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It's a rule of thumb in boxing that personal feelings have no place in the ring, but it will be difficult to keep the bad blood outside the ropes when Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito clash again Saturday (9 p.m. ET) at New York City's Madison Square Garden in what could mark the end of a bitter rivalry.
The ongoing feud escalated recently as the fighters have traded insults and accusations, making this one of the most anticipated grudge matches in recent memory. But in this junior middleweight title bout, there will be much more than a belt at stake. And after their grueling 2008 matchup -- a TKO by Margarito that is still shrouded in doubt because of suspicions that he used illegal hand wraps -- both fighters are fully aware of each other's strengths and flaws. With new trainers in their corners and new strategies on their minds, both fighters figure to have fresh approaches for this long-awaited rematch, and it will be interesting to see how each uses his numerous resources.
Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) will be the consensus long shot on Saturday after a three-year period during which he logged only one victory, against a journeyman fighter, and suffered two of his most crushing defeats (to Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley). But if he finds a way to pull off the upset, it likely will be due to one or more of the following factors:
Diego Morilla is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.