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Thread: Cotto-Quintana, Margarito-Clottey Pre-fight Press & Predictions

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    Cotto-Quintana, Margarito-Clottey Pre-fight Press & Predictions

    Miguel Cotto (27-0) vs. Carlos Quinatana (23-0) for the WBA Welterweight title recently vacated by Ricky Hatton.

    This fight is going to happen on December 2nd in Atlantic City and will be televised by Showtime. Both fighters are from Puerto Rico.

    Quintana recently defeated Joel Julio while Cotto just beat Paulie Malignaggi. It will be Cotto's first actual fight in the 147 pound division whereas Quintana has been fighting at this weight for over eight years.

    I think it's a bad fight for Cotto. Based on how magnificent Quintana looked in his last bout and how poor Cotto looked against the boxing style of Malignaggi in his last bout I think Quintana wins this one.

    It's a style match up and I think Quintana's southpaw style is going to spell problems for Cotto. Malignaggi couldn't get it done against Cotto because of his inexperience and physical weakness but I think Quintana is stronger and more well rounded. Perhaps the extra seven pounds will help Cotto (and I think it will) but it won't be enough to overcome Quintana's quick hands and sharp punches.
    Last edited by TKO Tom; 10-03-2006 at 11:31 PM.

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    Steward Sees Tough Fight For Miguel Cotto

    By Mark Vester (www.boxingscene.com)

    The trainer of champions, Emanuel Steward, sees a very tough fight ahead for WBO junior welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

    Cotto, vacates his title and moves up to the welterweight division to face fellow undefeated Puerto Rican, Carlos Quintana. Quintana is coming off the biggest win of his career, a one-sided decision over praised prospect Joel Julio, which was broadcase live on HBO.

    This time Quintana is getting more national airtime, as the bout with Cotto will be televised live by Showtime on December 2. Steward feels that the style of Quintana will be too much for Cotto, and a replay of how Quintana handled Julio is not out of the question.

    "The fight against Quintana will be a difficult one for Miguel Cotto. Quintana boxes and moves too much for Cotto," Steward said.

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    Cotto vs. Quintana P.R. Presser! (www.fightnews.com)


    October 3, 2006 - "This is going to be a good fight," predicted WBO jr welter champ Miguel Cotto at today's press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico to announce his clash with Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA welterweight belt.

    "I know Carlos very well and the quality of boxer that he is....the fans are going to enjoy this fight, but as I have done throughout my career, I will prepare myself to win and will come out victorious on December 2."

    Quintana stated, "This is the greatest opportunity of my career and I'm looking forward to facing Miguel Cotto who is a very good world champion....for the fans and people of Puerto Rico this will be a very important fight and I believe that it will a fight to remember."

    Quintana's chief trainer Jose Bonilla added, "I will advise the people of Puerto Rico to start saving their money and buy themselves an early Christmas present and go to Atlantic City."

    Cotto and Quintana are now heading to New York City for another press conference tomorrow (October 4, 2006).

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    This match-up has fight of the year written all over it!

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    Cotto To Debut At 147

    Cotto to Debut at 147
    By David Kolb from Max Boxing

    NEW YORK – Miguel Cotto was down and hurt. The crowd began to chant with urgency, Cotto, Cotto, Cotto. That’s when Bally’s Atlantic City President Ken Condon knew that the Puerto Rican star had the fan support to headline a show at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

    It was September 24, 2005, and Cotto was on Queer Street. After eating a Ricardo Torres left uppercut, he found himself on the canvas, mid-second round, for the first time in his career. He was however able to pick himself up and valiantly fight back. Finally after dropping Torres four times, Cotto gained a knockout victory in the seventh round.

    Now, after two more bouts which featured his ferocious strength, Cotto (27-0, 22 KOs) moves up in weight to 147 pounds to face Carlos Quintana (23-0, 18 KOs) for the vacant WBA welterweight title, formerly held by Ricky Hatton, on December 2 at Boardwalk Hall.

    “I would go two weeks before a fight, not thinking about boxing. I would only think about making weight. I would have a bit of fruit, a drop of water and that’s it,” said Cotto.

    “I will never fight at 140 again,” he said with a smile.

    “So it will be easy for you to make 147?” I asked.

    “Ha. No. It will still be hard, but a lot easier than 140,” said Cotto, who walks around anywhere between 158 and 162 pounds.

    Cotto, who informed me that he had broken his hand in the latter stages of the sixth round in his June decision win over Paul Malignaggi, has been as powerful as ever in his last two fights.

