Cotto, 27, making the third defense of his welterweight title, nearly a 7-5 favorite over Mosley, 36, a three-time champion in three different weight classes. A crowd of 19,000-plus, the majority Cotto fans, is expected at New York's Madison Square Garden.
In June, before an announced crowd of 20,658 at The Garden, Cotto, bleeding from cuts over his right eye and lower lip, wore down Brooklyn's Zab Judah, stopping the former two-time champ in round eleven. Cotto outlanded Judah 90-24 in power shots over the last four rounds before dropping him flat on his back early in the eleventh. Judah beat the count, but the fight was stopped after he absorbed several more Cotto power shots.
Overall, Cotto landed 292 of 683 total punches (43%-68 thrown per round, 10 more per round than the welterweight average). He also landed 44% of his power shots (214 of 481) and landed 39% of his 20 jabs thrown per round. Judah had his moments, rocking Cotto early in round one and again in the second with left uppercuts. Judah, who was also down in round nine, landed 57% of his power shots (the welterweight avg. is 39% landed), but landed just nine per round, throwing 16. He was too preoccupied with Cotto's relentless head and body attack to mount his own sustained offense. Overall, Judah averaged 46 punches thrown per round.
Last March, Cotto made the first defense of his title at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente- and didn't disappoint his native fans. Cotto pummeled German-based challenger Oktay Urkal over 11 rounds, landing 54% of his power shots, many to the body of Urkal , who landed 45% of his power punches, with no effect on the frustrated Cotto, who was clearly looking for the ko win from the opening bell. Cotto averaged 19 jabs thrown per round among his 49 total punches thrown per round. He landed over 58% of his power shots in five of the 11 rounds, bolstered by that steady body attack. Urkal has not fought since.
Speaking of his body attack, Cotto won his version of the welterweight title by hammering the body of Carlos Quintana for five rounds last December. The previously undefeated Quintana (23-0) was coming off a one-sided victory over the highly-touted Joel Julio six months earlier. Quintana got off 102 punches in round one, then averaged just 63 per round (landing 19%) the rest of the way after feeling Cotto's power. Cotto averaged 56 punches thrown per round and landed 33% of his power shots. Cotto mixed in 13 jabs thrown per round vs. the southpaw Quintana.
In June of '06, Cotto mauled another Brooklyn fighter, this time it was Paulie Malignaggi on the receiving end of Miguel's bombs. Cotto landed 40% of his power shots among his 50 punches thrown per round over twelve rounds. The outgunned Malignaggi was down in round two and suffered a broken facial bone, yet went the distance, the only fighter to do so among Cotto's last ten victims.
Cotto had a 203-136 edge in total connects, as Malignaggi managed to land only 24% of his total punches (136 of 574) and just 19% of his jabs. By comparison, Malignaggi landed 352 total punches in his title-winning performance vs. Lovemore Ndou last June.
In his toughest test to date, Cotto got off the canvas in round two (he was thisclose to getting ko'd) to score a seventh round ko over current wbo 140-lb champ Ricardo Torres. Cotto dropped Torres in round one, before walking into a right hand in the second round. When the smoke cleared in round two, Torres had landed 39 of 89 power shots, the most landed vs. Cotto in 20 of his fights tracked by CompuBox.
Cotto blasted away at Torres over the next four rounds, outlanding the Colombian 125-47 in total punches- before walking into another right hand in round five than nearly dropped him again. Cotto again regrouped to outland the now spent Torres 50-10 in total punches in rounds six and seven. Overall, Cotto landed 49% of his power shots, Torres 36% of his power punches.
In February of '05, fighting in front of a sold out crowd at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Cotto forgot about his jab and as a result, was nearly dropped by the light-hitting Corley with a right hook in round three. Cotto survived the third and was awarded a ko win in the fifth via a controversial stoppage. Overall, Cotto threw just 23 jabs in five rounds. He landed 42% of his power shots as Corley landed 36% of his non-jabs.
Mosley is 14-4, 11 ko's in championship fights. (Cotto's 10-0, 9 ko's). He held the lightweight title from '97-'99, successfully defending 8 times, all by ko. He defeated Oscar delaHoya in 2000 to win the welterweight title, which he successfully defended 3 times. He then defeated Oscar again (is that anyway to treat your future boss?) in controversial fashion, in 2003, to win a share of the 154-lb title. He turned down a reported $10 million-plus for a third fight with delaHoya and instead lost a one-sided decision to Winky Wright in a 154-lb unification fight (he reportedly made $5 mill total for both Wright losses).
Mosley's won five straight after going 1-4 with one no decision in his previous six fights. Take away the controversial decision win over delaHoya, add a loss and he'd have been 0-5, with a no decision in six fights from '02-'04.
A 2-1 favorite, Mosley was outlanded 250-166 in total punches by Winky in their first fight.
