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Margarito surely not the answer for Cotto

Image: Margarito surely not the answer for Cotto

By Gav Duthie: Rivalries are a funny business in boxing. They often come with a heated atmosphere of the opponent but when the careers are over their names are intertwined in history. You can’t mention Mickey Ward without Arturo Gatti, Marco Antonio Barrera with Erik Morales, Floyd Patterson and Ingemar Johansson and Ken Norton and Joe Frazier will always be synonymous with Muhammad Ali.

With Antonio Margarito’s controversial win over Carson Jones on Saturday he is aiming for a showdown and rubber match with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto. Margarito seems hell bent on it Cotto thinks their rivalry is over so how likely is this to happen and should it? Personally, I do not want to see this fight but has Cotto backed himself into a corner.

No viable opponents

After Cotto’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26, he now owns 1/4 of the Super Welterweight division as the WBO title holder. On October 14 the other 3 junior middleweight champions Jermell Charlo (WBC), Jarrett Hurd (IBF), Erislandy Lara (WBA) all fight on the same night. Seeing as Cotto has given a date restriction on his last fight of 31 December 2017, he has no chance to fight any of these champions. Also, the 3 opponents are out Erickson Lubin (top prospect), Austin Trout (rematch) and Terrell Gausha (American Olympian). Even the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin in a couple of weeks is probably too soon for a December return. That fight is career and legacy defining, both are probably in the most rigorous camps of their lives so the thought of coming back to camp after about 2 weeks off is unlikely. Trainer Freddie Roach asked for the Canelo-Golovkin winner but the only chance I see is that the loser might want Cotto. Canelo has already said he is not interested so probably the only chance is if Golovkin loses and wants a big win quickly. The WBO mandatory will likely be between Liam Smith and Liam Williams but the date has been pushed back until November so that rules them out.

Possible other opponents

Demetrius Andrade – The WBA regular champion

David Lemieux – Also signed with Golden Boy

Antonio Margarito – Complete the trilogy

Kell Brook – Is moving up to 154lbs after his loss to Errol Spence Jnr

Amir Khan – Big name, fought Canelo at 155lbs

Decision Time

I don’t think Margarito deserves the fight on a personal or boxing level. He has struggled in his 3 comeback fights against road warrior opposition. These guys aren’t journeyman but certainly not world level either. However, what do those other names do for his legacy. Lemieux would be a fun fight, good to watch but he’s a genuine middleweight where Cotto isn’t and he’s not a huge name. Andrade is a class act, potentially the best in the division but again his reputation isn’t there and he’d likely lose at this stage. Brook has lost his last two fights and Khan isn’t a super welterweight. It pains me to say it but maybe beating Margarito up is the best option.

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