    Against Gianluca Branco, Cotto punished Branco all night long until Branco could not take any more shots to his shoulder, of all things. Cotto destroyed Branco’s whole right side with wicked left hooks which nearly closed his eye, swelled his jaw on the right side, and separated the Italian’s shoulder.

    Versus Malignaggi, Cotto again wrecked his opponent’s jaw, as Malignaggi is still on the sidelines, possibly preparing for a January fight. Incidentally, Top Rank announced that the Versus Network will air Cotto-Malignaggi the week before Cotto-Quintana on December 2. That fight was originally aired by Top Rank PPV, and was rivaled that night by HBO PPV’s Tarver-Hopkins contest.

    Cotto said he is prepared for the step up in weight.

    “I will feel more comfortable, and I will be thinking of boxing only leading up to the fight. This is going to be a good fight. The fans are going to enjoy this fight, I will prepare myself to win and will come out victorious.”

    While Cotto feels that his transition to 147 will be a smooth one, Quintana, a southpaw, is no slouch. The fellow Puerto Rican also has a clean sheet, reeling off 23 wins, 18 by KO. He was last seen on HBO’s Boxing after Dark, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, in a bout where he easily outclassed Main Events’ young undefeated welterweight hopeful, Joel Julio.

    While that night was supposed to be a showcase for Julio, it became a tremendous stepping stone for Quintana.

    Quintana said, “This is the greatest opportunity of my career and I'm looking forward to facing Miguel Cotto. I believe that it will be a fight to remember."

    Cotto, who never studies any video of his opponents, says he relies on his uncle and trainer Evangelista Cotto to guide him.

    “He will tell me how to fight Quintana,” said Cotto, who is feeling more comfortable speaking English.

    If Cotto wins, he plans to face WBA #1 ranked Oktay Urkal in a mandatory sometime in early March. Then, as is becoming customary, he plans to fight at Madison Square Garden on June 9, the day before the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.

    That fight in the Garden could shape up as a huge one. Before Carlos Baldomir disposed of Arturo Gatti, it was thought that we might see a Gatti-Cotto bout, however that now looks unlikely.

    Cotto claims that he is focused on this fight however.

    “Now that I’m done with the press, I will be in camp working hard until the fight,” said Cotto. “I am assured that I will walk out of the ring with a new belt.”

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    Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate

    Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate
    By Jeremy Valdez from Dog House Boxing

    Miguel Cotto may be the most unfulfilled promise in boxing today. Since his pro debut in early of 2001 the boxing world has been hearing that he would be the sport's next superstar, following in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen, the legendary Wilfredo Benitez and Felix Trinidad. He has been hyped as such following a top level amateur career that included a trip to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    More than five-and-a-half years into his pro career Cotto has racked up a 27-0 record that includes 22 KO's, but instead of facing top level opposition, he has been moved along very slowly facing mediocre opponents. His promoter, Bob Arum, has refused to put him in the ring with a big name opponent. Arum may not be ready to risk his prized commodity against one of those big names given the fact that Cotto has been in trouble in several of his past fights including bouts

    against DeMarcus Corley, Mohamad Abdulaev, and big puncher Ricardo Torres. That being said, there has to come a time when the boxing world has to find out if this guy is the real deal. It is no coincidence that despite being undefeated, Cotto isn't in most peoples’ top 20 pound-for-pound rankings. He seems to have all of the tools to become a superstar. He has a big punch, reasonably fast hands, good reach, great body and combination punching, and from all accounts, a great work ethic in the gym. The one question mark has been his chin. In Cotto's defense he has survived every time he has been hurt and has come back to knockout Corley, Abdulaev, and Torres. It also seems that it's not Cotto who's unwilling to make the big fights. Arum seems to be the ones stunting his growth. Cotto has repeatedly said he would fight anybody, anytime, while Arum has said he isn't quite ready yet, but soon.

