Head-to-Head Discussion: Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez

Key #1 for Miguel Cotto
Tight Defense/High Guard

By Alex Burgos

Much has been made about the awesome tutelage of Freddie Roach and how he is taking Miguel Cotto back to his younger days.

The main problem–as I see it–is that Roach does not focus on defense all that much. Cotto is a veteran and judging by some of his comments–“Freddie Roach isn’t here to teach me anything new”–I don’t know that Cotto would really retain any new defensive techniques or styles anyways.

And perhaps that’s why he chose to join forces with Roach. He doesn’t want to be schooled all over again, he wants to fine tune things and really focus on his strengths.

Still, it is imperative for Cotto to keep a tight guard and keep his opposite hand up when winging his hooks.

Against Delvin Rodriguez, Cotto jumped in throwing vicious left hooks, but he would drop his right hand to his waist in the process. Martinez will murder Cotto with a swift counter if this is the sort of offense Cotto tries to employ.

Cotto does have the ability to turn his opponents really well, especially when he is backed against the ropes, so it’ll be smart for Cotto to use this tactic to keep Martinez off balance.

Cotto does keep his chin tucked, but he does not have very good head movement, so I won’t even entertain him bobbing and weaving out of harms way. He must keep his guard held high and use angles to give himself a chance to survive 12 rounds with the larger champion.

Key #1 for Sergio Martinez
Impose Your Will Early

By Gabe Rivas

Sergio Martinez, despite being sidelined for over a year due to his injuries, is the universally recognized Middleweight champion of the world.

In his fight with Cotto, he will need to make that clear from the opening bell. Martinez has every reason to be confident going into this fight, as he will be entering the ring with a size, reach, and power advantage.

Because Cotto will be coming forward for an early stoppage, as his being under the auspices of Freddie Roach suggests, Martinez needs to demonstrate that despite a year of absence, he can still bang with the best.

Furthermore, Martinez must not give Cotto too many chances to hit him. Even if he began his career at Light Welterweight, Cotto’s power is still something to be aware of.

Nevertheless, Martinez does not have to show much respect for Cotto. In the same way he showed Chavez Jr. who the real Middleweight champion is, Martinez needs to show why he feels he should have been the A side of this fight.

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