Floyd Mayweather's challenge at junior middleweight Saturday against Miguel Cotto pits two of the most bankable boxers of the last several years.
That alone makes it worth watching, as does the fact it's taking place at 154 pounds.
How will Floyd look at the higher weight class? Perhaps it will suit him at 35 better than it did in 2007 against Oscar De La Hoya.
While that was the signature bout of his career in the sense it gave him widespread attention (He just about singlehandedly assured that HBO's 24/7 would become a continuing entity with his Black Hat antics), I thought it was one of the least impressive showings of his championship career. A more ardent opponent than De La Hoya could have decisioned him that night.
More invested boxing writers than I believe that Cotto comes with the style that will see Mayweather win in spectacular fashion less than a month ahead of his jail stint.
I don't foresee that, but I'd still welcome it if it happened. Because, let's face it, as Mayweather's purses have hit the stratosphere, his performances really haven't. He's been "impressive", but rarely spectacular.
I have a hard time envisioning Mayweather stopping him, unless it happens because Cotto's tender skin doesn't hold up.
Cotto hung in for several rounds of punishment from what were quite likely the loaded gloves of Antonio Margarito.
He was ready to go in the fourth against Manny Pacquiao and stuck around until the 12th.
Both of those fights were at welterweight (Pacquiao's team insisted on a weight stipulation less than the 147 pounds).
Cotto looks sturdier both physically and with respect to his beard at 154. He's focused again, devoid of the drama in his corner and his personal life.
Mayweather's last stoppage against someone who was paying attention (Not you, Vic Ortiz) was nearly five years ago, against Ricky Hatton moving up in weight.
It stands to reason that to beat Mayweather a concerted body attack would help. That was once the bread and butter for Cotto (37-2, 30 knockouts), but he's largely abandoned those debillitating shots for a circling style that sees him jab and throw from a distance.
Cotto, with a significant speed deficit, hardly figures to win that kind of contest against Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs).
Still, it seems to me we're entering the part of Mayweather's career where most of his victories will come with a lot more huffing and puffing than in the past. Even the unsophisticated Ortiz was able to land some clean shots on him, something that wouldn't have happened a few years earlier.
I'm most interested in seeing what happens when Mayweather attempts to grab on the inside. Will he be able to successfully maneuver Cotto as he has with others, or will the Puerto Rican use his strength to help tire the Las Vegas native and reduce his already limited punch output.
I do see Cotto making him sweat in there, but with an 8-4 or 7-5 type decision for Mayweather.
As for Pacquaio, who fights next month against unbeaten Tim Bradley, Mayweather was once again this week accusing the Filipino icon of doping.
A strange tack considering he's been slapped with a defamation suit for such claims.
We have no way of knowing if Pacquiao used performance enhancing drugs in the past because boxing's testing protocols have been lax and varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
But don't know about Mayweather, either.
Mayweather continually harps on Pacquiao's movement through the weight categories. While it is unusual historically, veteran fight writer Kevin Iole in the past punched huge holes in this theme. When you compare the two fighters' ages and weights through the years, there's not a huge difference.
Not that anyone following boxing was under any illusions, but Saturday's card vividly demonstrates that Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions are as cold and ruthless a boxing entity/promoter as all that have come before them.
We have former GBP charge and partner Shane Mosley, 41 in September and already noticeably slurring his speech, being served up for unbeaten Saul Alvarez, who is half his age.
I think that Alvarez is spectactularly overhyped, and it's true that Mosley's best situated at 154 pounds as opposed to the 147 limit where he was drubbed by Mayweather and Pacquiao, but even if he pulls off the unlikely upset this fight does nothing for his long-term health.
For what it's worth I do expect Mosley to have Alvarez in some danger early but ultimately get grounded down by the redheaded Mexican.
If that weren't enough, we've got Steve Forbes (winner of three of his last 10) getting pay-per-view real estate against unbeaten Jessie Vargas.
It was a mostly positive last weekend for boxing in terns of action and wholly positive in the sense that Chad Dawson outpointed Bernard Hopkins to little debate other than Hopkins and one other poor sod. Which spares boxing fans a third installment of a dreadful stylistic matchup. Hopkins has been a marvel, but it's time.
We saw previously unbeaten Ismayl Sillakh have his way with Denis Grachev in a light heavyweight bout but make the mistake of letting his opponent hang around. Sure enough, Grachev put Sillakh on the proverbial Queer Street in the eighth round. Back to the drawing board!
And it's always good when a battle of two unbeaten prospects ends in one round, exposing one of them. Such was the case with Javier Fortuna KO 1 Yuandale Evans, which featured one of the more spectacular knockdowns you'll see.
For good measure, we had heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell wade through first round hellfire against Chazz Witherspoon, barely surviving. Mitchell stopped Witherspoon in three in the rare exciting bout - rare bout period - between two decent American heavyweights.
Speaking of excitement, former lightweight contender Andy Ganigan died this week at age 57. He was nicknamed The Hawaiian Punch for a reason, which you can see for yourself. His bouts against Sean O'Grady, Alexis Arguello and Gato Gonzalez are currently viewable on the internet and highly recommended.
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