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Marquez wants Cotto fight at 148

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By Dan Ambrose: If 43-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez gets his way, he’ll be soon facing former four division world champion Miguel Cotto at 148 pounds. The two fighters attempted to put together a fight not long ago, but they were unable to agree on the weight. Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs), who started his career out at featherweight, didn’t want to move up to fight the 35-year-old Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) at a catchweight of 150lbs.

It’s unknown if Cotto is still even interested in the Marquez fight. It was thought that Cotto had moved on in looking at other options like Brandon Rios and possibly Kell Brook. Cotto would be better off if he would just fight already against a top contender at 154 rather than wasting time trying to put together fights against beatable smaller guys like Rios, Brook or Marquez. Cotto has been out of the ring for 11 months now since his 12 round decision defeat at the hands of Saul Canelo Alvarez in November 2015.

If Cotto had stayed busy, he could have snatched up a fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith for an easy payday. Instead, Canelo got the Smith fight and pounded him like a punching bag for eight rounds before stopping him in the 9th. That could have been Cotto’s fight. Cotto probably would have then vacated the WBO title. If he kept It, Cotto would need to face #1 WBO Demetrius Andrade, and I doubt that he would want any part of that young fighter.

Marquez said this to EPN Deportes about a fight against Cotto at 148:

“There would have to be an agreement on the weight. He and his team wanted to fight at 150 or 151, which I believe is particularly a lot of weight. Maybe there could be a maximum weight of 148, because we are already giving away an advantage the following day. How much weight will he put on?”

As much as Marquez would like to fight Cotto at 148, I don’t think it’s a doable fight. Cotto hasn’t fought below 150 since his 12th round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao seven years ago in 2009. Cotto weighed in at 145lbs for that fight as part of a catchweight deal. Since then, Cotto has fought all of his fights at junior middleweight. Cotto can probably melt down to 148 if he absolutely had to, but I don’t think the money would be good enough for him to take that kind of weight off for a fight against the 43-year-old Marquez.

A rematch between Cotto and Pacquiao might be a big enough fight for Cotto to melt down to 148 if Pacquiao and his management pushed for a catchweight, and they likely would. But the money would be decent against Pacquiao. I don’t think it would bring in anything close to the 1,250,000 million pay-per-view buys on HBO that Cotto’s fight against Pacquiao brought in back in 2009, but I think it would still bring in at least 500,000 buys. Pacquiao has had too many fights against less than stellar opposition in the last seven years of his boxing career, and I think that’s hurt his brand severely. Pacquiao also wasn’t helped by his dull and overpriced fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year.

Marquez hasn’t fought since his 12 round decision over Mike Alvarado in 2014. Marquez has had knee problems that have kept him out of the ring.

Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach believes that he could get down to 147 for a fight against Marquez. However, Roach isn’t the one who makes the decisions in which weight Cotto will be fighting at. It’s likely that Roach was just thinking out loud rather than him knowing for a fact that Cotto would be able to rain on to fight at 147. With Cotto and Marquez negotiating tough, it doesn’t look like their fight is going to ever get made, because neither of them appear to be willing to give in.

“Here is the important thing, Cotto is a great fighter and it would be an interesting fight for the fans, but it is also necessary to see what the weight would be,” said Marquez. “Freddie Roach had mentioned that [Cotto] was able to make the 147 limit – now why can’t he give me [a limit of] 147 if he wants to fight with me?”

At this point, I don’t know how many boxing fans that would be all that eager to see Cotto and Marquez face each other. Both of them have been too inactive and a fight between them might seem more like an old timer’s fight than a fight between relevant contenders.

Cotto and Marquez need to be fighting on a frequent basis rather than being so picky when it comes to their opponents. Unfortunately, that’s what happens to fighters when they get used to big paydays. They become too selective and wind up sitting outside of the ring for long periods of time. When they finally do get back inside the ring, their skills have deteriorated. Cotto could have fought twice already in 2016 instead of sitting out of the ring and looking to fight welterweights. Marquez could have already fought someone as well. It’s too bad these guys will likely have nothing to show for 2016.

Cotto and Saul Canelo Alvarez will likely wind up facing each other in a rematch in 2017. They brought in 900,000 buys on HBO payh-per-view last November. With Cotto being inactive, it’s hard to tell how much interest there will be from the casual boxing fans in a second fight between him and Canelo. It might look like a money grab in the eyes of the fans.




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