    It's not as if the big fight can't be made. Floyd Mayweather has repeatedly said he would love to fight Cotto. I'm sure a bout with Ricky Hatton could be made but Arum has said he wants another one of his fighters, Jose Luis Castillo, to get Hatton instead, sometime next year. A fight with Cotto would likely produce big pay-per-view numbers for any other superstar, in part because of his hype and also his large Puerto Rican following, therefore no one can use the excuse that Cotto doesn't have a name whether he has proved anything or not. The most obvious matchup would be Cotto and fellow Top Rank stablemate Antonio Margarito, especially since Arum and Margarito keep saying nobody wants to fight him even though they bypassed a mandatory challenge against up and comer Paul Williams. Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito would make for a great fight. It would likely be a high action, crowd pleasing affair with the winner taking his step toward boxing stardom. Instead, on December 2 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, they will both co-headline an event with Cotto taking on slick boxer Carlos Quintana and Margarito fighting Joshua Clottey. Both opponents will be tough obstacles. Quintana is coming off an upset of another 'future star' Joel Julio, in which Quintana gave the young Julio a boxing lesson. This is a fight that Quintana can win but, win or lose, Cotto doesn't have a lot to gain with this win except a vacant WBA welterweight title. If he wins people will write off Quintana as a mediocre fighter who had never really proved anything in the sport. If he loses, his reputation and draw will be hugely tarnished without ever facing that big name opponent. If his people were so sure about him they'd much rather take a risk of him losing to a big name and making a ton of money instead of taking the risk of fighting Quintana.

    If Cotto comes out victorious on December 2 it is time for him to face the welterweight elite if he wants to be talked about in the same conversation as an Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather, amongst others. Let's just put it this way. At the same point in his career, De La Hoya had faced the likes of John John Molina, Rafael Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Pernell Whitaker, and you can even throw in there Hector Camacho. Mayweather had already beat Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfreddy, Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, and Jose Luis Castillo. Now not all of those are huge names, but they were all established, current or former respected champions. De La Hoya was already a five time champion before his career had reached six years old and Mayweather was beating Castillo to win his 2nd world title. Cotto has only won a lightly regarded, vacant WBO title at 140lbs.

    The good news is that there is still time. He's not yet 26 and hopefully his prime years are still ahead of him. He and his handlers need to realize that either he will be a star or he won't. Holding him back and facing no name or small name opponents will not add to his status. The tune up fights should be over. He had an extensive amateur background and has 27 pro fights under his belt. He'll never be more ready. If he's not careful he's going to end up getting beat because of lack of focus from not having a big name opponent and that will no doubt leave him and his people wondering what went wrong in the career of boxing's next superstar.

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    Re: Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate

    I may be wrong, but I think Cotto will crack when he faces a top fighter his own size.

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    Re: Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate

    agreed.

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    Re: Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate

    Ditto but it will always be exciting

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    Atlantic City Needs A House Fighter: Can Cotto Be The Man?

    Atlantic City Needs A House Fighter: Can Cotto Be The Man?
    By Michael Woods from Sweet Science

    Atlantic City loved Arturo Gatti and Arturo Gatti loved Atlantic City.

    They had a good run, those two. But, as in all relationships, even the good ones, things change.

    AC is still AC, but AG…well, after losses to Floyd Mayweather and Carlos Baldomir, the Human Highlight Reel cannot be counted upon to put butts in seats in Las Vegas’ trailer park cousin.

    So who can fill Gatti’s shoes as AC’s house fighter? Promoter Bob Arum has a candidate he’d like to offer for your approval, and you can assess Miguel Cotto’s suitability to be boxing’s Atlantic City go-to-guy on Dec. 2nd, when the Puerto Rican rising star meets another undefeated Puerto Rican boxer, Carlos Quintana.

    The two welterweights got on the phone with their translators to hype their Boardwalk Hall beef on Tuesday afternoon, and one question stood out apart from the bulk of the queries that touched on Cotto’s move north from 140: why isn’t this fight taking place in Puerto Rico?

    Good point. Arum answered quickly.

    “If you come to the New York metropolitan area you’ll see how many Puerto Ricans there are here,” said the promoter, who has to have an extra spring in his seventy-four-year-old bones after wresting the services of Manny Pacquiao back from his former cash cow, Oscar De La Hoya. “There are maybe more Puerto Ricans in the New York metro area than there are in Puerto Rico.”

    Arum said Bally’s boxing czar, Ken Condon, is holding auditions for another AC fixture, and was impressed at the number of fans who’ve swarmed Cotto when he was here before (to fight Ricardo Torres in 2005).

    But this is ‘cart before horse’ stuff…

    First, the 26-year-old Caguas native has to meet and defeat his countryman, the 30-year-old southpaw, Quintana.

    After downing a succession of journeyman, of varying quality, Quintana burst onto our radar screen when he upset phenom-flavor-of-the-week Joel Julio in June. His confidence, judging by his demeanor on the call, has to be high. He will not, he says, be derailed by any subplots, like who will get the most cheers from the boricuas come Dec. 2nd. When, not if, he beats Cotto, Quintana will not allow anyone to point to Cotto’s weight-hike as a reason for the loss, he told questioners.

