009 - L (TKO-12) vs. Manny Pacquiao
- June 13, 2009 - W (Split Dec) vs. Joshua Clottey
- February 21, 2009 - W (TKO-5) vs. Michael Jennings
Record: 38-7 (27 KO)
Last 5 Fights:
- November 13, 2010 - L (Dec) vs. Manny Pacquiao
- May 8, 2010 - W (Dec) vs. Roberto Garcia
- January 24, 2009 - L (TKO-9) vs. Shane Mosley
- July 26, 2008 - W (TKO-11) vs. Miguel Cotto
- April 12, 2008 - W (KO-6) vs. Kermit Cintron
This isn't the same fight it was in 2008. Cotto has never been quite the same after the beating handed down by Margarito in the later rounds of that fight. One can make their own determinations if that was due to the same plaster found in Margarito's wraps before the Shane Mosley fight or simply that Margarito was the better, stronger, harder hitting man that night.
But if Cotto is not the same, neither is Margarito. Antonio has only fought three times since that 2008 night. A violent drubbing at the hands of an angry Mosley, a comeback win against non-contender Garcia and yet another violent drubbing, this time at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.
The Pacquiao fight left Margarito's orbital bone shattered and him on his second year long hiatus since the 2009 fight with Mosley. The repair of the orbital bone plus the removal of a cataract and installation of an artificial lens was a big deal in getting Margarito licensed and there's no doubt Cotto will be targeting it.
These aren't the same men but they do bring the same (if faded) styles that they did the first time around. Cotto is going to look to keep moving and landing combinations while Margarito tries to chase him down, pin him against the ropes and fire away with power shots.
Margarito just seems like the more "far gone" of the two men, even if both are on their absolute last legs.
In my mind, Cotto should be able to move effectively enough and score with enough combinations to take a fairly comfortable decision on the scorecards. I do think he finds himself in trouble once or twice as Margarito finds space for an uppercut or powerful right hand, but he should be able to survive and win eight or nine rounds.
Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision.