Boxing returns to Yankee Stadium on Saturday night with the junior middleweight title fight between Miguel Cotto and champion Yuri Foreman. Newsday staffers make their picks:
Greg Logan: It's Belmont Week, so pardon me if I lapse into a little horse-racing parlance to explain my pick. Off his title-winning performance against Daniel Santos, Yuri Foreman has become the "now" fighter. No doubt, his punching power is underrated, and his size and stamina make him tough to beat, which is why Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, wants no part of him. But Miguel Cotto has been written off too soon after a couple of bad beats against Antonio Margarito and Pacquiao. If Cotto can get comfortable with the changes new trainer Emanuel Steward has made, he has the inside punching power to cut Foreman down to size. Having known and respected Steward for a long time, I'm basically picking the jockey in this race. Cotto by unanimous 12-round decision.
Marcus Henry: Miguel Cotto needs to prove to the world he is still an elite fighter. Normally a 29-year-old fighter with a 34-2 record and wins over Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley and Carlos Quintana wouldn't need to prove anything. But Cotto has taken a beating over the last couple of years. Even in fights that he won, he took some vicious shots. That notwithstanding, Cotto can still hit with power and proved it early in his fight against Manny Pacquiao. As for Foreman, he has never taken on a fighter of Cotto's caliber. With just eight KOs to his credit, you have to ask can he hurt Cotto. Chances are he won't. Look for Cotto to prevail in an 8th or 9th-round stoppage.
Mike Rose: I view this fight as two boxers who are out to prove something. Yuri Foreman wants to prove he's legit, that he deserves to be the WBA super welterweight champion. Remember, he won the title by beating Daniel Santos on the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao fight. Now he gets Cotto himself in a main event at Yankee Stadium. Cotto wants to prove that he isn't washed up. He couldn't survive against Pacquiao, getting stopped in the 12th. Foreman has a history of backing off opponents, of not going in for the kill. I think that plays into the Cotto camp's strategy. Emanuel Steward plans to have Cotto jab more, like Cotto did earlier in his career. Since Foreman is more of a boxer, Cotto could disrupt him by jabbing and being more of a boxer himself. I like Cotto by a unanimous decision.
Mario Gonzalez: Foreman is younger and bigger, but I think Cotto has enough left in the tank to get the victory. I think Cotto will will try to take away Foreman's reach advantage by smothering him and being the more aggressive boxer. I also think Cotto's experience in big-time fights will work in his favor. I'm picking Cotto by 10th round KO.
Jose Moreno: This will be do or die for Miguel Cotto. Another loss would most likely mean the end of a once stellar and exciting career. A convincing win could put him back in the talks to fight another big name. Although he's made his living at welterweight, Cotto has looked weak in his losses at that class. A bump to a more natural 154 lbs will see a resurgence in Cotto's power. Yuri Foreman will have a significant reach and height advantage, but it will also give Cotto more inside real estate to rough up. Cotto wins by unanimous decision.
Bobby Cassidy: I will stay with Greg Logan's Belmont theme and go with the fighter who appears to be the longest horse on the board. Yes, I am picking Foreman. Cotto is tough, talented and always fun to watch. But I think this is the perfect fight Foreman. He is catching Cotto at the right time. Three of Cotto's last four fights -- a win against Joshua Clottey and losses to Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito -- have been physically grueling. Foreman has nowhere near the resume that Cotto has, but he also doesn't have the wear and tear. Foreman is tall, quick and a very good boxer. All that will add up to trouble for Cotto. Foreman wins a close unanimous decision.