    The weight angle is a major angle in this bout. No doubt, Cotto will be pumped to be able to eat that half cup of mashed potatoes and teaspoon of gravy on Thursday. He hasn’t, he said, felt himself at full power since he beat Randall Bailey late in 2004. So, he will have a full reservoir of power and stamina at his disposal, Cotto said.

    Neither fighter tipped his hand on strategy for the all-PR showdown, so it’s anyone’s guess whether we’ll get a tactical match, or a brawl-heavy festival of fury. For Condon and company hoping to replicate the Gatti phenomena, a brawl-heavy battle for the WBA title has to the desired outcome.

    SPEEDBAG Arum said the winner of the Cotto/Q scrap will meet WBA No. 1 contender Oktay Urkal next. After that, if we’re presuming that Cotto bests the less experienced Q, Arum would like to set up a Cotto/Margarito match for next June. Jose Luis Castillo/Cotto is also an attractive pairing, Arum said, but Castillo is slated to appear on the same card with Ricky Hatton on Jan. 20, with the Hitman and the Scalehater due to get it on with each other if both emerge victorious.

    ---I’m liking Brian Minto’s chances with Axel Schultz on Saturday in Germany. Schultz is 38, and last fought in 1999. He stepped away from the game following a loss to Wladimir Klitschko (TKO8). Hey, if Minto needs any tape on Schultz, I can dig up my cassette of the night he beat George Foreman, April 22, 1995. I know, hold on before you fire off a “gotcha” email. I know Georgie got the nod in Vegas that night, as the vacant IBF pantsholderupper was up for grabs. But that was because Jerry Roth, Keith MacDonald and Chuck Giampa dropped the ball in disgraceful fashion. Harold Lederman scored it 117-111, and so did I.

    ---I was sooo disappointed in Sergei Liakhovich on Nov. 4 against Shannon Briggs. This was not the same dude who gave Lamon Brewster all he could handle and more in April. This was not the same dude who was telling me that Americans just don’t have the same fire that Eastern Euros, or anyone who grew up in rough circumstances, have. I called Sergei last week and didn’t hear from him so I called Ivalyo Gotzev, his manager. According to Gotzev, Liakhovich came in to the Briggs bout with tendonitis in both shoulders, more severely in the right. “He fought through camp with injuries,” Gotzev said. “He missed sparring, but sucked it up. But I didn’t know the extent of the injuries.” Liakhovich is craving a rematch with Briggs, the manager said.

    ---I got to ask Freddie Roach if this is true… but was I hearing things when I was watching the HBO Pacquiao/Morales pre-show, and someone said that Pac Man was bummed out hardcore once when his family was hungry, so his dad killed the dog and they ate it? Did I aurally hallucinate that? Lord, if that’s true then you can’t top that for an anecdote summarizing why a boxer from a rough upbringing has more motivational momentum than somebody who grew up in comparative luxury.

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    Miguel Cotto: in Spanish


  12. #12
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Miguel Cotto: Time to step up to the plate

    Cotto has looked gaunt for the last 2 yrs making weight. This should prove to be his division. He can box, slug, has patience, and good instincts when hurt. He should be the favorite, but I don't know anything but boxrec about Quintana. He looks to be another of those untested undefeated types Cotto has been feasting on his entire career. In short, another careful matchup by Arum as he promotes Cotto towards a superfight with Floyd or Ricky.

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    All our regular fight reporters including myself are unavailable this holiday weekend to cover the fight. Any of you guys want to volunteer? If so, post below & I'll set up the thread.

    GorDoom

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    Thats next week brethren along with Winky & Lacy.
    Showtime & HBO head to head again.

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    DUH ... The old synapses ain't snapping today. Of course your right, Dig. Tonight is Marquez-Jaca & a replay of Pac Morales. Clrold is gonna cover it for us.

    Wait a minute ... Isn't Winky fighting Quartey?

    GorDoom

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    Re: COTTO vs. QUINTANA PRE-FIGHT PRESS & PREDICTIONS

    Yes
    Winky/Quartey & Lacy/Tyspko

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    Re: Cotto vs. Quintana Pre-fight Press & Predictions

    For those who subscribe to both Showtime and HBo this will be a very good night for boxing. 2 solid cards.

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    Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Earlier this week it was reported that Antonio Margarito sprained his ankle in prerperation for his fight with Joshua Clottey. The fight will go on regardless of the supposed injury. He's been doing light jogs and trying not to put to much pressure on it. According to his camp the ankle is doing good and Antonio will be ready come fight time.

