Mayweather vs. Cotto: A Master in the Art of Defense

By Hamilton Nolan


Photo Credit: Will Hart

Floyd Mayweather has several things that Miguel Cotto does not: some of the fastest hands inboxing, steel trap defensive skills, and all of the gloating self-indulgence of a classic anti-hero.Miguel Cotto has at least one thing that Floyd Mayweather does not: grace. Unfortunately forCotto, in boxing, the bad guys often win.

 

The most spectacular thing in this sport is not a crushing Klitschko knockout, or a blinding flurryfrom Manny Pacquiao; it is the sight of Floyd Mayweather—by all appearances possessed ofthe same human body as the rest of us—disappearing behind an impenetrable defensive cageof shoulders, hands, and elbows. Mayweather has the eerie ability to stand in front of a verygood fighter and never get hit. A rolled shoulder there, a lifted forearm there, a bend at thewaist there, and next thing you know, he's 42-0 and you can count on one hand the numberof clean punches he's taken in the past five years. Since he can't be hit, Mayweather prefersto luxuriate in the ring, picking his preferred spots, demoralizing his opponents with sharp jabsalong with left hooks and straight rights that both fly just as fast and connect as often as jabs,leaving an opponent with no offensive or defensive weak spots to key on. Besides the bestdefense in boxing, Mayweather is also boxing's most precise puncher, and one of its smartestring tacticians. It really doesn't seem fair, sometimes.

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