By Dan Ambrose: There are a lot of rumors floating around about the Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) facing each other in their next fights.
Thus far, Cotto’s camp isn’t ready to confirm whether the rumors have any basis in fact. They’re staying quiet on the fight, which suggests that talks could have already started. It’s a fight that would benefit both fighters, because Cotto is conming off of a loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and Marquez hasn’t fought in close to two years.
Marquez needs a fight right now, and a bout against Cotto would be a nice retirement fight for the Mexican star. Marquez has had a knee problem that has kept him out of the ring since his win over Mike Alvarado in 2014.
Marquez, 43, had had chances for big rematches against Manny Pacquiao, who he beat by a 6th round knockout in 2012, but he’s resisted the idea of fighting the Filipino fighter again. Marquez wants to savor his KO win and not mess it up potentially by fighting Pacquiao for a fifth time. The good thing about Marquez fighting Cotto is that he doesn’t have any history with this fighter, because the two of them were never matched by Top Rank promoter. It’s kind of surprising because Arum loves to mix and match among his Top Rank fighters.
Cotto, 5’7″, is the same height as Marquez, so it wouldn’t be a mismatch in height and reach for him. Where Cotto would have an advantage is in weight. Marquez tends to fight in the 140s for his fights. He would likely be outweighed by close to 20 pounds by Cotto if that fight were to happen. Cotto would have just as much weight advantage over Marquez as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had over Cotto last November.
Canelo looked like a full light heavyweight in the ring against Cotto in that fight. Canelo wouldn’t have been out of place if he stepped up to light heavyweight to fight IBF/WBA/WBO 175lb champion Sergey Kovalev. The only area where Canelo would have problems is in Kovalev’s height.
The 6’0″ Kovalev would have a three inch height advantage over the 5’9″ Canelo, and a 1 1/2″ reach advantage. That’s not a lot. Cotto was out of his element in fighting a guy as heavy as Canelo. There was no way that Cotto was going to be able to beat someone that heavy without more punching power. If Cotto had knockout power like Julian Jackson possessed during his career, it wouldn’t have mattered how heavy Canelo was. Cotto would have taken him out with a single shot to the head.
It’s unclear whether Marquez would want to take a risky fight against a younger, bigger fighter like Cotto for what would likely be his last fight of his career. Like I said, the height of the 5’7″ Cotto wouldn’t be an issue for Marquez. What would be a problem is Cotto’s weight. He’s been fighting in the 154 and 160lb divisions for a while now and he’s bigger than he was earlier in his career when he was fighting at welterweight.