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Miguel Cotto: Be careful what you wish for in the middleweight division

Miguel CottoBy Robbi Bannatynne: Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true’, a well-known idiom that must be reverberating around the mind of Miguel Cotto.

Despite becoming the most decorated fighter in Puerto Rico’s rich boxing history, when he mauled Sergio Martinez on his way to winning his fourth divisional title, the legendary Miguel Cotto just can’t catch a break.

He may have won the lineal WBC crown from former middleweight king Martinez, but he still copped tremendous criticism from all corners of the boxin world for his perceived reluctance to defend his title against a legitimate 160lb contender. I love Cotto, he is one of my all-time favourite fighters, but his apparent attempts to drag welterweights up to face him undermines the whole middleweight division, showing a flagrant disregard for the rest of challengers in the 160lb weight class.

His dreams may have come true but he now faces the nightmare scenario of being forced to cede his crown or face Gennady Golovkin- the man who everyone knows to be the real deal of the middleweight division. Simply put, Cotto is not a middleweight and it would be a massacre if he faced the fearsome GGG. He would be stalked and brutally stopped by the Kazakh KO machine. That is why, as a huge fan, I have no wish for Cotto, such a great champion, being reduced to the role of the sacrificial lamb. Those with the compunction for pain though, will claim that Cotto has lived by the sword long enough to know what he was letting himself in for when he won the middleweight title. Those with compassion however, will be content to see Cotto safely outside of the tent looking in.

However, putting sentiment aside, Cotto should really vacate the belt and move back down to the calmer waters of the light middleweight division before he gets drowned by a real 160lb fighter. He is just too small to satiate the demands of the middleweight division. After the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight was announced, suddenly the music stopped and Cotto couldn’t find a chair. So without a delectable dancing partner things got pretty desperate as rumours circulated that potential opponents for his 1st title defence were welterweights Brandon Rios, Amir Khan and Tim Bradley. You would have to admire the sheer audacity of the strategy if it wasn’t so distasteful.

It would disgrace the great name of Miguel Angel Cotto and it would make a mockery of the middleweight division if Cotto is given carte blanche to box 147lb fighters for the lineal belt at 160lb. It just cannot be condoned- and if the fans accept it, we will all be complicit in the defamation of one of the most illustrious divisions in boxing history.

Thankfully Cotto’s team seem to have come to their senses by considering some actual middleweights for his next fight. But I fear Miguel Cotto may be separated from his own senses if he faces Jorge Sebastian Heiland- who is rumoured to be the frontrunner to secure the fight. Some people think that Heiland would be an easy mark for Miguel Cotto, but I doubt the doctor would order a six foot southpaw with the lung capacity of the Kenyan long distance running team in this twilight period of Cotto’s career. To judge Heiland’s credentials purely by the number of defeats on his record could spell disaster for Miguel Cotto, because the Argentine challenger sure looked like a dangerous opponent in his last encounter when he stopped, and probably retired Matthew Macklin.

Admittedly Macklin looked a little shot and has never been in Cotto’s class. Still, if Heiland can bully and brutally stop a much bigger, physically stronger man like Macklin then conventional wisdom would suggest him to be capable of doing something similar to Miguel Cotto.

As the date for his 1st title defence looms on the horizon, Miguel Cotto really must be careful what he wishes for in the middleweight division.

Fights Fans: What would you do if you were Miguel Cotto?

I really look forward to reading your comments.

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