By Hamilton Nolan
The Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez fight on June 12 pits two of boxing’s most popular pound-for-pound superstars against one another. It will be a battle of the highest quality. Still, it does not offer an easy, convenient storyline. The two men come from different weight classes; they are not from countries that are at war with one another; neither has ever thrown a drink at the other in a smoky nightclub. With all of the real storylines already discussed in the lengthy pre-fight discussion period, here are a few plausible storylines that could work for this megafight:
Miguel Cotto, a Puerto Rican, was never able to properly identify the capital of Argentina on his grade school geography tests; Sergio Martinez has been nursing a grudge ever since.
Sergio Martinez has been doing nothing but obsessively organizing his World Cup fantasy team the whole time he was supposed to be in “training camp.”
Miguel Cotto hates men who wear turtlenecks; he always has.
Sergio Martinez looks like a male model; Miguel Cotto looks like a boxer. Would you rather be a movie star, or a famous boxer? This fight won’t help decide that, but it’s an interesting question to ponder.
Miguel Cotto has tattoos all over his body; Sergio Martinez’s neighbor, a tattoo artist, was jailed for giving unlicensed tattoos. Sergio gets really weird when he sees tattoos now.
Sergio Martinez is always bobbing his head up and down; Miguel Cotto had the high score on the only Whack-A-Mole game in Caguas, Puerto Rico for several years in a row during his youth. If Caguas had had a decent Skee Ball parlor instead, would we even be here?
Sergio Martinez actually weighs 208 pounds. The scale was broken. Advantage?
Miguel Cotto’s best punch is the left hook to the body; Sergio Martinez’s best punch is leaning forward really fast and poking his opponent in the eye with his own jutting chin. Effective?
Sergio Martinez is the longtime student of a single trainer; Miguel Cotto has had a different trainer for every fight, and for this fight he was trained by a Rosetta Stone “Learn to Speak Hindi” CD-Rom. Wise?
Miguel Cotto is actually himself; Sergio Martinez is actually the Mexican film star Diego Luna with a different haircut. Fair?