Miguel Cotto’s Choices
By Danni Rocket: Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who read and commented on my last article, ‘A Career Analysis of Adrien Broner.’ The comments were extremely constructive, and the opinions stated show a deep understanding of this great sport, which we are all slaves to, and truly love.
Four weight world champion, current WBO Light Middleweight champion, and Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto has stated that will be retiring this December 31st, and that he hopes to fight once more before then. He has yet to pick an opponent, although both he and his trainer Freddie Roach have said that they want the winner of the September 16th fight between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The way I see it, Cotto can choose to fight to further secure his place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and thus cementing himself as one of the best Puerto Rican fighters of all time, or he can fight for one last huge pay check. Below I will list the possible options I see for the 36 year old, and which I personally think is best for him, his family and his legacy.
Winner of GGG vs Canelo
I personally see this as a money fight, as I cannot see Cotto beating either fighter at middleweight. Contrary to common opinion, I think Canelo will win this fight be a close decision. I suspect it will be a battle of body shots, and if Golovkin tries to fight the big hitting Canelo the way he fought the equally big hitting Jacobs, utilizing his underrated jab, I think Canelo will eventually be able to time him and counter, as we have seen so many times before, in order to begin landing his famous combinations. However, that’s a discussion for another article…
If Canelo does win, I see him securing a fight against the winner of the Billy Joe Saunders and Willie Monroe Jr fight in December or early 2018, and thus ruling himself out of a December fight against Cotto. If GGG wins I suspect he will take on an easier mandatory challenger, as this year he would have already fought arguably the two best middleweight contenders in Canelo and Jacobs, or else sitting the rest of the year out, looking for a March or April return.
If Cotto did manage to secure himself a fight against either fighter, I personally see it hurting his legacy, as I think GGG would stop him late on, and Canelo would beat him by a wider margin than in their first fight, maybe also stopping him. In the first fight, I felt Cotto put on a classy performance, winning many rounds against the bigger, younger and stronger Mexican fighter. He left the ring with another loss on his record, but an improved legacy. I think should the fight be repeat it would allow the ever improving Canelo to set straight what some consider a slight blemish in his career.
It would however be the biggest money fight Cotto could realistically secure, and would provide him with a shot to win the unified Middleweight crown, one last PPV event, and an enormous pay check with which to leave the sport.
Loser of GGG vs Canelo
I think this is a more likely fight, especially if Alvarez wakes up on September the 17th with another loss on his record. However, for the same reasons stated above I don’t consider this a good fight for Cotto’s legacy, and due to his opponent coming from a loss and without any titles, the payday would not even be as large, and this makes it almost a lose-lose situation.
Winner of Billy Joe Saunders vs Willie Monroe Jr
This would very much be a legacy fight, and my preferred option for Cotto. The Payday would not be anywhere near as good as the previous two possibilities, and Cotto would be the only real pulling power in this fight, as Monroe Jr isn’t a big star in America, and Billy Joe Saunders is not exactly a household name in the UK. The UK boxing scene is however booming, and with the right promotion from Frank Warren, they could possibly stage this fight in the fairly large Manchester Arena, and with the new deal Warren has signed with BT Sports, should bring in very good viewing figures.
If Cotto was to win this fight it would make him a two time champion at Welterweight, Light Middleweight, and Middleweight, which for a fighter who started off in the Lightweight Division and won his first world title at Light Welterweight, would be an incredible achievement. I also favor Cotto over either of these fighters, stopping both in the 2nd half of the fight with those legendary left hooks to the body he and Freddie Roach have perfected over the years.
This is another fight which would be a legacy fight, though if staged in Horns native Australia could provide both fighters with decent paydays also, especially when considering Horn’s recently acquired national fame. The doors have also been opened to this fight now that Pacquiao has said that he doesn’t plan on fighting again until next year. However, I see two major problems with making this fight.
One, Horn and his team are supposedly looking at making a fight with fellow Australian Anthony Mundine or former champion Jessie Vargas. And two, I assume the fight would have to take place at Light Middleweight, as I suspect Cotto could no longer make the Welterweight limit of 147 pounds. This shouldn’t be a problem, as Jeff Horn is a particularly large Welterweight, though this would mean that his recently won WBO title wouldn’t be at stake, and this would go down as just another defence of Cotto’s Light Middleweight version of the same belt. Adding another title would be a nice addition to the Puerto Ricans legacy, but I think the weight draining he would have to do to get down to 147 pounds could leave him susceptible to being on the losing side of another Jeff Horn upset.
Margarito Rubber Match
A pointless fight, that I don’t realistically see Cotto or his team taking. I am only including this due to the noise being generated by Antonio Margarito’s camp. In his recent outing against the admittedly underrated, though undeniable journeyman Carson Jones, Margarito looked completely spent by the start of the 7th round, and in my opinion was saved from and embarrassing stoppage defeat by the referee. In his defence, Jones was using his head a ridiculous about in this fight. Nevertheless, I think that Cotto would destroy the past it Mexican within 6 rounds, and wouldn’t gain anything from the fight. It surely wouldn’t be a PPV fight, the payday would not be as good as any of the other fights mentioned here, and it would go down in history as an unnecessary beat-down of a past it fighter, and if anything could actually hurt Cotto’s legacy.
Another fight that I see as senseless for Cotto. A fight against Cotto would serve as nothing more than a potential spring board fight for the Canadian, and I don’t see what he brings to the table. Yes, golden boy is trying to build his name, but he clearly is not at the point where he can provide the retiring veteran with a very large pay check. Add to this the fact that he has three losses on his resume and no title, it would seem that Cotto would be going up in weight for a fight against a dangerous puncher, with no potential cherry for himself. This fight serves only Golden Boy Promotions, and if Lemieux wins, then could secure him a potentially lucrative fight against Canelo in the future. I hope Cotto doesn’t decide to take this risky fight, that could see him go out with another loss, for no clear reward.
A very realistic possibility, and one I hope Cotto takes rather than taking a meaningless fight against anyone who would not provide him with a legacy building contest, or a cash out payday. As a 6 time world champion and the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world honors in four weight classes, Cotto’s place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame is already cemented, I suspect on his first year of eligibility. He has had numerous PPV contests against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Canelo Alvarez and Sergio Martinez, which have made him one of the highest earners in boxing in recent years. Soon to be 37, he could easily walk away from the sport now, safe in the knowledge that all the blood, sweat and tears he has poured into the sport over his 16 year pro career has provided the boxing community with years of fantastic fights, for which we are truly grateful.
Which option does the reader like for Cotto in December? Are there any other fights out there that you would like to see? And what is your assessment of Miguel Cotto’s Career? Once again I look forward to reading your comments.