Two of the most popular Latino boxers today are on a collision course this weekend! Sergio Martinez will put his middleweight title on the line against Miguel Cotto this Sunday, June 8 (Saturday, June 7 EST) at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York.
Current trend at the betting line has Martinez at 4/9 odds and Cotto at 15/8 odds. A draw between the two is pegged at 22/1 odds.
The consummate late-bloomer, Martinez broke into the mainstream after he dominated Kelly Pavlik and took the middleweight titles. A certified crowd-pleaser, the Argentine went on to defend the titles six times since, including wins over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Paul Williams. Martinez’s last fight saw him with a unanimous decision triumph over English contender Martin Murray.
Known for his aggressive style and power punching, Cotto went on to win welterweight titles and defend them against the likes of Paul Malinaggi, Zab Judah, and Shane Mosley. After that controversial loss Antonio Margarito, the Puerto Rican was pushed to limelight with high-profile matches against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. A win over Martinez will make Cotto a four-division title holder.
Both fighters have fought just once since last year. Martinez’s inactivity has something to do with the lack of quality opponents and promoters not liking his marketability despite his exciting style.
On the other hand, Cotto has been selective with his fights after his defeat to Pacquiao. After taking the light middleweight title from Yuri Foreman and defended it twice, he suffered back-to-back defeats from the hands of Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout. Cotto made fast work of Delvin Rodriguez last year, pummeling the Dominican en route to a third round stoppage.
The match has the makings of a slugfest as Martinez and Cotto are known to be out-and-out punchers, although the latter had refined his game lately and became more rounded. Martinez is also known to let opponents hit him in order to have the opportunity to hit back, but this might backfire against a foe in the caliber of Cotto.
If the match goes to the cards, expect a close too, especially if both fighters end up throwing haymakers at each all throughout the rounds. And look for a close one too that might induce calls for a rematch.