We're mere hours away from the start of the HBO pay-per-view card for Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto and I'm getting that nervous feeling that fight fans get in the pit of their stomachs before the truly major events. Mayweather brings the big fight feeling with him about as well as anyone on the planet thanks to his pure, unbelievable talent and his ability to self-promote.
As we head toward the start of the broadcast, I figured now would be a good time to share some last pre-event thoughts:
- I'm a fan first, and as such I'll be rooting for Miguel Cotto. There is no one who seems like more of a genuinely nice guy than Miguel. The last two 24/7 "seasons" (for this bout and his rematch with Antonio Margarito) have really gotten across how important his family is and how genuine of a person he appears to be. He's also a great talent and having a win over Mayweather would make that impossible for people to forget as time eventually tries to erode his accomplishments.
- Carlos Acevedo is one of the very few boxing writers I consider worth reading, his brutal honesty and ability to strip the nonsense away from a fight game filled with layer after layer of absurdity is magical. But I think he kind of missed the mark with his preview for this fight at The Cruelest Sport. His assertion that Mayweather as cultural touchstone is illusion created by HBO and media coverage would seem a bit misleading to me. Mayweather is a huge American sports star. The fact that pay-per-view carries with it an inherent loss of live viewers over the old days of network television broadcasts doesn't mean that he is less of a superstar. The level of media coverage is dictated by public interest. This is an event that the American sports fan actually cares about, and it's because he's a star that transcends most others in the sporting landscape. Still, go read his preview because the rest of it is gold.
- The more I wait for the fight, the more I try to convince myself that Cotto can do this. Which is just my brain playing tricks on me. Miguel is good enough to beat anyone on any given night, but he is not so good that he should be expected to beat Mayweather. As I said in my preview of the bout, the better fighter should win, and the better fighter is Floyd. I Miguel wins though? I'm going to lose my mind.
- As I get outside the bubble of "dedicated boxing fan" I'm realizing more and more that people don't understand just how shot Shane Mosley really is. He's every bit a washed up fighter being used as little more than a big name to add to Canelo Alvarez's resume. In his best days, this would have all the makings of a war (and one that Mosley would win), but his best days are approaching five years in the rear view. He also is sounding worse every time I hear him. He seems to have trouble pronouncing certain words, there appears to be more of a slur and his voice is very different from what it was back in 2007 and before. I worry that we're seeing a great career really start to add up for Shane.
- The other two televised undercard fights sure are...happening. Forbes vs. Vargas is a waste of everyone's time, but at least it's the result of Forbes being a late replacement, not a planned opponent. Latimore and Quintana could turn out to have a surprising little war in the opener though, I wouldn't suggest skipping it. Although Latimore might lazily try to pick his way through the bout, I think Quintana will force him to fight and make it something watchable.
We'll have much more tonight, so stay tuned!