The two sluggers get in some final training shots before their big fight Saturday night at Yankee Stadium
The Yankees knocked out the Orioles on Thursday. But will there be a knockout at the Stadium on Saturday? And remember, we're not talking about baseball.
It's time for some fistic fury in the Bronx as Miguel Cotto faces Yuri Foreman for the WBA Super Welterweight Title.
It's the first fight card in the new stadium and it rekindles memories of yesteryear. The last fight in Yankee Stadium was 34 years ago when Muhammad Ali scored a unanimous decision over Ken Norton in "Ali-Norton III."
And keep in mind that Joe Louis, Max Schmeling and Sugar Ray Robinson all fought in "The House that Ruth Built" as well.
But hey, this headliner should be a dandy. And the hype and hoopla it's generated all week long might be matched by a title fight extra-ordinaire. Cotto is a three-time World Champion who is trying to stay relevant in the boxing world. A win and he's back in the game. The Pride of Puerto Rico, who is 34-2 with 24 knockouts comes off a loss in November to Manny Pacquiao. It was a 12th round TKO. I feel Pacquiao is the best pound for pound boxer on the planet -- so that loss doesn't phase me.
Plus, I saw Cotto workout on Tuesday at The Trinity Boxing Gym in Lower Manhattan and I can tell you that this guy is in amazing shape. He might still be jumping rope right now! And the fans of New York love him. He's like their adopted son. He's an action fighter with punching power -- and the Hispanic community will be out in force to support him.
His opponent will have his own big following and it's not the typical boxing crowd. That's because Yuri Foreman is the first Orthodox Jew in 70 years to own a World Championship belt.
The aspiring Rabbi was born in Belarus, grew up in Israel and now lives in Brooklyn. They say he's too defensive of a fighter. They say he doesn't hit hard, but let me tell you -- the statistics don't lie. He's 28-0 with 8 knockouts.
I watched him workout and I was impressed. He'll have a nice height advantage over Cotto and I think he's an excellent technical fighter. Jerry Izenberg, the legendary columnist from The Star Ledger told me "he's one of the best tacticians he's seen in years!" Foreman will be observing The Sabbath on Saturday before being whisked off to Yankee Stadium, courtesy of a police escort.
I expect Yankee Stadium to be electric. I expect a great fight. I expect Cotto to win a 12 round decision.
He's too quick and I believe he'll be too busy for Foreman, I wouldn't be surprised if Yuri wins, but I have to admit Cotto is more focused and more motivated than ever. And he will be like a buzz saw in the big 24 by 24 foot ring at "The House that George Built."
There's an old boxing adage that you can use it when you talk about a guy like Cotto -- "boxer's don't get old in the gym, they get old in the ring." I know what it means but I believe we should save it for another day, another fight -- in some other year. Cotto, will rule in the "Stadium Slugfest."