Op-Ed: Boxing - Cotto vs. Mayorga, the delayed journey home

Posted Dec 27, 2010 by William Charles Baker
Boxer Miguel Cotto has been sidelined since the Yuri Foreman win, recuperating from shoulder surgery and waiting for his next fight in 2011.
Cotto stresses a point
Cotto stresses a point
Oliver Iglesias
Rumors are circulating that the free-swinging brawling Ricardo Mayorga is in the mix for a title fight for the WBA junior middleweight championship held by Cotto. Mayorga a repackaged opponent now ready for the world wind tour until he meets another brick wall. Cotto having redeemed himself, almost, with the Foreman win still has much to prove after two savage beatings at the hands of Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito.
In addition, the death of his father Miguel Sr. and his domestic disputes is a big burden for an athlete that maybe has taken too much punishment inside and outside the ring.
Now in the hands of world famous trainer Emanuel Steward instead of the rookie trainer Joe Santiago that was in his corner for Pacquiao there seems to be some hope that with better advice and methods the future results will be different. As they say it remains to be seen.
Now that the fun has ended and the mansions and quips and rookie trainers and overweight friends have faded from the 24/7 screen it is time for the long way home. Battered and having the brutality of the game on his face and multi tattoos to signify that bravery also exists at the point of an ink injection Miguel Cotto must face his greatest challenger, himself. As the old saying goes momma may have and poppa may have but God bless the child that has his own.
With a nation on his shoulders and fighting for his homeland as well as his own glory you have to admire his ambitions but with every punch he received from Pacquiao and Margarito you have to wonder how much of another saying comes to mind. What goes around comes around. We hear rumors that his uncle and then trainer Evangelista Cotto disdained him having his girlfriend with his children and the lack of respect it represented. Other things and disturbances between the two eventually erupting in a physical confrontation which left Evangelista in the hospital and stories surrounding financial matters and monies owed that had not been paid. The happy picture of a family portrayed before the Pacquiao fight simply now in another day shows how far Cotto must go to find his way home.
For it is now long past boxing gloves and rings and trophies and punches and blood and guts and promoters and trainers and dollars. It now is about families that when all else has faded and punch drunk in a room without a coherent thought it is family that remains. Fans are fickle and all the hype in the end cannot drop a dime in a poor box in Church or a kind word in a column by the pundits whose job is to praise glory and challenge defeat.
The next one will be even greater and more spectacular and for the victor will be the love of a country whose love should be in their own success and history and achievement. Whose people magnify and make worthy everything they touch from a boxing glove to a math book and whose scholars are as important as their fighters. At the end of the road if your family is there it is never a long way. Cotto should take the money and find his home before he finds another fight or illusion that fighting is everything. Before one punch to many that he never saw coming puts the light out forever. Sometimes it is better to fold them when you are ahead.