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Miguel Cotto vs. Diego Chaves possible for June 18 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: With 42-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez now out of the picture for Miguel Cotto’s next fight on June 19th, Argentinian welterweight Diego Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs) is now a possibility for his next fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, according to Dan Rafael.

You can argue that the 29-year-old Chaves gives you roughly the same quality of opponent as you’d get with the ring rusty, gimpy-kneed Marquez if he were the one to fight Cotto. Like Marquez, Chaves hasn’t fought since 2014, when he held Tim Bradley to a controversial 12 round decision in December of that month.

In 2015, Chaves was supposed to fight for a world title against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, but that fight fell through after Brook suffered a rib injury while training for the fight.

The International Boxing Federation then came along and ordered Brook to fight #1 IBF Kevin Bizier, which made pretty no sense at all considering that Bizier had twice been beaten by Jo Jo Dan, a fighter that Brook recently destroyed in four rounds. Logically speaking, Chaves is a much better fighter than Bizier and would have given Brook a real run for his money for as long as the fight lasted.

“One of the opponents under strong consideration to face Cotto on June 18 at Barclays Center is Diego Chaves. #Boxing,” said Rafael on his Twitter.

Chaves is a good puncher, and I think he can give Cotto some problems if he’s able to get his shots off and hang around for a while. Cotto would need to get Chaves out of there quickly otherwise it could end up being a difficult fight for him like it was for Keith Thurman in his fight against Chaves.

Cotto lost his last fight to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last November by a close 12 round unanimous decision. Cotto had his WBC middleweight title on the line at a catch-weight of 155lbs. It looks like Cotto is not going to be staying at middleweight. If he is going to be fighting a small welterweight like the 5’7 ½” Chaves, then that tells me that Cotto is focusing on fighting smaller guys.

What is interesting is that Cotto is not bothering dipping into the 154lb division to find his opponents. He is pulling a Canelo move by pooling for his opponents from the welterweight division pool of minnows.

I’m not knocking what Cotto is doing. I’m just saying. It looks like he’s hand-picking guys from the smaller weight classes in order to ensure he doesn’t get beaten again. If Cotto is going to be fighting welterweights instead of guys from the junior middleweight or middleweight divisions, I think he can extend his career a couple of years. Cotto has the punching power to overpower most of the welterweights in the division.

The only one that I think right off hand that could give him some problems is Keith Thurman, and that’s only because he has a hit and run style of fighting that makes it difficult to land shots against him. However, I think Cotto would chop him down too if there’s enough interest to make that fight happen. Thurman will need to recover from his automobile accident and prove that he can beat Shawn Porter before they can start talking about a potential fight between those two guys.


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