Cotto vs. Margarito II In June?
By Eric Thomas: In the latest news from the rumor mill, Miguel Cotto (32-1, 26 KOs) may be facing Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KOs) in June for a rematch of their July 2008 fight. It would, of course, depend on Cotto successfully beating British welterweight Michael Jennings in their fight on February 21st for the vacant World Boxing Organization welterweight title. It was thought that Cotto would be facing either Shane Mosley or possibly the winner of the May 2nd fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, but the word has it that Bob Arum wants to go ahead with the Cotto-Margarito fight instead.
If this turns out to be the case, hopefully the fan interest would be there for this. Certainly, there’s little doubt that this would likely be an incredibly exciting fight if it’s anything like their last fight in July, but there’s a black cloud that surrounds Margarito right now due to his thorough beating from Mosley, a 9th round TKO loss, on January 24th, including an incident involving the hand wraps for Margarito.
If this latter incident turns out to be true about Margarito, it could take away a lot of interest for this fight from loyal fans. On top of that, Margarito took a lot of punishment against Mosley was pretty well schooled by him, which would further take away from a second fight between Margarito and Cotto. Thankfully, the publics’ memory is short and most of them are forgiving about past defeats, seeing them as a part of boxing.
The fight will draw well regardless due to Cotto’s huge start appeal in the United States, as well as the drama of him wanting to avenge his prior defeat to Margarito. Indeed, before the two fighters fought last July, Cotto was thought to be near invincible and was well on his way to becoming boxing’s number one draw. Margarito knocked Cotto down a peg, while giving him a huge career upsurge.
Now, Margarito is in the same place that Cotto was in following his defeat to him, but perhaps even worse due to the one-sided nature and the hand wrap drama in his fight to Mosley. For Margarito, a fight with Cotto would seem to be a gift from heaven, because it will do a lot for him win or lose if he can land the fight.
If Margarito gives a good account of himself, he can possibly undo a lot of the damage from his Mosley bout and bring him back somewhat to where he was before. Of course, he won’t get all the way back until either Mosley gives him a rematch or retires.
But as long as Shane fights, I imagine the public won’t soon forget the picture of Margarito getting so easily beaten by him. Cotto stands to gain a lot from a fight with Margarito, because not only would be getting revenge, he also has a much better chance now due to Margarito coming off a bad loss. Margarito likely won’t be as tough and as confident as he would have been otherwise, making this the perfect time to fight him.