Andy Lee targeting Miguel Cotto for June 18
By Dan Ambrose:
#6 WBO, #10 WBC middleweight contender Andy Lee (34-3-1, 25 KOs) is volunteering to face the recently beaten Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) for his next fight on June 18 in New York.
Cotto still doesn’t have an opponent for his next fight, but he’s been linked with welterweights Diego Chaves and Ruslan Provodnikov as potential opponents for this date. Those guys are not big enough names for Cotto to fight on HBO pay-per-view obviously, but a fight against the 31-year-old Lee might just be enough of a name to make it PPV.
“NYC in June. @RealMiguelCotto Let’s make this fight! @HBOboxing,” said Lee on his Twitter.
It would be a winnable fight for Lee if he could get the Cotto match-up. The 6’2″ Lee would have a huge seven inch height and a four inch reach advantage over the 5’7″ Cotto. Lee is a genuine middleweight, so it would be a tough fight for Cotto. We saw Cotto lose to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by a 12 round unanimous decision in their catch-weight fight at 155lbs last November. While the fight was a close one, it was clear that Canelo had too much size for Cotto to compete in that fight. Lee might have too much size and reach for Cotto to compete as well.
I don’t think Cotto wants to deal with someone as big and as dangerous as the southpaw Lee. I could be wrong, but I think Cotto is only looking for match-ups where he has the clear advantage over his opponents. His loss to the bigger Canelo may have taken his ambition away from him temporarily. At this point, I think Cotto is interested in facing fighters either the same height as him or a little shorter. The 6’2″ Lee would be a real handful for Cotto, and I don’t think he wants that kind of risk right now unless he’s going to make a ton of money. There’s not a lot of money in a Lee fight, however.
Lee lost his last fight to Billy Joe Saunders by a 12 round majority decision last December at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Saunders knocked Lee down twice in the third round, and was able to hold onto his early lead for the remainder of the way to earn a 12 round decision. Lee lost his WBO middleweight title in that fight.
Lee still could have won the fight if he had pressed the attack immediately in the fourth round, but he looked wary of mixing it up with Saunders until the sixth round. By that time, Lee needed to win almost every round to have a chance to win the fight. He failed to do that.
I sort of have my doubts whether Lee would be a big enough name for Cotto to be given the green light by HBO to fight on pay-per-view, but he’s clearly a much better opponent than the smallish Diego Chaves and Provodnikov. Both of those fighters have hit a rough patch in their respective careers, and it’s an understatement to say that they’re both struggling right now. The word that best fits Provodnikov and Chaves’ careers is they ‘floundering.’ That’s why it’s probably not a good idea for Cotto to fight one of them unless he absolutely needs a guaranteed win for a confidence booster type of fight. In that case, then Cotto will need to forget about his June 18 fight being on HBO PPV, because it’s probably not going to happen.
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