Is Miguel Cotto Back?

Photo by Mike Ehrmann Getty Images (8)
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Now that the dust has settled from the veritable destruction of Delvin Rodriguez at the hands of Miguel Cotto, we can now discuss whether or not he has been “reloaded.”  I believe that he has, but he is better off fighting at Welterweight.

Cotto’s third round knockout of Rodriguez shows that he can do some damage when he is more aggressive and well-conditioned. However, it is clear that it may not have the same effect at the Junior Middleweight limit of 154 pounds.

In an interview on FightHubTV that took place before the fight, Freddie Roach said that Cotto would probably be better at 147. However, he said this with one caveat: “It depends on what’s available, of course.”

If the money is good and if the opponent is right, we could be looking at a fight with Sergio Martinez or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Roach also mentioned that Cotto was easily making 154 pounds and that he told Cotto  he was dropping weight a bit too quickly.

Cotto does not have to drain himself the way natural Junior Middleweights such as Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo have to. Making weight is not a problem.

Photo by Mike Ehrmann Getty Images (2)
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Roach’s comments suggest what has been clear to fans watching some of Cotto’s recent fights: Cotto is not a natural Junior Middleweight. His fights with Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, and Floyd Mayweather were very competitive, but mostly because all three of them were natural Welterweights.

In his fight with Trout, Cotto had a lot of trouble with Trout’s reach and height advantage. It was the first time he fought a natural Junior Middleweight at a championship level.  Also, from the looks of Cotto’s face after the fight, the power of a natural Junior Middleweight might be too much for him. His face was bruised and a bit swollen, even though he blocked most of the punches with his gloves.

Roach, who was visibly ecstatic after the Rodriguez fight, was more than happy to welcome a fight with Martinez. His comments, according to, even suggest he has a bad taste in his mouth, ostensibly because the last fighter he brought against Martinez suffered an embarrassing defeat.

Roach stated that, “All Chavez had to do was let his hands go. I got a disciplined fighter [in Cotto] who’s going to follow a game plan like he did tonight. I think we can beat him.”

Roach believes he has the game plan to beat Martinez, but it will not work for Cotto. Martinez is too big and too strong.  Martinez can still easily make 154, but Roach is even willing to fight at 160.

Despite the post-fight excitement, his comments before the fight still suggest he might be concerned about the size advantages of Junior Middleweights. Perhaps the excitement of a complete demolition of Rodriguez gave Roach a bit too much confidence.

But who exactly is Delvin Rodriguez?

Photo by Mike Ehrmann Getty Images (7)
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Delvin Rodriguez, who is now (28-7,  16 KOs), fought most of his career at Welterweight, has a knockout ratio of 42 percent, and has even lost to the likes of Ashley Theophane, who looked terrible against Welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano.

The only impressive name on Rodriguez’s record is Austin Trout, a man he lost to. One judge had Trout winning nearly all the rounds. It was a one-sided loss against a natural, championship level Junior Middleweight.

Considering Rodriguez’s record, it is now clear why Cotto easily walked through him. Cotto was fighting a natural Welterweight with limited power. During the fight, Cotto ate a few punches as he made his way on inside, punches that from the likes of Angulo, James Kirkland, or Martinez could hurt him.

Finding a way inside will likely be the game plan for most, if not all, of his possible fights at Junior Middleweight and it won’t be as successful.

The names being thrown around right now are Martinez and Canelo. The fight that makes the most sense for Cotto is a fight with Canelo, a fighter who, although powerful, is not as tall as other people in his weight and who will also provide Cotto with a large pay day.

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A fight with Martinez is unreasonable, not as lucrative, and will likely send Cotto back to the drawing board.

If this fight doesn’t materialize, Cotto can definitely move down to Welterweight, a division he most certainly belongs in. He will have an advantage in strength and experience and possible fights with Adrien Broner, Timothy Bradley, and even a rematch with Mayweather could all make him a champion once again.

Cotto is the fighter who has given the most trouble to Mayweather and will likely do the same for other fighters at Welterweight.

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