LAS VEGAS — Former three-division titleholder Felix Trinidad believes that fellow Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto should dictate a battle in the trenches against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Saturday night’s clash at the MGM Grand.
“He should stay toe to toe with Mayweather, round-by-round, close to Mayweather like all Puerto Ricans know how to do,” said Trinidad during an interview with Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper. “Put all his heart in and stay toe-to-toe. Try to look for a good shot and soften him little by little.”
Trinidad is part of a lineage of Puerto Rican champions that includes Jose Torres, Carlos Ortiz, Esteban DeJesus, Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez and Edwin Rosario.
In recent years, Puerto Rican fighters such as Juan Manuel Lopez and Ivan Calderon have also earned titles, popularity and fame.
Cotto’s career highlights include victories over past and current titleholders Paulie Malignaggi, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Ricardo Mayorga, Yuri Foreman, Carlos Quintana and DeMarcus Corley.
A three-division titleholder from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Cotto, 31, has scored three straight knockout victories since being dethroned as WBO welterweight beltholder by Manny Pacquiao in Novemvber of 2010, including December’s 10th-round stoppage of Margarito that avenged the first loss of his career.
Cotto (37-2, 30 knockouts) is facing a defensive wizard in Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), who is after his eighth belt in five weight classes. Trinidad said Cotto will need to be fast enough to overcome Mayweather’s speed and upper body movement.
“It is going to be very difficult for Cotto,” said Trinidad. “Because the other guy has the physical conditioning, the intelligence, doesn’t take many shots and is very elusive. Cotto can win, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]