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Purses: Cotto $750K, Kamegai $192K for last Saturday’s fight

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Miguel Cotto

By Sean Jones: Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) received a purse of $750,000 for his fight against #6 WBO Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) last Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing from the StubHub center in Carson, California. Kamegai’s purse was 192,000.That’s good money for a fighter with a 3-2-1 record in his last 6 fights going into the Cotto match.

WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas received $50,000 for his successful title defense in beating Ronny Rios by a 12 round unanimous decision. Rios received a purse of $75,000.

Cotto beat Kamegai, 34, by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. The win for Cotto gave him the vacant WBO junior middleweight title. This belt was previously in the hands of Saul Canelo Alvarez, but he vacated it to move up to 160.

“We want the winner of Canelo-GGG,” said Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach.

Cotto’s next fight could see him potentially getting a much bigger purse if he can get the winner of the Canelo vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight. It’s still a long shot that Cotto will get either of them to face him in December. Those two fighters are fighting in less than 3 weeks on September 16.

Cotto wants to fight in December, and that’s probably too soon for the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight to return to the ring. It’s not that the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight couldn’t be ready in 3 months to fight Cotto in December; it’s the training camp that they would have to start almost immediately to get ready for that fight. Cotto should be a little more flexible about his timeline for fighting the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight. Those guys aren’t going to bend over backwards to accommodate Cotto’s retirement schedule if it means having to get back into training camp away after their war on September 16.

It would be tough for the winner of Canelo and Triple G fight to start another grueling training just a week or two after their fight on September 16 to get ready for Cotto. If Cotto is willing to put off his retirement until early 2018, he might have a better chance of fighting the winner of the Golovkin vs. Alvarez fight.

What would be bad for Cotto is for him to be stubborn about not wanting to move from December for his last fight. If Cotto insists on only fighting in December, then he’ll probably miss out on the winner of the Canelo vs. GGG fight. Cotto might be left with a fight against former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux in December.

There’s nothing wrong with Cotto fighting Lemieux. However, it’s not likely to bring in a lot of PPV buys on HBO. Cotto wants his last fight in December to be televised on BO, and a fighting Lemieux is not a PPV worthy fight. Lemieux is still trying to rebuild his career following his 8th round knockout loss to Golovkin in 2008.

Lemieux has put several wins together since the loss to GGG, but he’s still not a big name for PPV. Cotto would be better off just waiting for Canelo or Golovkin to get free before making his move for his final fight. The difference in money Canelo can make fighting the Golovkin-Canelo winner and facing Lemieux is probably significant. If money isn’t an issue for Cotto, then he can go ahead and fight Lemieux in December. Personally, I think that’s a terrible fight for Cotto.

Lemieux hits very hard, and he would put hands on Cotto and likely knock him out. Kamegai made Cotto look a lot better than he actually is last Saturday night. Cotto was definitely getting hit by the glacially slow Kamegai in the early going. Luckily for Cotto that Kamegai didn’t have huge punching power.

If Kamegai could put like Lemieux, we probably wouldn’t be talking about Cotto potentially fighting the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin. There would be no point in either of them fighting Cotto. He would be just another old fighter heading for retirement.

Cotto can make good money if he can get a fight against Canelo. That’s the ideal fight for him. The main thing that is blocking that fight is Canelo facing a bigger, stronger and arguably more talented fighter in Golovkin in his next fight. Canelo is the underdog, and he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get worn down and knocked out by GGG. Cotto vs. Golovkin is not going to give him a huge payday, because Cotto is no longer seen as a revelant fighter by boxing fans.

Cotto was out of the ring for 2 years after his loss to Canelo in 2015. Cotto could have made himself relevant by taking on and beating someone good like Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara or Jarrett Hurd for their titles. Instead, Cotto fought Kamegai, a guy with recent losses to Robert Guerrero and Alfonso Gomez. Cotto and Canelo can still face each other if Canelo loses to Golovkin.

It’s unclear how much interest there would be from the boxing public in seeing the recently beaten Canelo fighting Cotto again. It’s really too bad that Cotto didn’t stay active after his loss to Canelo in 2015. Cotto should have continued fighting. It was a strange reaction for an aging fighter to sit out of the ring for 2 years after a close loss to Canelo.

It wasn’t wise on Cotto’s part to sit on the sidelines, trying in vain to get fights against no longer active fighters like Juan Manuel Marquez and James Kirkland. Even if Cotto had fought just 2 times in the last 2 years, it would have kept him on top of the sport if he’d beaten good fighters and not guys like Kamegai. I don’t understand that fight at all. It did nothing to further Cotto’s career to build up a big fight against the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight.

Cotto is in a tough situation for his last fight of his career. There are only 2 guys that will bring him a good payday in the middleweight division, and that’s GGG and Canelo. There’s nobody left at 154 for Cotto to face to get a big payday. Manny Pacquiao is about to retire, so he’s not an option. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has gone back into retirement after his fight with Conor Mcgregor. Cotto won’t get a lot of money fighting welterweights like Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Danny Garcia or Errol Spence Jr. Cotto has really 2 options and that’s Golovkin or Canelo for his last fight.

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