MANILA, Philippines – An ESPN analyst argues that American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was “exposed” by Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto when they fought last May 5 in Las Vegas, a match that Mayweather won via unanimous decision.
Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, Skip Bayless asserted that “Floyd Mayweather got exposed. Floyd Mayweather looked 35-years-old.”
“Floyd Mayweather clearly demonstrated he had lost some quickness: Quickness of hand, quickness of foot and quickness of bobbing head, because he was getting tagged,” Bayless said.
Bayless said that for the first eight rounds of the junior middleweight bout, Cotto was “punishing” Mayweather. “We saw (Mayweather’s) nose bleed three times. The first eight rounds, I had it 4-4,” he said.
Cotto successfully pressured Mayweather in the middle rounds, pushing the American boxer against the ropes while attacking the body and head.
But Cotto faded in the later rounds, and Bayless said it was “inexplicable” that Cotto quit attacking Mayweather during the pivotal ninth round.
“He either ran out of gas or ran out of guts and thought he could rest on his laurels,” Bayless said.
But another ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith, argued that Mayweather was able to show his strength by standing and exchanging with Cotto, instead of fighting a defense-oriented bout.
“I like the fact that Floyd Mayweather went out there, he got into a fight against a bigger opponent, somebody who’s accustomed to fighting at that weight, somebody who’s accustomed to punishment, and he showed that he could take his shots,” Smith said.
“Floyd Mayweather wasn’t trying to move: he was literally in the ring, trying to sit there and show that he could take punches,” he added.
Smith said this boded well for a future fight between Mayweather and Filipino champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
“I loved the fact that he showed that he could take those blows, because he certainly got to take some once he fights Pacquiao,” Smith said.
“Oh (Pacquiao’s) gonna hit hard, he’s gonna cut (Mayweather’s) face,” Bayless shot back.
When Smith asked what would happen to Pacquiao once he got hit by Mayweather, Bayless replied that the American was a “powder-puff puncher.”
Bayless then argued that the Cotto fight showed exactly why Mayweather has not yet fought Pacquiao.
“To me, the main reason Floyd won’t fight Manny Pacquiao is that Floyd knows in his heart, he’s over the hill. He’s on the downside, and we saw it on full view on Saturday,” Bayless said.