Winky averaged 35 jabs thrown per round, limiting Mosley to a connect pct. of 27%. They met again eight months later, same result, closer fight. As Winky played, Mosley piled up points and was surprisingly ahead on two cards thru nine rounds. Mosley then hit the wall, throwing just 45 punches in the 10th and only 42 in the 11th. Winky stepped it up, landing 30 of 55 in the 10th and 22 of 71 in the 11th. Wright then won the 12th on two cards to win a majority decision. Winky's long jab again was the difference. He landed 35% of his 32 jabs thrown per round. Mosley was outlanded 273-154 in total punches, but only 135-108 in power shots.
Shane's other two losses came vs. Vernon Forrest (who also defeated Shane in the amateurs.) Seven months after the first delaHoya fight, sitting atop everyone's "pound-for-pound" list, the 5-1 favorite Mosley was badly beaten by Forrest, who dropped Mosley twice in round two enroute to a unanimous decision win. Mosley was nearly decapitated in round two from a Forrest uppercut and badly hurt in round ten from a body shot. Mosley averaged just 33 punches per round and was outlanded 164-103 by Forrest, whose long jab (31 thrown per round), kept Mosley at bay. Scoring: 115-110; 117-108; 118-108.
The rematch six months later wasn't pretty. Shane fought cautiously, averaging just 22 total punches thrown per round. He was outlanded 120-114 by Forrest, who again controlled the fight with his jab. Mosley landed just 217 total punches in both Forrest fights. He landed 67 more punches in the first fight alone vs. Oscar.
After the consecutive losses to Wright, both at 154 lbs., Mosley dropped back down to welterweight and scored workmanlike decisions over David Estrada (4/23/05) and Jose Cruz (9/17/05).
Following the money trail, Mosley moved back up to jr. welterweight and scored a 10th round tko over Fernando Vargas. Several Mosley right hands early in the fight produced a grotesque swelling over Vargas left eye that eventually closed by round eight. The fight was halted in round ten. Mosley landed 42% of his power shots and threw 52 total punches per round.
The first fight did so well at the box office that they did it again five months later. This time it was all Mosley. He outlanded Vargas 136-68 in total punches before the end came via left hook at 2:38 of round six. Mosley landed a whopping 59% of his power shots.
This past February, Shane was back at welterweight for a showdown with slick southpaw Luis Collazo, who nine months earlier dropped a close decision to Ricky Hatton. Collazo had Hatton out on his feet in the final round.
Mosley put on a dazzling display of speed, power and defense vs. Collazo, who landed just 87 punches all night. This was the same Collazo who landed 213 total punches vs. Hatton. Shane landed 33% of his 50 punches thrown per round and 46% of his power shots, dropping Collazo in round eleven. Collazo, who landed just 14% of his total punches and less than 10% of his jabs, broke his left hand early in the fight.
Mosley is more experienced, has faster hands and is harder to hit that Cotto. Elite opponents Winky Wright 2x; Oscar delaHoya 2x; Vernon Forrest 2x; Fernando Vargas 2x and Luis Collazo landed 30% of their total punches and 36% of their power shots vs. Shane. The welterweight average for total punches landed is 34% and 40% for power punches landed.
As mentioned earlier, Judah, who can match Mosley for hand speed, landed 47% of his power shots vs. Cotto, throwing just 16 per round however, less than half the welterweight average. That's because Cotto, a natural left hander, has the great equalizer, power, especially to the body and a burning desire to seek and destroy his opponent.
After getting raked with 39 power shots in round two by Torres, Cotto, the beast that he is, survived the round, then proceeded to land a career-high 38 power punches in round three.
Cotto's opponent resume is lighter because he's younger by nine years and has fought 19 less fights than Mosley. Shane's fought 318 professional rounds, 159 in title fights, to 180 career rounds for Cotto, who's fought 80 title fight rounds.
Mosley's taller (5'9" to Cotto's 5'7") and has a seven-inch reach advantage. When Mosley fought delaHoya in their first meeting, the perception was Oscar's fighting a blown up lightweight. Well, Shane had the reach advantage on Oscar and actually weighed more when they officially tipped the scales. He also outjabbed Oscar (landed 110 to 92 for Oscar) in his upset win.
Mosley's losses were to "long" fighter's Forrest & Wright, who work effectively off their jab while placing a strong emphasis on defense. Cotto's anything but long & defensive-minded. His offense is his defense. Forrest and Wright, in their four fights vs. Shane, averaged 31 jabs thrown per round. Cotto averaged 19 jabs thrown per round among his 57 total punches in his 20 fights tracked by CompuBox.
The great equalizer (for Cotto), besides Mosley's age, is his fighting-spirit. "I'm looking for a knockout. When I fight, I'm going for the blood", Mosley told BoxingScene.comearlier this week. Mistake? Mosley went on to name Oscar, Wright, Vargas and even Wilfredo Rivera as bigger and stronger opponents than Cotto, who he views as a blown up junior welterweight. While Cotto views Mosley as a blownup lightweight, which is where he started his career.
It may come down to who can take more punishment. Mosley can go pretty good to the body as well. It's Mosley right uppercut vs. Cotto's left hook. The feeling here is Mosley's will get there earlier and more often. Mosley by 10th round tko in a thriller.
HBO PPV - Nov. 10, 2007