I wasn't being flippant when I said in this video (at the 2:12 mark) that Bob Arum looked only about 70 early Sunday morning, while exulting in Miguel Cottos' win over WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. For real, the Vegas-based dealmaker was supremely energized as he discussed Cotto's effort, which went beyond what about 98% of “experts” predicted.
Arum compared Cotto, at 33, to late-inning Roberto Duran. Hands of Stone was washed up in the minds of the smarts when he lost to Jamaican Brit Kirkland Laing, via split decision, one fight after losing via UD15 to Wilfred Benitez. Duran was 31 then, with all questioning his ability to keep up his desire level necessary to slog through the two month-long camps, and to steer clear of the fridge and bars enough to stay in reasonable shape in between fights.
“Duran then came to us, and from nowhere, he resurrected his life and his career,” said Arum of the Panamanian who made most dissers believers when he took Davey Moores' junior middle crown at Madison Square Garden. The promoter said that the analogy differs because Duran dipped because of self destructive tendencies, while Cotto looked so stellar, in Arums' eyes, because he found a stellar tutor in Freddie Roach.
You will recall Cotto hooked on with Emanuel Steward, and one might think that sort of teacher would be of high enough caliber to get the best from the Caguas kid. Yes and no, said Arum; Steward was great when he concentrated, but when he was pulled in too many directions, he wasn't as effective. Roach, he said, is all in, lives for the gym and the instruction. “Freddie, you gotta give him credit, stays in that effin gym, the Wild Card, doesn't leave, doesn't do anything, stays in the Wild Card,” Arum said.
So, we pondered the win for a good two minutes before ask, What's next for Cotto? Canelo is the first name Arum mentioned, and then he mentioned Timothy Bradley. “I'd love to see him in with a good boxer,” Arum said. Maybe at 154 1/2, so the middleweight crown could be up for grabs. (Can we call a halt to these under the weight catchweight fights for crowns NOW…the old school guys must laugh at this from their coffins….) “And down the line, Golovkin could be a possibility. The world is open now.” He called Golovkin a “smaller middleweight,” and said he doesn't want to see Cotto face off against an XL middleweight.
No worries about putting in Cotto with such a banger as Triple G, really?
Not at all, Arum said. “I think for me this kid showed himself to be a major throwback to how they used to fight. The great ones, Hagler, Leonard, that's how they used to fight, brilliantly…skillfully, not stupid.”
Yes, Arum admitted Cotto surpassed his expectations. “Maybe Martinez isn't the Martinez he was a few years ago, but his legs held up, and Martinez couldn't do s–t with Cotto,” he said.
Arum joked that he didn't want anyone asking him about Cotto-Pacquiao II, because “I don't want anything to get back to the Phillippines,” implying that this version of Cotto looked so stellar, there would be hell to pay for Pacman if they did a sequel. “But if Cotto with Freddie Roach fought Mayweather again, it'd be a no contest, Mayweather wouldn't have an effin chance! Manny? I ain't going there! I don't need the Filipino writers keeping me from going to sleep!”
Arum, on a roll, joked that he'd need someone with an AK to hold it to Floyd to force him to make a Floyd-Cotto bout. “Floyd's afraid to fight Manny, you think he'd fight Cotto?” the promoter said.
“You call (Floyd up), you make it, I'll pay you a commission,” Arum cracked to writer Tim Smith. “Ten percent.”
Readers, talk to me….Is Cotto akin to Duran? What does a Cotto-Golovkin fight look like? What do you think a Cotto 2014 vs. Mayweather bout would look like? And this Cotto against Manny re-do, what happens in that one? Weigh in, in our Forum!
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