Sunday, June 14, 2009

Coming back to you

I have a long and serious take on the fight which will come out tomorrow, hopefully on Nomas and when it's up I'll link to it. The fight really hit me hard. I just wanted to say a few things about Cotto first, since my thoughts are mainly on Joshua Clottey.

Miguel Cotto is a terrific fighter, but he's not as terrific as I wanted him to be and because of that I find it hard to forgive him. For guys like Arturo Gatti, Ricardo Mayorga, or even to a certain extent the younger Manny Pacquiao there is something enobling about their struggles and great fights, that pushing up to and over the limits of their capacity. But when you were burdened with the initial expectations of greatness that Cotto had, there is an entirely different feeling when the displays of vulnerability are so overt. It feels a little like a betrayal.

I never wanted to see bravery from Miguel Cotto, I wanted to see excellence. And I don't buy for one minute that he was damaged from Margarito, or that his skills have deteriorated, I just think he was never quite what I wanted him to be. It is ultimately my fault but still inextricably defines the ways I see him.

I was happy he won the fight, even though I scored Clottey the winner by a point. Cotto earned the win and he deserves keep his seat at the big boys table. He is an exciting fighter and I even admire the way he cheats to win; you always know it means something to Cotto, that the fight is important to him.

But I can't stop being angry at him for being a supporting actor instead of a lead. There are too few special champions and I so wanted him to be one. To be like Trinidad; fine and moving and a master.

So I think the thing to do is recalibrate, to celebrate him for what he is instead of what I wish him to be. And who knows, maybe he will be more than I now expect and that will add a new dimension, maybe there will be a different profundity to his career that will ultimately be more compelling. I think he will lose to the special ones, Mayweather and Pacquiao, but I've thought that for a while, and in his fragility and nakedness we may come to love a noble champion instead of a great one.

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