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Cotto vs. Margarito rematch likely to take place on 7/16

By Dan Ambrose: The rematch between Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) and Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) will reportedly be taking place on July 16th at a still to be determined venue. The date is still tentative and hasn’t been conclusively nailed down as of yet, but this is when the two fighters will likely be fighting unless one of them is injured while training. Margarito, 33, has been beaten in two out of his last three fights and Cotto, the holder of the WBA junior middleweight title after beating paper champion Yuri Foreman in 2010, has been matched carefully since being stopped by Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Cotto is one of the four junior middleweight champions at this time but it’s hard to see him as being the best of the champions right now. And there are a number of top contenders that you could make a case that are better than Cotto as well, starting with Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara. Margarito isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the WBA, which makes the Cotto-Margarito II rematch seem a little odd because usually fighters are ranked in the top 15 by the sanctioning body of the title they’re going after. Margarito is ranked #5 by the WBC.

The timing for the Cotto vs. Margarito II rematch couldn’t have come at a worse time, however. With Margarito having lost his last fight, and looked bad in his one win in the past three years over Roberto Garcia. A better time for the Cotto-Margarito rematch would have been with Margarito having won two or three fights against quality fighters. But it looks like a rush job to me. Perhaps they were worried that Margarito or Cotto might not have enough left to win their future fights unless they were matched carefully, and so the rematch was put on now instead of later.

As we saw in Cotto’s recent win over 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga, Cotto isn’t good enough to dominate the softer opponents he’s being put in with. That’s probably why the Margarito vs. Cotto rematch is being rushed. There just isn’t enough soft opponents with a name for Cotto and Margarito to beat without fans losing interest in watching them. You either have to put them in with guys that would have a chance at beating them or put them in with each other in a rush job. Instead of seeing Cotto in with Lara, Angulo, or James Kirkland, we see him in with Margarito. The same applies for Margarito. I can’t see him beating any of those guys at this point in his career. This is like an old timers’ fight to me. I don’t see Cotto as being a real champion and I don’t see Margarito as being in the class of some of the top contenders.

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