Studious Mayweather influenced by Mosley and Judah when combating Cotto

8 May

Words: Alan Dawson – London

All Photos: Will Hart/HBO

In order to negate the multi-dimensional boxing style that three-weight world champion Miguel Cotto possesses, Floyd Mayweather Jr followed a blueprint that was first formulated by former foes Shane Mosley and Zab Judah. Post-fight, the Money man credited Sugar Shane and Super Judah for his own success with the uppercut and right hook. The current incumbent of the WBA junior middleweight world title, Mayweather also lauded Cotto for his industriousness.

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Mayweather’s inclination to trade with Cotto allowed Miguel to gain more success than past Floyd opponents

Statistically, Cotto’s greatest round was the eighth, when he connected with 20/65 shots (31%)

On average, Mayweather’s opponents typically only land 16 percent of their punches, however, Cotto was able to achieve a greater percentage – 21 – as there were numerous moments in multiple rounds where Floyd would exit his traditional defensive posture and open up on Miguel.

Defending his title at 154lbs, Cotto produced a fan-friendly challenge… one which yielded fair numbers on the punch stats but, despite his pressure, he was still out-worked (May = 687 thrown, Cotto = 506) and out-landed (May = 179, Cotto = 105) by the challenger who, rightfully, left the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as ring king.

Floyd, 35, who extended his undefeated streak in professional boxing to 43 fights with 26 big wins by way of knockout, was the first to acknowledge and respect Cotto, a pugilist who had faced criticisms for being ‘shot’ following defeats to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao in years past.

“When it’s pay-per-view, you want to give the fans excitement,” Mayweather said, before commenting on the blood he leaked – particularly from the nose – during the contest. “It comes with the territory. Miguel Cotto fought his ass off, Cotto was a tough competitor and I executed a gameplan and fought my heart out.

“Tonight I got a few bumps and bruises, but that is part of the sport. I could have made it a very easy fight, but I was going for the knockout. Cotto was in tremendous shape. He was tough, a good puncher. He didn’t win more than 30 fights for nothing. Cotto is a future hall of famer. I fought him at his weight. He’s tough, what can I say? He came to fight and not survival. When you come with offence, these things happen [but] I just bit down like a true champion.”

Considerable bleeding in a Mayweather fight is normally associated with the other man, not Floyd

Despite Cotto’s strength (75 of his shots landed were power punches) Mayweather was in control for the majority of rounds

A Las Vegas resident, Floyd is famed for his all hour training regimen at the Mayweather Boxing Club on Schiff Drive and lives by the motto of ‘hard work and dedication’. Exercising, road-work, pad-work with uncle/trainer Roger Mayweather are all fundamental aspects of camp, yet Mayweather showed his student side by admitting he “watched tapes of Shane Mosley [when he fought Cotto in 2007]” as well as studying Zab Judah.

“The right hook and the uppercut were working for me,” reflected Floyd on what precisely secured him victory against the game 31-year-old Puerto Rican. “I had watched tapes of Mosley and I saw that the right hook was working. And I also watch Zab Judah use the uppercut against him too. So I knew I was going to use those shots tonight. I knew the right hook was going to be my money shot. A lot of times and these days you don’t see fighters using the right hook, only the left. But tonight I wanted to use the right hook and that is what I did.”

Wrestler HHH (not pictured), Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and Yuriorkis Gamboa were honourary Money team members

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