Cotto or Quillin as next opponent for Martinez?
By Timothy Medina: Sergio Martinez (51-2-2) is the current WBC middleweight champion. Martinez is a big target because of the gold he is holding. There are two fighters that have spoken out this month about wanting to fight Martinez for his title. Those two fighters are Miguel Cotto (38-4) and Peter Quillin (30-0). Both Cotto and Quillin had TKO victories in their last fights. They are both deserving of facing Martinez in 2014 and I can see either one of them putting up a great fight against him.
On October 5th, Miguel Cotto faced Delvin Rodriguez which was a fight that would determine how the remainder of Cotto’s career would end. Many people were questioning how much gas was left in Cotto’s tank due to all the damage he has received over the years, and his mentality after suffering two consecutive losses in 2012. Rodriguez is obviously not the toughest opponent Cotto has fought, but he was seen as a fighter who could go the distance with Cotto. However, with the help of Freddie Roach, Cotto went back to his roots which is being a spectacular body puncher and disposed of Rodriguez within three rounds. Miguel put on a performance that surprised many boxing fans including myself because it was almost as if a twenty four year old Cotto had showed up to the Amway Center to fight.
Since Miguel Cotto defeated Delvin Rodriguez, he has set himself up for bigger fights in 2014. A fight with Sergio Martinez is very likely to be one of those big fights. Not only does Cotto and Top Rank Promotions want this fight to happen, Martinez wants it to happen as well. Martinez has so much hatred towards Cotto and cannot wait for the both of them to step in the ring against each other. This is due to Cotto’s “lack of respect” towards Martinez at an event in ESPN Deportes Studios located in Mexico City, Mexico. Supposedly Martinez approached Cotto to shake hands and Cotto refused. If this is true, this should make for an exciting rivalry between the Puerto Rican star and the Argentine champion.
On October 26th, Peter Quillin successfully defended his WBO middleweight title against Gabriel Rosado. The fight was stopped in the tenth round due to a cut over the left eye of Rosado. It is shame because Rosado was putting up an excellent fight against Quillin. Even though Quillin had knocked down Rosado in the second round, Rosado came back fighting and was landing bombs, especially in the fourth round with a right hand upstairs that had Quillin on spaghetti legs. It was a brutal fight and unfortunately the cut over Rosado’s eye that came in the ninth round is what put the fight to an end. This gave Quillin the 30th win of his career.
At the end of the fight Jim Gray asked Quillin about a rematch with Rosado and said Al Haymon is in charge of setting up his fights. It is obvious Quillin does not want a rematch with Rosado and would like a much bigger fight next year. When asked about a fight with Sergio Martinez, Quillin answered “Of course I want Sergio Martinez next.” It is clear to see why Quillin wants a fight with Martinez. A victory over Martinez would declare Quillin as the best fighter in the middleweight class and that means bigger pay days to come. Quillin knows Martinez is past his prime, had a right knee injury, and a broken left hand. Al Haymon should try to make a bout between Quillin and Martinez happen next because these injuries could give Quillin advantages over Martinez.
Whether Miguel Cotto moves up to the middleweight class to fight for a fourth world division title, or Peter Quillin attempts to become the best fighter in the middleweight class, Sergio Martinez is in danger of losing his 160 pound strap. With or without injuries, both fighters can give Martinez a very hard time in the ring. The injuries Martinez suffered in his fight against Martin Murray could give him problems against anyone he fights next. I am not trying to bash the WBC middleweight champion because Sergio is an excellent fighter who has wins over big names in the middleweight class such as Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. However, Cotto and Quillin are fighters who have proven they are ready to go war and Martinez may falter in a war with either of the two because of his injuries. Martinez may have been given a gift by the judges against Martin Murray, but against Cotto and Quillin that will not happen.
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