Cotto looking to dethrone Mayweather

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LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been doing this all his life, since he was a scrawny kid seeking solace in the gym. The ring is his comfort zone, and he’ll enter it tonight for the 43rd time as a pro, certain as ever that when the night is through he’ll not only be a lot richer but still unbeaten.

Miguel Cotto is certain of a few things himself. Certain that he has conquered his worst fears in boxing, certain that he can be the first one to conquer Mayweather.

“I don’t need anyone else giving me a chance,” Cotto said. “If I can trust in myself, I don’t need anyone else believing in me.”

Not many are, especially the oddsmakers who make Mayweather a 6-1 favorite in tonight’s fight. But if any fighter is a live underdog it’s Cotto, a relentless puncher who believes in himself again after finally avenging a beating he took from Antonio Margarito four years ago that left him searching for answers about his chosen profession.

Cotto will be defending his version of the 154-pound title against a fighter who knows how to promote a big bout almost as well as he knows how to fight one.

“Nobody is invincible in life. I know that because I pass through this point in my life,” Cotto said. “I’m ready for anything Floyd brings me. The question is, is Floyd ready for anything Miguel can bring to him?”

Despite the odds in his favor, there’s a decent chance Mayweather could be challenged by Cotto, who will be fighting at 154 pounds for the fourth time and appears to be comfortable at the weight.

Most in boxing, though, believe Cotto (37-2, 30 knockouts) is too slow for the slick Mayweather and will be unable to apply enough pressure to land effectively and often.

Not surprisingly, the Puerto Rican boxer disagrees.

“The only thing I can say is I’m ready, and I am prepared for anything that happens in the ring,” Cotto said. “I’m going to work every second in there.”


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