    I;m not sure if it's such a good move going ahead with the fight if Margarito is not 100%. Clottey is a solid contender and will give Margarito a good fight regardless of his condition. Hopefully the reports are exagerated and his ankle is fine.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    I hope Clottey wins honestly.
    I am so tired of hearing about Margarito & Clottey is certainly no push over. He may be fun but overall I still don't think Margarito is all that much more special than Mayorga. Clottey is a better boxer than Margarito.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Clottey's no push-over. To go into a fight with him anything less than 100% is crazy.

    Margarito is turning out to be a better fighter @ welterweight than Mayorga IMO. The problem with Maragrito and his unimpressive fight with Santos is that he's not a 154 lb'er IMO. He belongs at 147 lbs. Here I think he's going to be hard to beat. You can't deny the man his props, he has'nt been beaten at 147 lbs. since 1996 and that was in his 12th fight.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    I hope Clottey defeats Margarito also. How a fighter that has not done ANYTHING remarkable during his entire professional career can garner such a reputation is almost perplexing.
    Last edited by lu047w; 11-28-2006 at 03:10 AM.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    I can't understsand the criticism of Margarito. The guy can only fight whomever they put infront of him. He is the toughest test at welterweight hands down for Mayweather, and fun to watch. He throws punches from everywhere and while not pretty, he hits his opponents in the arms, shoulders, body and head. His chin is rock solid, and he has heavy, heavy hands.
    I could see the criticism if he was turning down fights, but he is a tough game guy, who deserves his props. Cut him some slack.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Ironically Mayorga possessed all of Margarito's strengths and he was a better puncher.
    Last edited by lu047w; 11-28-2006 at 06:44 AM.

  24. #24
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by lu047w
    Ironically Mayorga possessed all of Margarito's strengths and he was a better puncher.
    Ain't no attribute Mayorga has over Margarito save stupidity. They are worlds appart in class and techique which is apparent to all but you.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Margarito is much taller for his weigh class, has better stamina, at least equal chin, is smarter, and has more skill. I also think he punches harder. I don't know how you can compare the two.

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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    Mayorga did accomplish more @ 147 lbs. than Margarito, no doubt about that. But give Margarito time and I think he might surprise alot of people...@147 lbs. Any higher he's in trouble.

  27. #27
    Fat Abbot
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    Re: Margarito sprains ankle, fight still a go.

    This Margarito hype is getting ridiculous. His best win was over Kermit Cintron, a mediocre robot with nothing but a punch.

    If we're talking about the young and still hungry Mayorga of a few years back who ko'd Forrest and Lewis, Mayorga had much better handspeed and a bigger punch.

    I think that Margarito and baldomir are basically the same fighter, big for WW, slow, well conditioned and both apply steady pressure.
    Last edited by Fat Abbot; 11-29-2006 at 02:39 AM.

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    Re: Cotto vs. Quintana Pre-fight Press & Predictions

    Miguel Cotto and the Seven Pound Solution
    By Rick Folstad from Sweet Science

    Seven.

    Seems to be the magic number here.

    Seven stubborn pounds that former WBO junior-welterweight champ Miguel Cotto doesn't have to lose now that he's eating his way up to welterweight.

    Seven extra pounds of tasty pasta and grilled fish that Cotto can put away at dinner without losing sleep or feeling like he has to run an extra five miles.


    Seven more pounds of wallop Cotto will be packing when he climbs through the ropes as a welterweight on fight night against Carlos Quintana.

    Seven more pounds of punch he's going to feel when Quintana lands a clean left hand.

    Yeah. The junior-welterweight division is a thing of the past for Cotto, a fond memory, a dead issue.

    Cotto has already said his goodbyes to the division, departed amiably, though you know he was glad to finally walk away from 140 pounds.

    I'm pretty sure he didn't look back over his shoulder as he left, didn't give the junior-welterweight division one last sentimental wave good-bye. No farewell speech.

    "All I can tell you is, I was having problems making 140 pounds," Cotto (27-0, 22 KOs) said on a recent conference call promoting Saturday night's fight with Quintana (23-0, 18 KOs) for the vacant WBA welterweight title in Atlantic City (SHOWTIME) " I feel great at 147 and I never see myself going anywhere but 147."

    Wait a minute, Miguel. You won't be dropping back down to 140 pounds if things don't go quite as well as expected on Saturday night?

    "No."

    Okay. Gotcha. Welterweight it is.

    For now.

    "I'm happy I don't have to lose that last seven pounds that I always had to for 140 pounds," Cotto said. "I think moving up (to 147) will make me a much better fighter."

    We know it will make him a happier fighter and a heavier fighter.

