Tubbs Keeps Winning & Dreaming, Cotto, The Next Best Thing

By Tom Donelson
Updated: March 3, 2005

NEW YORK, NY—Miguel Cotto chopped down Corley “Chop Chop” DeMarco but not without a little controversy. In my own mind, the fight was stopped too quickly since DeMarco purposely went down to avoid more punishment with the idea that he would come back in the sixth. It was also obvious that it was a matter of time before Cotto would stop the gallant but outgunned DeMarco. Cotto was breaking down the smaller DeMarco and this was Demarco third time on the canvas.

DeMarco demonstrated some flaws in the “Cotto Express” but also he exposed those qualities that will make Cotto the next feared thing. Cotto’s strength will serve him well in both the 140 and 147 pound division. The man is a natural junior and middleweight, who happen to be fighting at the lower division.

DeMarco showed that an excellent counter puncher could derail Cotto as he nearly ended the Puerto Rican undefeated record with a right hook in the third round. But other than the third round, Cotto dominated the smaller DeMarco with a vicious body attack and a left hook that consistently found its target. (On the reverse side, DeMarco right hand hook and straight left found Cotto face often enough.)

It should be pointed out that DeMarco also hurt Floyd Mayweather in their fight, for those fight fans looking for comparisons. Cotto is a serious contender for both the junior welterweight and welterweight title. Even though Cotto has the WBO version of the junior welterweight title; it is only a minor title in the greater scheme of things. The true champ is Koysta Tzyu, who faces the English Ricky Hatton.

The junior Welterweight is where the action is. You have Koysta Tzyu and Hatton fighting in May and depending upon how Mayweather legal woes play out, you have Gatti and Mayweather in a PPV special. And after the Cotto-Demarco affair ended, Vivian Harris made it clear ringside that he wants Cotto. So by the time the summer ends, we will begin the process of finding out Koysta Tzyu’s successor. Of course, Tzyu is not quite ready to give up his crown but at the age of 35, his time is closer to its end as to its beginning.

Cotto strength is his greatest asset. Cotto vs. Tzyu or Cotto vs. Hatton would be fought in the trenches. Cotto excellent technique and power allows him to be competitive with the older Tzyu and Hatton. I don’t know if Cotto could beat Tzyu but his strength would make it competitive. As for Hatton, Cotto is the stronger fighter and that strength would allow him to prevail in such a contest.

The one fighter right now that would give Cotto trouble is Mayweather, since Mayweather speed and power could befuddle the slower Cotto. However, Mayweather would be facing the strongest fighter of his career and Cotto’s body punches could slow down Mayweather.

Cotto and Gatti would be one of those bloody affairs. Gatti new boxing style would make the fight competitive but Gatti does not have Mayweather’s speed. Gatti does have the power and punching accuracy to take advantage of the holes in Cotto’s defense exposed by Chop Chop. Again, Cotto’s strength would be the deciding factor.

Cotto is ready for prime time and in a deep division; Cotto does have the opportunity and skills to become the best. While the experience of Tzyu and the speed of Mayweather would make them the favorite against the young Cotto, there should be no doubt that Cotto has the right style to prevail even against these great fighters. Cotto is ready for prime time and that is one fact that can no longer be ignored.

This news flash from Cedar Rapids; Tony Tubbs won his third straight fight in the last five months against the warhorse Danny Wofford. Tubbs moved, jabbed and finally put Wofford down in the sixth while taking an easy decision. Tubbs still dream of owning a share of the heavyweight title. (In one of the historical weaker heavyweight division, one can forgive the 46-year old Tubbs for dreaming. Tubbs is still looking for another fight in March to continue his quest for a top ten rating and a championship title shot.