UPDATE 2 at 11 AM ET Monday: I asked Cotto advisor Gaby Penagaricano what the fighter thinks about a scrap with Martinez, at a catchweight of 158 pounds. His response: “Miguel said that a fourth world title in different divisions is attractive to him, but that in due time we will sit down and discuss.”
UPDATE 1 at 2 PM ET Sunday: Nathan Lewkowicz informed me that “we are not interested in Mora, Cotto is the target.” And at what weight, then? “158 pounds, a catchweight, for the WBC middleweight title,” he said. Mr. Cotto, the ball has been bounced into your court.
An unscientic poll on social media tells me that many fight fans are keen to see Miguel Cotto, who looked like a revitalized pugilist, energized and ultra-predatory on Saturday night, against solid journeyman Delvin Rodriguez, take on Sergio Martinez next, or in the very near future.
I wondered, would Sergio entertain that bout? I posed the query to Team Martinez’ Nathan Lewkowicz; his dad Sampson advises Sergio and Nathan spends as much time with Martinez as anyone in the fight game, including informal social occasions when Sergio lets loose his deepest thoughts.
“Sergio has wanted a Cotto fight for years,” Nathan told me. “He does not like Cotto at all. Cotto refused to shake Sergio’s hand at an event they both attended. Sergio felt very disrespected and never forgot that.”
Here’s a scenario I could, as amateur matchmaker-promoter, see playing out. Martinez, now getting his full strength back after sustaining injuries during his April 27 win over Martin Murray in his native Argentina, takes a rust-shedder early in 2014.
A solid foe could be Sergio Mora, the Latin Snake, who is also promoted by Lou DiBella. (For the record, Mora would take a Sergio bout in half a heartbeat. “I’m beating Sergio next year!” he told me. “They’ll consider me a ‘tuneup’ after a long layoff.”)
If the 38-year-old Martinez gets past the super skilled technician Mora, a Martinez-Cotto pay-per-view in the early fall would be one of the most anticipated clashes of the boxing year 2014.
Readers, talk to me. You like this fantasy course I’ve plotted? Or would you rather Cotto (seen whacking Rodriguez in HBO bout in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) get after a fight with Canelo Alvarez, which would seemingly to me be harder to make, considering Cotto worked with Top Rank this fight, and Alvarez is with Golden Boy. Or is there another hitter you’d like Cotto to tangle with?
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