Cotto vs. Margarito II
Finally, a big fight back at Madison Square Garden (my home town).
My primary gambling recommendation? Stay away from this one.
There are just too many unknowns / unpredictable factors in this fight to risk capital on it (although if you're just trying to make it EVEN MORE exciting, don't let me hold you back).
I'm sure you've heard most of these before, but below is a list of what I believe are the most important considerations:
- Has Antonio Margarito been using illegal handwraps his entire career (especially during his bout with Miguel Cotto)? Depending on how you answer this question, much of his career can turn out to be meaningless from an analysis / information standpoint. I personally feel that if you are caught doing something, the odds are that it wasn't the FIRST time you've done it.
- Who is more shopworn? Both fighters have taken two beatings each in the past few years. Tony was thrashed by both Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Miguel was thrashed against Margarito and Pacquiao. Fights like those have long lasting physical AND mental effects.
- How will Cotto's new corner affect him? I believe this is Cotto’s third new trainer in 4 fights.
- Will the memory of his father motivate Cotto to avenge his first professional loss? It’s been over a year now since his father passed away but something tells me that this particular bout has more emotions attached to it for Miguel than the two that occurred after his father’s passing. We’ve seen evidence of fighters performing amazing feats when motivated by the loss of a loved one. Remember Buster Douglas’ HUGE upset of Mike Tyson after his mother died?
- Due to the eye situation, Margarito lost training time (as he had to travel to NYC for an exam) and per trainer Robert Garcia, the team "had to adjust" their training camp schedule. And is his eye truly healthy? In HBO’s 24/7 series, the doctor’s comments stuck in my mind. I’m paraphrasing here, but instead of just saying that Tony’s eye was healthy, etc., the doctor very specifically said that "based on the current regulations" Margarito can fight. It didn’t seem like a true “clean bill of health” so to speak.
- Cotto has the hometown advantage now. Las Vegas (the site of the first bout) can become very pro Mexican depending on the bout. I wasn't at the first fight, but I would guess that it was predominately Margarito / Mexican boxing fans.
As mentioned previously, for pure gamblers my recommendation would be to stay away from this bout. If you forced me to pick, I'd take Cotto by decision (with a Margarito win by KO as the next most likely scenario).