- Last Updated: 9:10 AM, May 5, 2012
- Posted: 12:38 AM, May 5, 2012
It’s a testament to the enigma Floyd Mayweather has become that his immediate future includes making a record $32 million guaranteed on a pay-per-view fight with Miguel Cotto tonight and a few weeks later is scheduled to begin a 90-day jail sentence after taking a plea in a domestic-violence case.
Such is the world of Money Mayweather, who lives his life and career on his own terms and doesn’t really care what people think.
“My thing is I try to turn anything negative into something positive,” Mayweather said. “That’s why when I go to the gym, when I see my family and I see my team and I see my fans come support me every day, it’s a motivational builder for me. Even when I go away, the only thing it can do is make me mentally strong. Certain things you go through in life are an obstacle. It’s all part of life. You have good days. You have bad days. But the main thing is to grow mentally.”
Mayweather will need that mental focus tonight when he challenges Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) for the WBA super welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (HBO PPV, $59.95). The undercard is headlined by WBC super welterweight champion Saul Alvarez, 21, of Mexico (39-0-1, 29 KOs) defending against 40-year-old “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs).
Cotto, a four-time, three-division world champion from Puerto Rico, is loaded with confidence after scoring a 10-round TKO over Antonio Margarito last December at the Garden. Working with new trainer Pedro Diaz, who once coached the Cuban boxing team, Cotto said he thinks he has the skills to hand Mayweather his first loss in 42 fights (26 KOs).
“Nobody is invincible in life,” Cotto said. “I know he’s a hard worker. He said to everybody he’s a hard worker. But he’s going to have in front of him a hard worker like him. I’m trusting in myself. I know what I have to do to get the victory.”
Mayweather, who normally fights at the 147-pound welterweight limit, weighed in at 151 pounds yesterday for the 154-pound fight while Cotto weighed 154. It’s the first time Mayweather has fought in the super welterweight division since earning a split decision over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. The heavier weight, along with Cotto’s punching power and determined spirit, are the main reasons some believe Cotto might be able to pull off the upset.
Mayweather, however, said he isn’t concerned about the weight.
“I don’t really think weight is going to really play a major key,” he said. “I think it’s going to come down to the skills.”
The opinion here is Mayweather has too much skill for Cotto. His hand speed, defensive prowess and intelligence in the ring have made him the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. Cotto will be competitive early, putting Mayweather on the defensive with his pressure. But Mayweather will begin to control the fight in the later rounds, forcing the fight to be stopped, probably on cuts, around the 10th round.
* New Jersey native Jim Miller will have the benefit of the home crowd behind him when he takes on Nate Diaz tonight in “UFC on Fox” at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Diaz (15-7) of Stockton, Calif., has been assured he will get a shot at the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 150 in August if he defeats Miller, though Miller has no such guarantee if he pulls off the upset. That leaves Miller, who lives in Sparta and trains in Whippany, in the role of spoiler, which would delight his home following.
“I hope to have a pretty good crowd for me,” Miller said. “I definitely feed off the energy, and if they give me a good cheer as I make my way to the Octagon, I’m definitely going to get goose bumps and hopefully ride that energy to a victory at the end.”
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. Tickets remain available.Follow @NYPostsports