Key #2 for Miguel Cotto
Work the Body
By Alex Burgos
As I mentioned in the previous key, much is being made about the Freddie Roach/Miguel Cotto combination.
We got to see a fierce “throwback” version of Cotto against Delvin Rodriguez, but that doesn’t really tell us much as Rodriguez was in survival mode as soon as he took the first punch.
Cotto has always been a disciplined fighter and he’ll certainly have to be at his best—mentally speaking—to overcome the Argentine champion on Saturday night.
He might have to survive a knockdown or two to get the win, but fighting at Madison Square Garden and feeding off the electric crowd will certainly give him a boost and may help him overcome the toughest of obstacles.
If I had to focus in on one thing that Roach better be telling Cotto to do offensively, it’s work the body.
Martinez is nimble, with cat like reflexes, but his body is starting to betray him. How will Martinez’s knee hold up over 12 rounds without a brace?
If I’m Cotto, I do everything I can to make Martinez as uncomfortable inside the ring as he has during the pre-fight negotiations.
Nothing makes your body want to shut down like a vicious shot to the liver, and if Cotto is able to carry any power up to 159 pounds, he better put it all into his body shots.
Cotto must intelligently stalk Martinez and work the champion’s body early and often.
Key #2 for Sergio Martinez
Land Counter Punches from the Outside
By Gabe Rivas
Cotto has shown us that he is susceptible to counterpunches when coming forward.
In his fight with Delvin Rodriguez, Cotto was hit with hooks that, if thrown by a heavier puncher, would have probably hurt him.
Furthermore, despite stopping southpaw Zab Judah in their 2007 Welterweight fight, Cotto was clearly hurt by Judah’s left uppercut in the first round.
It seemed as if he was finding his rhythm early and was grew very aggressive. But this “old school” Cotto was hurt coming forward.
He managed to survive it order to stop Judah in round 11, but a similar mistake against a man who has knocked out top ten Middleweights could put him on the canvas.
Martinez will need to utilize his reach to set up the left uppercut along with the right hook, which is another punch he can land around Cotto’s peek-a-boo stance.
Martinez will just have to be Martinez and use his footwork, speed, and sudden fusillades of punches to knock out Miguel Cotto.