Cotto says he has verbal agreement with HBO for Canelo fight after Geale
By Dan Ambrose: In what has to be seen as positive news for a big fight this year, WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) revealed on Wednesday that he has verbal agreements with both HBO and Golden Boy Promotions for him to face Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) this year after the June 6th HBO-televised fight between Cotto and Australian Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The bad news for boxing fans is that Cotto is saying it’s a verbal agreement. He didn’t say written agreement, which means that Cotto can always go in another direction if he chooses to rather than face Canelo.
The reason why it’s important for Cotto to take the Canelo fight is because it’s seen by some fans as eliminator type bout where the winner would face tremendous pressure to defend the WBC 160lb title against WBC mandatory Gennady Golovkin.
Cotto is supposed to be defending the WBC against Golovkin after the Geale fight, but both Golovkin and the WBC are allowing Cotto to take another fight rather than pushing the issue with him.
“We believe after this fight [against Geale], we have a verbal agreement with HBO, and we have a verbal agreement with Golden Boy [to face Canelo], but we’ll see what happens after this,” Cotto said via Fighthype.com.
Having only a verbal agreement with Golden Boy and HBO rather than a written agreement means that Cotto could choose to do whatever he wants to for his next fight after the Geale match-up. However, with Cotto’s $50 million contract with Roc Nation, I imagine they’re going to want to see Cotto start facing the big names after the Geale bout, because that’s not a big PPV fight.
If Roc Nation Sports is going to get a lot of value for the contract, they need Cotto to be facing the likes of Canelo, Golovkin, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. I don’t think Mayweather or Pacquiao will ever choose to fight Cotto again. He’s too big now, and those guys are up there in age at this point in their careers. That means that the only real big fights for Cotto is Canelo and Golovkin unless he wants to fight a welterweight like Tim Bradley or Amir Khan.
I don’t think boxing fans would get really excited at seeing Cotto fight a welterweight. I think the fans are going to want to see Cotto fight junior middleweights or middleweights. There are obviously other guys at middleweight that Cotto could fight besides Golovkin, such as Peter Quillin, Daniel Jacobs or Andy Lee. None of those fighters would bring the kind of attention that Golovkin would though in a fight against Cotto.
It’s going to be interesting to see which direction Cotto takes after the Geale fight. My guess is he’ll take the Canelo fight next in a huge PPV bout on HBO. But I have strong doubts whether Cotto will take the Golovkin fight in his third fight of his contract with Roc Nation. I can see Cotto vacating his WBC middleweight title, moving back down to 154, and facing Canelo again. Cotto would have to give up the WBC 160lb title after the first Canelo fight because Golovkin already is allowing Cotto take skip him in order to face Canelo. But Cotto can’t continue to bypass his WBC mandatory indefinitely while holding onto the WBC title. It would make a mockery of the title to have a champion who bypasses his mandatory over and over while fighting at catch-weights.
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