    Quintana, meanwhile, has been at home at welterweight for most of his adult life. He's comfortable there, spent a lot of time at work and at play as a 147-pounder.

    "Being a welterweight all my life has been good for me," he said on the same conference call. "When Cotto moves up, it will be good for him, too. But when I beat him, it will probably be because of my quality as a boxer and not necessarily because he came up to the welterweight division."

    We'll see.

    As for Cotto, he didn't exactly choose Willie Getup for his welterweight debut. Instead of slipping into the division quietly and carefully, maybe with an easy tune-up fight just to get his feet wet, he dove in head first, attacking the division with reckless abandon.

    His first fight at 147 pounds is for a world title against an undefeated fighter who is a natural welterweight and just happens to be a southpaw.

    Wasn't there anyone else out there? Anyone check the yellow pages?

    And Quintana comes from Puerto Rico, the same country as Cotto. Home field advantage?

    None.

    "My whole career has been about facing these kinds of challenges," Cotto said when quizzed as to why he didn't bother with a tune-up but went straight to Quintana. "One of my first early fights was against a world champion. A lot of people did not expect me to beat him, but I did. My career is like that. I expect challenges. If I did not think I was capable of winning this fight, I would not be here."

    All 147 pounds of him.

  29. #29
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    Re: Cotto vs. Quintana Pre-fight Press & Predictions

    Antonio Margarito; Meet Him in Atlantic City
    By TK Stewart from Boxing Scene


    There's a Bruce Springsteen song called "Atlantic City" that goes a little something like this:

    Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight,
    Gonna' see what them racket boys can do...
    Gonna' be a rumble out on the promenade,
    And the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth...
    So put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
    And meet me tonight in Atlantic City."

    For those of you that haven't yet met Antonio Margarito, WBO welterweight champion of the world, be sure to meet him on December 2nd in Atlantic City. He might just be the best welterweight to hit the Jersey shore in over a decade, yet he plies his trade in near anonymity in what the great English boxing scribe Hugh McIlvanney calls "the hardest game".

    When you first see Antonio Margarito, nothing tells you that he is the WBO welterweight champion of the world. There are no fancy gold chains, no limousines and no entourage full of yes man sycophants. Antonio Margarito is quiet, respectful and unassuming. He waits in the same long lines as everybody else, as I found out the morning after Oscar De La Hoya smashed Ricardo Mayorga like a pinata.

    Leaving Las Vegas the morning after a big fight is a hectic affair, and if you're like everybody else your sole motivation in life becomes consumed with garnering a ride to McCarran International Airport so you can just go home.

    I hit the streets early that Sunday morning and the lines had already began to form in front of the MGM Grand for the taxi ride to the airport. I happened to glance behind me and there was Antonio Margarito waiting along with the rest of us. So, in this day and age of high-paid, coddled athletes it was surprising that the generally regarded second best fighter in the world at 147-pounds was stuck in line with all the rest of the ham and eggers.

    For Antonio Margarito, holder of the WBO Welterweight title for four and a half years, nothing has ever come easy. The respect of many in the boxing community has eluded him. The big fights have never come his way because he has always been perceived as a little too good for his own good. Boxing has always been (and continues to be) a risk vs. reward scenario and for a big fight to happen "it has to make dollars to make sense" as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. might say. For Antonio Margarito the big fights have never come his way primarily because they don't make dollars.

    And so, Antonio Margarito finds himself preparing for another opponent in another town well underneath the radar. On December 2nd on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City he faces the unheralded Joshua "The Hitter" Clottey fromGhana, Africa. It will be Margarito's eighth successful defense if he manages to comes out the winner. Not since Felix Trinidad left the wasteland that became the welterweights in 1999, has anybody defended a welterweight title belt more times than Margarito will have.

    A blind man could see that Margarito is one of the best in the world, but for a variety of reasons, whether they be economic or political or just plain stupid he has never gotten the recognition he sorely deserves. In boxing, just because you may be the best fighter does not mean you will make the most money or receive the accolades of fickle network executives, fans and boxing writers. A variety of factors go into making a fighter a star and in the astrological world of boxing the planets have never quite been in the proper alignment for Margarito.

    As a result, Antonio Margarito does what he does and he soldiers on. The last time he was in Atlantic City the viciousness of his punches nearly tore the ear off "Iron" Sebastian Lujan's head. After that, Margarito blew away highly regarded prospect and current IBF welterweight titlist Kermit "The Killer" Cintron in five brutal rounds in Las Vegas. After that fight it was thought that Margarito was on his way to the big fights, but then Floyd Mayweather turned down promoter Bob Arum's eight million dollars to face Margarito. Meanwhile, in his only other fight this year, Margarito felled Manuel "Shotgun" Gomez in only 74 seconds.

