Four trainers break down the weekend’s big fight (or fights). This week: Abel Sanchez, Ken Adams, Robert Garcia and Rudy Hernandez discuss the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga and Sergio Martinez-Sergei Dzinziruk fights on Saturday.
Cotto-Mayorga: “It’s too late for Mayorga. Maybe four, five years ago this would’ve been a decent fight. And the fact Manny (Steward) is in his corner gives Cotto a 20-percent boost mentally. He’ll a different fighter after another three months with Manny. It takes time for a fighter to believe in a trainer. I think Cotto will look like the Cotto of old, although a little older. If Manny wasn’t there, I think Cotto would’ve slugged with Mayorga. Now he’s going to have a game plan. And Cotto didn’t get sucked into Mayorga’s games. He’s a smart man. He walked away (from Mayorga) at the press conference. He’s been around long enough to understand the ins and outs.
Martinez-Dzinziruk: Martinez is a much better athlete (than Dzinziruk). If you put him on a basketball court, he’d be a good basketball player. He’s one of those guys. He does things in the ring that aren’t natural for a boxer but gets away with it. I think he’ll win just because the other isn’t busy enough. The problem with Dzinziruk is that he tries to be perfect. He just doesn’t throw punches in bunches to make something happen. He’s a very basic fighter. He has a beautiful jab but he doesn’t throw it often, he doesn’t do things off of it. He waits to much. He’s going to have to keep Martinez off balance. If he doesn’t, he’s in trouble. He’ll get hit by a shot he doesn’t see, like Paul Williams did. Everything is too basic (with Dzinziruk). I think Martinez wins.
Cotto-Mayorga: “I think Cotto will beat Mayorga by knockout. He’s got a game plan. I’m sure Emanuel Steward has come up with a good one and Cotto is very good at following a game plan. Mayorga probably thinks Cotto will run from him, but I don’t think he will. I think Cotto will sit in there with him and dig in with his punches,
Martinez-Dzinziruk: ““I haven’t seen much of (Dzinziruk) but I know he’s a good, solid fighter. He’s a good technician with a very good jab, but I have to go with Martinez by decision or by late-rounds knockout. He’s got so much momentum going for him right now, and I think he’s the better fighter. I like Martinez. He’s very loose, he can be elusive, and he hits from all different angles. Plus, I like his trainer (Gabriel Sarmiento), he looks like he’s got his stuff together. Martinez might be vulnerable to Dzinziruk’s jab, but I think he’ll overwhelm him with his athleticism. I like Martinez because of the experience factor, his power and his quickness.”
Cotto-Mayorga: “I think Cotto should be able to win. He has a great trainer behind him, and he’s the world champion. That means a lot to a fighter, when you have a title to defend. Mayorga makes you hate him before the fight, but I don’t think that’ll have any effect on Cotto. He’s a warrior; he’s not afraid of Mayorga. I think Cotto has the hunger and ability to pull this off. Cotto is much smarter in the ring. Mayorga is tricky and wild. He’s able to land good punches against fighters who are slow, who don’t good reflexes. Cotto isn’t like that. Mayorga was good maybe six, seven years ago. Now I think he’s more mouth than anything. He has a puncher’s chance. Cotto looked good when he won his title, though. He has good momentum now. I think he’ll win.
Martinez-Dzinziruk: “I know Martinez from Oxnard, where we have our gym. I know how hard he runs, how hard he trains. He’s in tremendous shape. He’s also so smart and so quick. He’s just a complete fighter, better than this opponent, I think. (Dzinziruk) could be a hell of a fighter but I don’t think he’s better than Martinez. Martinez has improved so much, especially after the two wins he had last year (over Kelly Pavlik and Williams). He’s a different person, a different fighter. I know he wants to be the best. His goal is to be the best fighter pound for pound. And right now, in my mind, there is no one out there who can stop him. He’s thinking like a champion. That makes him hard to beat.
Cotto-Mayorga: Cotto wins a decision. I think Mayorga is an OK fighter but he’s not the same fighter who fought Vernon Forrest back in the day. And he seems to always lose the big fights. Cotto is so focused. Some people believe he’s pretty much done after his two losses, against (Antonio) Margarito and (Manny) Pacquiao. I think he’s far from being done. I think he has quite a bit left in the tank. I think he dominates this fight; he’ll win eight or nine of the 12 rounds. And if Cotto was more aggressive, I think he’d knock him out. Cotto likes to box, though. That’s what I think he’ll do: play it smart, try to outbox him and punish him.
Martinez-Dzinziruk: I like Martinez. He’s a proven fighter. It’s his time right now. A lot of times styles make fights, though. It could end up being more difficult than a lot of people might think. And sometimes a guy rises to the occasion. He knows he’s in the spotlight, that a lot of people will be watching. That gives you a little extra motivation. I still like Martinez, though. Believe it or not, I believe he’s in his prime. And Dzinziruk hasn’t fought the type of guys Martinez has fought. That’s a big advantage for Martinez.