I should start by pointing out just how nice it is to have nothing but good things to say after a boxing pay-per-view involving either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao for once. In Mayweather's last fight he knocked out Victor Ortiz while Victor appeared to be having some sort of mental breakdown and before that it was his drubbing of a lifeless Shane Mosley and then not even bothering to make weight before beating up on the far-too-small Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao's last fight, against Marquez, was great action, but for the third time it seemed like the judges gave Manny some questionable scoring to give him the win and before that he too engaged in punishing the shell of Shane Mosley and post-handwrap controversy Antonio Margarito.
For once, we got to see one of the best in the world step into the ring and leave without controversy or disappointment. It's quite a nice feeling.
Now, on to some random thoughts from the evening:
- I'm not exactly sure why Larry Merchant can't just tone it down a bit. I've gotten a kick out of his act in the past, but when he interviewed Floyd after the fight, he started it with a discussion about how Floyd apologized for their confrontation after the Ortiz bout and then immediately took a negative tone with his questioning. Mayweather was in a great mood though and managed to just smile through it while speaking highly of Cotto.
- Floyd Mayweather had said in the build up to the fight that he has it in him to brawl if he has to, and he was forced to at times during this fight. Cotto was relentless in pushing him into the ropes and trying to work the body, and Floyd responded by cracking Cotto with heavy power. There was a moment in round eight where Floyd actually looked "worried" when being hit in the corner, but he came out in round nine and stopped the momentum that Miguel had going. It was a special performance by a special fighter.
- On Floyd's jail time: he's sentenced to 9 months, but expect him to serve 6 in a fairly easy stint. I know it's popular to think of movies where Floyd is sharing his cell with a hardened criminal and having to worry about being shanked, but it's much more likely that he spends a bunch of time away from general population, being kept safe and probably watching TV and reading his days away.
- If there was any doubt over Cotto's credentials as a hall of fame level fighter, they should be erased now. The only two men with legitimate victories over him are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather and he pushed both men hard. Manny was able to wear Cotto down late and take the fight over, but one wonders if Cotto's new trainer (who seems to have gotten Miguel's conditioning in a better place) might be able to help him not fade so badly. Floyd had to actually bust his ass to win the fight, meaning Cotto may have a legitimate case for the third best fighter of his era, especially given that he has a clean win over Shane Mosely at a time when both men would be considered "in their prime."
- Speaking of Mosley, if he does decide to call it a career after taking a beating at the hands of Canelo Alvarez, he'll be a guy deserving of the deepest respect boxing fans can give. Mosley was a true elite competitor for years and years, putting on memorable wars, picking up marquee wins and carrying himself like a true professional. While he did pick up yet another loss tonight, he came to fight, unlike the shell of himself that showed up against Pacquiao, Mayweather and Sergio Mora. He didn't have enough to win, but he had enough to at least go out on a fight he can be proud of.
- Canelo Alvarez is a treat to watch fight. He throws everything with seriously bad intentions and would have stopped almost anyone on the planet with the shots he landed on Mosley. Shane's chin is just freakish and able to deal with getting cracked by huge shots without him being KO'ed. Canelo has a bright future and central to that is just how much he loves the fight itself. He's fought 41 times and is only 21 years old. He suffered a bad cut early in the fight, but showed maturity in not freaking out and just continuing at the same exact pace, with the same exact intentions. He has that "something special" and is going to do huge things in and for the sport of boxing.
- Jessie Vargas isn't particularly interesting to watch, if he had a bit of punching power he'd have something to look out for, but instead he just picks apart guys like Steve Forbes. I'm not sure how high the ceiling is on Vargas at this point. Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook seems to think that he can get to the championship level (since it's so easy in today's boxing climate to earn a title) but not be an elite fighter. That's probably fair, but he's going to need the right opponent to be a great TV fighter.
- I told you to bet on Carlos Quintana as I felt that he was a great value as an underdog against Deandre Latimore and I told you that I also fully expected him to win. And, guess what? He proved me right. I thought he'd outwork a hesitant Latimore to take a decision, instead he just came out and busted him up until Latimore collapsed to the ground and couldn't get to his feet, forcing the ref to call it of. Latimore is just not as good of a fighter as they want him to be and Quintana, while flawed, always seemed like he was too much for Deandre.