    As he was preparing to face Clottey he sprained his ankle in training and it was feared the fight with Clottey would have to be postponed. Margarito was crestfallen that an opportunity to showcase himself might again be out the proverbial window. "When I twisted the ankle, my first reaction was, Oh, no! My fight is gone. But I stayed off it for three straight days. It was pretty swollen that first day, but after icing it for three days the swelling went way down. Now, you can hardly tell that I had hurt it all."

    Bob Arum has done what he can to get Margarito where he needs to be and to sell him the public. Margarito's previous five fights have been broadcast on HBO, ESPN, and pay-per-view. The Clottey fight will be broadcast on Showtime so Margarito has the rare ability to say that he has appeared on both premium cable networks as well as ESPN and pay-per-view within the last few years.

    The epitome of determination and perseverance, Margarito had this to say about facing Clottey, "I'm looking forward to defending my title on Showtime. Clottey is tough and comes right at you. I am giving him the opportunity of a lifetime so you know it is going to be a great fight - for as long as it lasts. My weight is perfect. I will be more than 100 percent ready to go. There is no way I will look past Clottey. It is frustrating when you cannot get the kinds of fights you want. But I am done worrying about it. The fights will come."

    In a strange twist of fate that day in Las Vegas, Antonio Margarito and I were in the same airport terminal waiting for the same plane to take us home. Margarito spent his time quietly reading through a boxing magazine. I wondered what was going through his mind as he sat there with the rest of us. He was the only one in the room who was a boxing champion, but he was as anonymous as a name in a phone book. Nobody asked for his picture or even an autograph.

    So do Antonio Margarito this one favor - meet him in Atlantic City because he's going to rumble out on the promenade.

    TK Stewart is a 2005 Boxing Writers Association of America Barney Award winner. He works for the Bangor Daily News. He is also a regular contributor to this board.

  30. #30
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    Re: Cotto-Quintana, Margarito-Clottey Pre-fight Press & Predictions

    Unknown Clottey Hoping to Change that Status on Saturday
    By Tim Graham from Max Boxing

    Some members of boxing's cognoscenti are not familiar with Joshua Clottey.

    Sure, they've heard the name or at least saw it listed in the welterweight rankings. They've probably seen one of his two fights televised in the U.S. They might even be aware he's from Ghana, the younger brother of Emmanuel Clottey.

    But go ahead and tell a casual boxing fan something substantial about who Joshua Clottey is, why he boxes, what he thinks about when he can't sleep at night, what makes him tick.

    Chances are you can't. Unless you're his trainer or his mother or his brother or his daughter, information is scarce regarding the man who plans to become a well-known quantity with an upset of WBO welterweight champ Antonio Margarito. They will exchange blows Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

    "This fight is going to let everybody know who Joshua Clottey is," Clottey told MaxBoxing as he broke camp Saturday. His West African accent is thick, the words pounding out in a drum-like rhythm. "Outside this fight, everybody is going to respect me."

    Until then, however, Clottey could be the best fighter nobody knows.

    Maybe not even his own promoter.

    "I've never met him," Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler confessed over the weekend when asked to provide some insider Clottey info.

    Trampler, however, is an astute boxing man and can figure out a few things based on a scan of Clottey's record and a discerning look at some videotapes.

    "In a bygone era, he's the kind of guy people would have said 'Never heard of him, never want to hear of him,' " Trampler said. "He beat all the guys he had to beat to get to where he is.

    "He's not a guy that anyone wants to fight, and he probably wouldn't be my first fight for Margarito either."

    Some aspects of Clottey's background are easy to determine. He's a 29-year-old from Accra, Ghana. He's right handed. His record is far from anemic at 29-1 with 18 knockouts.

    Clottey's lone loss is a controversial one that primes the intrigue. He was comfortably ahead on all scorecards when disqualified in the 11th round of a rugged bout with Carlos Baldomir seven years ago in London. Baldomir maintained an undefeated record and built a career that led to attention-grabbing title victories over Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti before reaching a crescendo in a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    "He was not beating me," said Clottey, who craves a Baldomir reprise. "Our heads clashed. It was only once, and the referee ended the fight for no reason.

    "I cried all day because I never lost. When the people back in Ghana heard, everybody was sad."

    Press accounts that might provide fight details such as the referee's name or ringside observations that could illuminate the circumstances of the stoppage were non-existent through an extensive Internet search of newspaper libraries from around the world. But Trampler's account backed Clottey's claim -- and then some.

