Last night (Oct. 5, 2013) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, Miguel Cotto faced off with Delvin Rodriguez on HBO. It was Cotto's first fight since a disappointing showing against Austin Trout in December 2012 and "must win" situation as it was the first time in his career that he was entering a bout after dropping back to back fights.
He made several adjustments in his training camp, namely joining Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym, hoped to return to form. His opponent, Delvin Rodriguez, played the perfect foil. He's good enough to present a challenge but still was fighting a better boxer. If Cotto showed up even at a fraction of his best, he'd walk away victorious.
There was a lot of emotion when Cotto won, but that's for the discussion of what happened last night...
The Puerto Rican pugilist is back!
The great philosopher Dusty Rhodes once discussed 'hard times' and watching Miguel Cotto's career over the past few years, it's pretty clear that the Puerto Rican pugilist had fallen on those hard times, daddy. There comes a time in every athlete's career when they just slow down and can't keep up with younger and hungrier fighters.
That's what happened to Cotto. But instead of looking for a short cut to relive his glory days (coughTRTcough), he went and teamed up with a coach that was able to break him down and build him back up. Joining Freddie Roach proved to be one of the best decisions Cotto could have made.
I don't want to say that the bout with Rodriguez was a 'vintage' performance, because I think saying that takes away from what was accomplished. The bodywork was the best of his career. Cotto pushed forward and punished the body with ridiculous hooks.
Those ultimately led to the knockout as Rodriguez disregarded protecting his chin in order to protect his ribs. The win should set up a big money bout with either Juan Manuel Marquez or Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
Boooooooooring! Crawford wins a snoozer
Sometimes, there's just nothing good to say about a fight. It's just so bad that even the paid announce team can't help but take a dump all over it. That's what happened with the Terrance Crawford/Andrey Klimov bout, the co-main event of the night.
Now, Crawford is an unbelievable boxer. He's very good at picking his shots and out struct Klimov the entire 30 minutes of the bout. And he really shouldn't have to shoulder all of the blame because Klimov just didn't do anything. He was tentative and just looked happy to be there.
But if you're fighting an opponent who is scared to throw, you've gotta look to end our misery and finish the fight. There was no portion of the 10 rounds where Crawford was in trouble and it's a bad look when the HBO commentary team completely turns on a fighter. Hopefully he learns from this experience and comes back.
Klitschko gonna Klitschko
If the Klitschko/Povetkin bout happened under Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) rules, it probably would have been both exciting and interesting. Hell, if it happened in the WWE, we would have seen Wladimir finish the powerbomb that he set up perfectly.
But not, it was a boxing match and an awful one at that. Klitschko just isn't an exciting boxer. He controls range incredibly well and has power in his jab. He also has a propensity for hugg...I mean clinching, whenever he feels there is any danger.
And that's what happened last night. If Povetkin engaged, Klitscko clinched. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It was terrible. He may be one of the best of all time, but he's just the worst boxer to watch. There's no question that he's going to win his fights, so at this point, there's also no reason to tune in.
What the hell are you thinking HBO?
It's bad enough that I watched the Klitscko/Povetkin bout in the afternoon when it originally aired. It was live and I like watching live fights. But to make me watch it twice just seems cruel. I know that not every fight will be exciting and fun, but when one is terrible, it's probably a good idea to not air it.
And my beef isn't just that they aired the Klitschko bout. It's that they didn't air the actual undercard for Cotto/Rodriguez which actually featured some really good fights. If HBO is trying to invest in boxing and compete with the Showtime/Golden Boy alliance, maybe it's good idea to start early and build up the future stars.
But what do I know? I'm only 28.
- I really am excited about Miguel Cotto's return. He's always been a personal favorite and when he's on, he's one of the funnest (I know it's not a word, but I don't care) boxers to watch. And as a fan of bodywork, watch him dismantle Rodriguez was such a treat.
- I really contemplated just posting photos of me sleeping to describe the Crawford/Klimov and Klitschko/Povetkin bouts, but I had to hit a word count. Next time.
- I have to give credit to HBO's commentary team for just taking a dump all over both the Crawford/Klimov fight and the Klitschko/Povetkin fights. I was talking with Bloody Elbow's Brent Brookhouse about it and we agreed that it isn't a bad thing for commentators to give their honest opinions. If a fight sucks, it sucks. Let the fans know that's not what to expect and move on.
- That being said, Crawford isn't the next Marvin Haggler or Andre Ward so stop saying that he is, Max Kellerman.