Is Cotto-Pacquiao II Now Logical?
By Mark Uliano: In consecutive weekends we’ve seen two of the biggest names in recent boxing step into the ring and lose decisively. After a decision loss at the hands of WBA Jr. Middleweight champion Austin Trout, the big money fights that Miguel Cotto is used to won’t be available after two straight losses.
In a somewhat surprising knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao now has few options for his next fight. With the May 4th fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, and the dream fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather on the back burner, a Cotto-Pacquiao rematch would be the biggest moneymaker for both fighters at this point in their career.
Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KO) came into the Austin Trout fight the betting favorite two weekends ago. The hardcore boxing fans knew what Trout was about but still believed that Cotto’s ring experience and power would be too much for the younger fighter. After 12 rounds it was plain to see that the once great Puerto Rican warrior might now be able to hang in they’re with the younger, hungrier fighters. With almost twelve years as professional, Cotto has the name to look for a few more big money fights before he decides to hang up his gloves. With a stacked 154-pound division, Cotto has to pick his next opponent wisely. He can go after IBF title-holder K9 Bundrage, but that fight is also risky due to Bundrage’s come forward style. Bundrage, (32-4, 19 KO) is the division’s old dog at 39 years of age, but it’s a fight I believe Cotto can win if he fights smart and chooses his exchanges wisely. The majority of other junior middleweights are too big and strong for the smaller Cotto.
The logical fight, with both fighters coming off back-to-back losses would be Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) coming off a decision loss to Timothy Bradley, a fight almost every boxing follower believes he won, and the devastating knockout loss Juan Manuel Marquez, could rebound with another big money fight in 2013 in a rematch of his 2009 fight with Miguel Cotto. As a promotional free agent, Cotto now decides whom he fights. A co-promotion with former handler Top Rank would be easily made due to the following both fighters have. Cotto, coming off his two losses with better opposition would most likely be asked to come down to 150 pounds. At this point I don’t see him having much choice. After the Mayweather fight Cotto was able to make his own terms after his gallant showing against boxings pound-for-pound best fighter. After suffering a lopsided decision loss to Trout, the stakes have changed for the Puerto Rican fighter. A fight with the man who gave him his second loss couldn’t come at a better time for Cotto. The knockout that Pacquiao suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez will not only physically haunt him, but also mentally haunt him as well in his next fight. I can see Top Rank’s Bob Arum trying to milk whatever money he can from Manny before he decides to retire.
With a Canelo showdown most likely pushed back, the Caguas fighter has a few rounds left in him. A chance to avenge his TKO loss to Pacquiao may be the only lucrative fight available but with everything said only one real question remains: Is this a fight the boxing public wants to see and pay for once again?