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Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting Ready for Foreman-Cotto

Who: Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) vs. Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs)
When: Saturday, about 11:15pm (New York time) on HBO
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
For What: Foreman's WBA light middleweight title
Why: Why not?

Before the fight:
As an Orthodox Jew, Foreman will be observing Shabbat until sundown on Saturday. He will reportedly arrive at the stadium about two hours before the fight.

Cotto will have a lot on his mind. He is dealing with the psychological damage from his previous fight, a 12th round TKO loss against Manny Pacquiao. In addition, Cotto lost his father last January. If he doesn't perform well, it could be the popular Puerto Rican's final time on the big stage.

During the fight:
Foreman will want to utilize his movement and his jab to stay on the outside in order to take advantage of his height (5'11" to 5'7") and reach (72" to 67") advantages. Foreman must be willing to trade at opportune moments, especially when Cotto is off balance. Unless trainer Emanuel Steward has worked miracles, Cotto will present those opportunities.

Cotto will hope to cut off the ring, walk through Foreman's jab, and get inside his guard. Once inside, he'll need to work the champion's body with left hooks. That could slow down Foreman by the late rounds. Cotto is not a one-punch knockout artist, so he'll need to keep pressure on Foreman to be successful.

After the fight:
If Foreman wins, he'll instantly be a player at the top of the 154-pound division. Any win will bring critics claiming that Cotto was over-the-hill. A loss for Cotto, even a competitive one, could very well vault him into retirement.

If Cotto wins, it'll help him on his quest to return to the heights he experienced two years ago. A close loss and Foreman will become a B opponent for champions and top prospects in the division. A bad loss will force Foreman to put the pieces of his career back to together, possibly at middleweight, where he'll be relatively faster.

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