    "Clottey was beating Baldomir easily,'' Trampler said. "I don't know if it was a British referee or what he was, but all of sudden they fouled him out. It was pretty obvious Baldomir was supposed to win the fight somehow."

    So if this Clottey guy can outwork Baldomir -- imagine that -- then maybe he's a legitimate threat to Margarito. It's significant to point out Clottey has gotten where he is (ranked in the top five by the WBO, WBC and IBF) without any fluffing.

    There are no gimmies to speak of on his record. By his 15th pro bout he was off to fight in England, then returned to his homeland for five rehabilitation-type bouts after the Baldomir calamity. Clottey ventured to the U.S. in November 2003 and hasn't competed anywhere else since. He makes the Bronx his home.

    That same library search engine that turned up nothing on his loss to Baldomir provided marginal notes on his recent career. Mainstream newspapers have mentioned his upcoming fights or results in one or two sentences. He was a throwaway item with zero reputation. One major newspaper said he was from South Africa. Another had him losing the Baldomir fight on a low blow.

    Hardcore boxing sites over the years have imparted only a skosh more on the steadily rising contender. There was a 2005 feature on his falling out with promoter Lou DiBella over a lack of gratifying fights and a few recaps of his only two U.S. television appearances: a February 2005 no contest with Steve Martinez on ESPN2 and his most recent fight, a majority decision over Richard Gutierrez four months ago on HBO.

    Yet there must be more to the man than a register of opponents, venues and outcomes.

    "He basically sleeps and trains," his manager, Vincent Scolpino, said. "Josh is a very dedicated young man, very dedicated to the sport. He doesn't screw around. He figured out a long time ago 'This is my job.' "

    So what is his motivation? What drives him?

    "I don't know how to explain it," said Scolpino, who became enraptured by Clottey when he took welterweight journeyman Sheldon Rudolph to John's Gym for some work. "It's just that when I first saw him I could tell he wanted to be a champ. He just went about his business professionally. If he got pushed back, he would always come forward. He didn't stop.''

    Clottey is a member of the Ga tribe. He grew up in the gritty town of Bukom, where children brawl in the streets like suburban kids play tee-ball.

    "That is an area where everybody wants to fight each other, not in boxing but in a street fight,'' Clottey said. ""If you know something about that area, nobody wants to lose. If I am on the ground, I will wake up and still beat you. That's our mentality. I don't want to lose to anybody. They're all like me. The heart is there.''

    Clottey's not kidding. A Ghanaian educational website states: "Of all the men in other Ghanaian tribes, the Ga man is the most fearless. ... Because of their horrible sense of humor, every joke on him is a personal affront to his manhood. Please, for heaven's sake, if he says 'Ma yi bo eei' (I will beat you), don't stand to challenge him, thinking it's an empty threat."

    The Ga people, who make up about three percent of the Ghanaian population, also claim Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Ben Tackie among their favorite sons.

    Clottey said his people fight out of necessity.

    "Everybody in Ghana who is a boxer is from a poor family,'' said Clottey, one of five children. He has a daughter, who still lives in Africa. "If you don't do something you're gong to be poor forever.

    "My teachers kept telling me to be a lawyer or be a doctor. I told them I will be a fighter. That is who I am."

    Clottey will be entering the greatest opportunity of his life Saturday night. He never has fought for a world championship. He does, however, have at least one thing in common with Margarito. Each has had trouble getting opponents in the ring with him.

    Margarito is 33-4 with 24 KOs. The Mexican is 7-1 with one no contest in nine world title bouts. Another victory is expected.

    But Clottey "doesn't think of himself as an underdog," Scolpino said. "He's wanted to fight this guy for three years. Finally, he's got the break."

    Trampler agreed this won't be a comfortable matchup for Margarito, who has been coping with a twisted right ankle suffered in training camp.

    "Clottey is a very rugged guy, a really physically tough guy," Trampler said. "He's unpolished in the eyes of most observers, but it works for him. He has his own style. He's a little bit awkward, in your face. He has an excellent chin. He should be undefeated. He's a very determined guy, and Margarito's got what he wants.

    "He's a spoiler type guy. Sometimes these guys rise to the occasion. Here you have Clottey who has had plenty of notice. He'll be the best Clottey he can be."

    And maybe, just maybe, the best Clottey will be enough to unseat Margarito and place the relatively anonymous challenger on the boxing Who's Who list.

    "I want to be a champion," Clottey said. "If I win this fight, it's good for me to be known, to be famous, to be known by the people in America and for them to call my name."

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