Headline Says It All: Will Beats Skill

By Tom Donelson
Updated: August 2, 2008

GlovesIOWA CITY, Ia. — One headline summed up the Cotto-Margarito fight: Will Beats Skill. Antonio Margarito was always a fighter who depended upon will to overcome more skilled fighters and his strength served him well as he had never been stopped.

As for Miguel Cotto, we had a chance to answer the one question; what would his legacy be?Every fighters, including the great ones, always had a particular style that would give them trouble but the difference between the great fighters and the very good fighters was that Great fighters found a way to beat the more difficult opponents and the very good fighers were always perplexed by at least one style.

Margarito found his Achilles heel when he faced a disciplined boxer in Paul Williams who used his height and right hand jab to out fight Margarito.

Williams’ height and outside boxing skills proved just a little bit too much for Margarito but Margarito had done well against Cotto’s fellow Puerto Rican fighter, Kermit Cintron.

Margarito advantage laid in his strength and ability to take punches while dishing it out. Going into this fight, Cotto was considered the more skilled fighter and quicker.

I wrote in the prefight build up, “Margarito has had problems with boxers but he is built for fighters with Cotto’s styles. Cotto does not have Mosely’s hand speed or he may not even have Williams’ boxing skills plus Cotto will come into this match as the smaller fighter.

The one thing that Cotto does have is punching power, the one punch power that changes fight and that is the one intangible in this fight.

Will his power be enough to discourage Margarito from his usual fight plan of attack, attack and attack? If Cotto can hurt Margarito early and show the boxing skills that allowed him to squeek past Mosely, then Cotto will end up the victor.”

While Cotto showed his boxing skills early in this fight, he did not hurt Margarito early and as I noticed previously, Margarito had the style to give Cotto trouble.

This fight was won based on the following two factors. First being that Cotto’s power was not enough to deter Margarito and the second factor, Margarito was simply the bigger fighter.

As the fight wore on, Margarito’s stamina and strength overwhelmed Cotto and this led to Cotto first defeat.

What we now see is that the Welterweight have two elite fighters at the top of the Welterweights and neither of them are named Cotto.

Paul Williams have already shown that he belonged by already beating Margarito and Margarito by his decisive victory over Cotto.

As for the Welterweight, they are left with a financial dilemma.Neither Margarito nor Williams are big PPV when compared to past Welterweights just as Cotto or even De La Hoya or Sugar Ray Leonard in the 80’s and De La Hoya is in no hurry to fight the tough Margarito.

One reason for De La Hoya’s reluctance to fight Margarito is money for Margarito-De La Hoya does not have the same drawing power as Cotto-De La Hoya.

The second is that in boxing, one does not risk their reputation or title if the money is not right or there is a bigger fight that is easier.

For De La Hoya, he may have had the style to defeat Cotto since he is similar height as Margarito.And De La Hoya could match Cotto in quickness but there is the question on whether De La Hoya could handle Margarito pressure at this stage in his career.

Some would noticed that Mayweather refuse to box Margarito for eight million dollars but then he had a bigger fight to set up; a fight with De La Hoya.

Soon De La Hoya will be out of the picture so the options for Mayweather will become slimmer and depending upon what happens in the Welterweight division.

The next big fight in the division will not be Margarito-De La Hoya or Margarito-Mayweather but Margarito-Williams.

With Mayweather taking a hiatus and De La Hoya near the end of his career, the Welterweight division is now populated with very good fighters.

In the early 80’s, the welterweight division saw the like of Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy the hitman Hearns and Roberto Duran. All of these fighters moved up together through the weight division.

Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto are very good fighters but they have yet to touch the mantle of greatness.

Yet these fighters are close in skills and that makes this a competitive division where every fight among contenders is a title fight.

Margarito had a tough battle with Clottey, who is scheduled to fight Zab Judah and his lost to Williams merely reinforces the fact that this is a competitive division.

History will only show if we are witnessing a break out of young great fighters moving up together or simply a group of very good fighters who may just fall short of greatness.

Regardless, we will be witnessing a couple of years of some great fights in the Welterweight division.