This evening from 4 Pennsylvania Plaza in New York City, Sergio Martinez will put his WBC Middleweight Title on the line against 3 Division, 4X World Champion Miguel Cotto in the “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. This is quite a compelling matchup considering where both fighters are at this point in their careers so, one has to wonder…. who needs this fight more? The intent of this article is not to provide a breakdown of the fight or make a prediction but more so to analyze and compare a few key areas between the two in a quest to find our answer.
The combined record of Martinez’s last seven opponents at the time of their fights is a staggering 234-5 and he has not lost since 2009 but his resume is not comparable to Cotto’s. When you compare the likes of Murray, Chavez Jr., Macklin, Barker, Dzinziruk, Williams, and Pavlik, to Mayweather, Pacquiao, Mosley, Judah, Trout, Margarito, and Malignaggi, it’s obvious which way the scales tip.
Martinez is 39 and Cotto is 33.
With a history of recent injuries and surgeries, Martinez is slowly starting to show his age. He says he is 100% healthy but until he makes it out of a fight injury free, it’s unclear if that’s the case. Cotto has arguably taken more punishment over the course of his career than Martinez has so although six years Martinez’s junior those wars have no doubt taken their toll.
Edge- Cotto, by a slight margin.
Martinez has won world titles at Light Middleweight and Middleweight and Cotto titles at Junior Welterweight, Welterweight, and Junior Middleweight. Martinez has never lost in a title fight and has defended for many years so, while Cotto has beaten quality fighters in some of his title fights, he has lost in his biggest.
Future With A Win
With a win, Cotto would become the first Puerto Rican to win a championship in four different weight classes and would take another step towards Canastota. Martinez would move from B Side to A Side in most matchups and would strengthen his legacy while maintaining his status as a pound for pound fighter.
Future With A Loss
Martinez’s recent history of injuries and moments of vulnerability would be magnified with a loss to Cotto. Couple this with the fact that he no longer would be a title holder and would be closing in on 40 his future is limited. Cotto is moving up in weight and fighting a title holder who has not lost since 2009 so a loss here is not devastating. Cotto could move back down to his natural weight and find an abundance of big fights.
Sergio Martinez has been the top champion of his weight class for many years and the same cannot be said for Cotto; however, Cotto’s name surfaces first when both names are mentioned as potential hall of fame candidates. It’s not that Martinez hasn’t fought high level competition, but his opponents are not familiar to the casual fan whereas most of Cotto’s biggest fights have been with opponents with bigger names. Cotto has the advantage in 4 out of the 6 categories mentioned which means that a loss for him is less impactful than for Martinez. That said, Martinez needs this fight more at this point in his career than does Cotto.