Miguel Cotto v Sergio Martinez - Size Matters

Miguel Cotto is not a likely candidate for a successful jumper in weight.

Cotto's most successful outing in a higher weight class was a victory over a hobbled Yuri Foreman. Cotto's other fight north of 147lbs was a spirited loss to Floyd Mayweather, who lets not forget, is physically smaller than the Puerto Rican.

Cotto's best days were spent terrorizing the light welterweight division at 140lbs.

Sergio Martinez is not a big middleweight by any stretch of the imagination, but he punches like one.

Martinez went on an impressive KO run a few years ago, starting with what is frankly one of the KOs of the current century. It sounds like hyperbole, but it really isn't. Paul Williams was one of those iron chinned freaks like Carl Froch or Shane Mosley who just simply couldn't be felled by a mortal man. Martinez knocked him out cold, dead eyes and all.

There are some fighters much more suited to rises in weight than others.

For example, defensive masters who avoid getting hit feel no difference in the missed punch of a 147lber of a 160lber. If you don't get hit flush often, the prospect of raising the red flag in front of increasingly bigger bulls is a tempting one.

Similarly, athletes with incredible footspeed and athletic stamina can perform a similar trick, using their superior movement in their natural weight class to dart in and out against bigger, slower foes.

Is Cotto hard to hit? Not really. He is an offensive juggernaut, a come forward banger. On his back foot, he is not a defensive wizard. Freddie Roach is not known for honing a fighter's defense either.

The worries for Martinez are based purely on his injury record and his last two fights. Martinez is a fighter who relies on his superb athetlic ability to allow him to fight in an unconventional fashion. You can only fight with both hands dropped at your waist if you have the reflexes to dodge punches. You don't see many veteran fighters employing such a style.

 

A healthy Sergio Martinez wastes Miguel Cotto. But we cannot definitively say this 39 year old version is a healthy Sergio Martinez. His injury list is staggering, and it would appear to be a minor miracle that he has managed to be involved in an MSG headliner at this point in his career.

There's an easy money making bet on this fight, that is not particularly brave but nor is the return minimal. There are two probable outcomes.

A healthy Miguel Cotto does not last 12 rounds with Sergio Martinez. 

The crocked Martinez who struggled with the limited Martin Murray does not survive 12 rounds with a rejuvenated MIguel Cotto. Cotto could win a 160lb title in exactly the same way he won a 154lb title, with a hobbled opponent forced to withdraw on a blown out knee.

At the time of writing, Martinez by KO, TKO or Disqualification is priced at 11/4, and Cotto by KO, TKO or Disqualification is priced similarly at 3/1. Although I personally favor Martinez, the doubt over the knee makes a combination play on both sides of the bet a safe, yet profitable gamble.