I know it’s not a fight that fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to see again, but the two best fighter/boxing managers (excluding Bernard Hopkins) in the sport, Floyd Mayweather 47-0 (26) and Miguel Cotto 39-4 (32), may just end up facing each other again in their next bout.
Floyd and Miguel are only interested in partaking in big winnable PPV fights at this point of their careers. Floyd, he wants to control everything regarding the negotiations pertaining to a fight with Manny Pacquiao 57-5-2 (38)…..and one gets the same feeling towards Miguel regarding his on again off again showdown with Mexican Saul Alvarez 44-1-1 (31). No doubt this is why the negotiations for both fights have stalled.
At this time neither Mayweather nor Cotto have their next fight set, and it’s been made clear that they both want to fight sometime this coming May or June. Everyone wants to see Mayweather-Pacquiao in May but that’s still not finalized. There’s talk of Cotto possibly meeting Timothy Bradley 31-1-1 (12) in June, which makes absolutely no sense on Cotto’s part, none what so ever. If Cotto were to fight Bradley, even if he wins, he will have wasted the capital he gained beating Sergio Martinez 51-3-2 (28) last year.
It’s coming up on three years since Mayweather and Cotto fought for Miguel’s WBA super welterweight title. Floyd won the title via a 12-round unanimous decision in what turned out to be a competitive bout. That said, there’s no reason to believe, based on their previous fight or their style clash, that a rematch would produce a different result. Yes, I know Freddie Roach now trains Cotto, but that won’t make a bit of difference. If Cotto fights Mayweather again and uses the same boxing style he did in his last fight against Sergio Martinez, he’ll lose by an even wider margin this time.
On June 9th of last summer after Cotto defeated Martinez to win the lineal middleweight title, I wrote a column titled “Cotto’s Perfect Exit Strategy: Offer Mayweather Shot At Middleweight Title.” In it, I stated the following:
“If Cotto is smart, and all indications based on how he’s managed his career say that he is, he should be campaigning and challenging Mayweather to meet him for the middleweight title. As long as Floyd doesn’t try to get over too much regarding the terms and conditions for the fight, and it’s not like Cotto doesn’t have any leverage, because he does. All that it’ll take is for Miguel to issue the challenge and for Floyd to accept it. Promotional contracts can be put aside for business. It happens every day.
“Mayweather-Cotto for the lineal middleweight championship would be huge. Mayweather can go for his sixth title in a different weight division against a fighter he already defeated and no doubt is certain that he can do it again, thus further enhancing his legacy. And Cotto can accumulate a fortune while having a great chance to add to his legacy against a fighter who he put up a great fight against, and must feel things would turn out differently in his favor if they were to fight again.”
Think about it. Cotto, if he really wanted to prove he’s the middleweight champ, he’d fight Gennady Golovkin 31-0 (28), but everyone, including Miguel, knows that he’d get destroyed. And there’s not enough money in the fight for him to take that chance and retire from boxing like that. As for Mayweather, if he really wanted to prove he’s all that and really harbors no reservation about touching gloves with Pacquiao, he’d fight Golovkin in a non-catchweight bout for the title and shut everybody up. But the odds of that happening are about as good as Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll giving Marshawn Lynch the ball on second and goal from the one yard line with the Super Bowl championship on the line.
If Mayweather and Cotto were to fight again, they both have a ton to gain, aside from money, without much risk. For Mayweather, he can gain the lineal middleweight title, giving him six titles in six different weight divisions, something legends Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns can’t even say. He already knows that he has the style and strength to match-up favorably with Cotto. He’d make another $40 million-plus easily, and if he were to lose, he certainly wouldn’t take a beating or be unrecognizable after the fight. As for Cotto, being the first fighter to officially defeat Mayweather would pave the road the rest of his life in anything he did. And if he were to lose again, it’s not like he’d be embarrassed or physically hurt or beat up, and nobody would admonish him for losing to Mayweather twice.
Miguel Cotto’s career is winding down. He’s the only Puerto Rican fighter ever to win a world title in four different weight divisions. Right now he’s fighting mostly for his family’s financial future. The three biggest money fights for Cotto are Mayweather, Alvarez and Golovkin, in that order. He would be a prohibitive underdog in all three. However, in two of them he would most likely get beaten up. Alvarez would work him over good before the fight was stopped and for even less money, Golovkin would beat him up worse. And if by chance he scored an upset over either of them, it wouldn’t be as monumental historically as beating Mayweather would be. If Cotto beat Alvarez, the next day most would say that Mayweather exposed him and he wasn’t really all that. If he beat Golovkin, it would be huge and further cement his legacy. But there would a faction who would say Golovkin really never fought a special or elite fighter before and maybe like other past KO artist, he was a little overrated – and they might even be right, it’s too early to say for sure.
This leads back to Miguel fighting Mayweather again. Among the three most lucrative fights for Cotto, Mayweather would be the most lucrative, and it’s also the one in which he’d probably have the best chance to win. Alvarez, and especially Golovkin would probably stop him, unlike Mayweather, who in the worst-case scenario wins every round but never drops or stops him. For Cotto, fighting Mayweather in his next fight makes the most sense. Floyd is smaller, older and nowhere near the puncher that Alvarez and Golovkin are. Sure, he has a master’s degree in experience, but then so does Cotto.
A rematch with Mayweather would be for the most money and the risk-reward factor couldn’t be more in Cotto’s favor, as opposed to his other plausible options.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com