Well, December is right around the corner, and big time boxing will be back on the front burner as two matches take place in the first 8 days of December that have the potential to change the rankings, the pecking order in today’s sweet science. One December 1st in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto, commonly looked upon as a top 5 draw in boxing today as far as ticket and PPV sales, takes on up and coming Austin Trout. Not to be overshadowed, December 8th at the Vegas MGM Grand will see the return of Manny Pacquiao, as he fights Mexican superstar Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time.
Right now, the books have Cotto at about -240, a more than 2 to 1 favorite over Trout, who pays back at +190.
The big question is, are we going to see signs of Cotto’s inevitable decline. He lost his last match, dropping his overall record to 37-3. Granted that bout was against Floyd Mayweather Jr, and his experience and level of competition are part of what makes Cotto the big favorite, but since his first loss in 2008 to Antonio Margarito, Cotto has been hit a lot in several drawn out, hard fights.
Trout, at an undefeated 25-0, is hoping to be the up and comer that catches Cotto on the way down, career wise. Trout is a slick boxer who likely lacks the power to take the sturdy Cotto out, so it will be interesting to see if he can steal some rounds, as the match will likely end in a decision.
Pacquiao is installed as a -330 favorite over Marquez, who is a +260 on the comeback. These two have fought 36 round already in 3 fights, so there is no reason to bet anything other than that this one too is going the distance.
For the first time since 2005, Pacquiao is fighting coming off a loss, as he dropped a UD that he won by most accounts to Tim Bradley his last time out. But how near the end is Manny? Just being Manny is hard enough, as it has been well documented that his political commitments in his native Philippines and his personal life have been taxing over the past few years.
And Marquez has been tailing him for those past few years. This has become a personal mission for Marquez, to redeem himself against Pacquiao, and to his credit, he has made it harder for Pacquiao each time out. There is no reason to believe that Marquez won’t make it harder this time.
Leaning towards betting both ‘dogs, with Marquez the more appealing choice if I had to pick one. The Pacquiao camp has been relatively quiet for a change, but come fight week in Las Vegas, the Pacquiao camp will be in the spotlight. I want to see where Manny is, what Roach says and what the mindset is. Because they will be facing a killer on the other side.
Trout I think has caught Cotto one or two fights two early, as he is also taking a giant step up in competition level. But he may also be worth a ‘dog bet.