Berto Would Like A Crack At Cotto

BY Michael Woods ON February 04, 2009
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The winter winds bite deep in NYC today, burrowing in harder than usual on the cityfolk, most of whom are consumed with the possibility that our nation has been plunged, courtesy of several decades of GOP propelled market deregulation and income inequality, into a mini depression.

But Lou DiBella isn’t spending too much time moping about the possibility of breadlines—he has clients to attend to, and fights to make. Because especially in times such as these, as all of us chew our nails to the quick as our friends, neighbors and loved ones come home day in, day out clutching pink slips, people need entertainment. They need to take their mind off the numbing hailstorm of dire economic news, and Dick Cheney’s pronouncements of an imminent terrorist attack. What better way, we slaves to the art and savage science of pugilism say, than taking in a couple hours of prizefighting?

DiBella was working the phones on Thursday afternoon in his Manhattan office, as one of the jewels of his stable, 25-year-old WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto, was a few fight away, being interviewed for a Ring magazine feature. DiBella clued in TSS what might be next on the slate for Berto, who narrowly escaped with his title in hand after shooting down a spirited bid by New Yorker Luis Collazo on Jan. 17 in Mississippi.

“We have a May date on HBO for Andre,” the promoter said. “A Collazo rematch is possibility, but we’d give the date up for a fight with Miguel Cotto in June at Madison Square Garden.” With the long-term suspension of Antonio Margarito for hand-wrap hijinks being a definite possibility, Team Cotto has been investigating Plans B, C and D. Cotto figures to steamroll Michael Jennings, like Rush Limbaugh plows thru a twelve pack of Krispy Kremes, on Feb. 21 at MSG. He was going to try and erase the stain of his lone loss, incurred to Margarito last July (TKO11) in Vegas. But if Margarito is found to have inserted a foreign object or objects into his fists before gloving up against Shane Mosley on Jan. 24, Cotto will need a new dance partner. DiBella says Berto is clamoring for the waltz.

“Andre is ready, willing and able to fight Cotto in June at MSG,” DiBella said.

Also on the short list for Berto, if the stars don’t align as desired: Zab Judah, and Carlos Quintana. DiBella would like to see his client Quintana get that gig, and thinks a Judah/Quintana eliminator, with the winner to meet Berto, is a no-brainer. He doesn’t think a welterweight consolidation event, pitting Berto against Shane Mosley, could come off. “Mosley doesn’t want Berto, he wants megafights at this point,” DiBella said.

Dibella’s phonework isn’t limited to Berto. Middleweight Jermain Taylor’s stock upticked with a UD12 win over Jeff Lacy in November. What’s next for Bad Intentions?

“We’re close to a deal to fight Carl Froch (24-0 Brit, WBC super middle champ; age 31),” he said. That bout, if terms get ironed out with Froch’s promoter, Mick Hennesey, would take place in the US in mid to late April.

With that, DiBella went back to the phone, Limbaugh to his donuts and Cheney to his sinister plotting. And they say boxing is a rough game...

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