Is Cotto Now Out In The Cold? Maybe, Maybe Not

Now that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have agreed to face each other on May 2nd, and Saul Alvarez has signed on to fight James Kirkland the following weekend, WBC lineal middleweight champ Miguel Cotto 39-4 (32) is out in the cold, left with the worst possible opponent option—cough, Golovkin, cough– imaginable.

Or is he?

Last June Cotto stopped Sergio Martinez 51-3-2 (28) in 10 rounds to win the WBC middleweight title. Martinez was the lineal middleweight champ being that he beat the man who beat the man etc…..going back to Bernard Hopkins. The win over Martinez elevated Cotto, 34, and that is a monumental feat considering Cotto was probably at his best during his tenure as the junior welterweight title holder.

If you remember, before Cotto finally agreed to fight Martinez, he was going back and forth between meeting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 44-1-1 (31) and Martinez. Ultimately the fight with Martinez was made and in hindsight it can be said with impunity that Miguel made the right decision, as he usually does. Because by the time Cotto got into the ring with Martinez, Sergio was a recovering often-injured fighter on the decline. Cotto earned a lot of capital beating Martinez due to fighters the likes of Alvarez, Mayweather and Gennady Golovkin all wanting to eventually own Cotto’s title. After the Martinez fight Miguel was sitting in a great position and held most of the leverage.

Eventually negotiations began between the factions representing both Cotto and Alvarez. The plan was for the biggest Mexican and Puerto Rican star fighters in boxing to meet on May 2, which is Cinco De Mayo. And that would’ve been a huge fight on that date. However, Cotto overplayed his hand, or so it seemed at the time, and almost over-night a fan friendly, legitimate title bout dissolved. And that left May 2 open for Mayweather-Pacquiao to be finalized.

Shortly after Cotto beat Martinez it was said in this space that Cotto’s best options were to defend his lineal middleweight title against a) Floyd Mayweather or b) Canelo Alvarez if he couldn’t get Mayweather. And the reason for that was, Mayweather or Alvarez versus Cotto is an automatic PPV attraction, and Miguel is fighting mostly for financial security now. Being the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a world title in four different weight divisions has solidified his legacy. On top of that, everyone, including Cotto, knows that he’s really not a middleweight. So fighting welterweight/junior middleweight Mayweather or Alvarez, who is still a junior middleweight (although one day Alvarez will probably be a super middleweight), made sense because Cotto wouldn’t have been dwarfed by either of them physically.

Then the bottom fell out when Mayweather and Pacquiao finally came to terms and stole his date. A few days later Alvarez decided to play hardball and agreed to meet the hard punching James Kirkland 32-1 (28) the following weekend. And if that weren’t enough, the best middleweight and title belt holder in the division took apart the very tough and willing Martin Murray this past weekend. And guess who he asked to meet next after the fight? Yep, Golovkin 32-0 (29) wants all the middleweight hardware and in the most gentlemanly way possible challenged Cotto to meet him in a unification bout. And if you’re Cotto, you’ll say that you’re more than willing to meet Golovkin, but that’s as far as you go because you have no intention of getting brutalized on HBO and blowing the opportunity of parlaying your win over Martinez.

At this time there are rumors swirling via Cotto’s promoter Bob Arum suggesting that Miguel may fight one of the following, Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios or Cornelius Bundrage. Notice that Golovkin wasn’t mentioned nor will he be. And if by chance Cotto agrees to meet any one of the three mentioned he’ll be making a big mistake and blowing the cachet he gained from beating Martinez. Nobody wants to see Cotto fight, even on premium cable, Bradley, who could stink out the place and might out-box him, or Rios or Bundrage. No, there are only three fighters who boxing fans want to see Cotto touch gloves with, Golovkin, Mayweather and Alvarez.

Right now it looks like Cotto may be shamed into fighting Golovkin, and there’s no way he wants that. There’s not a lot of money involved and his chances of losing in an embarrassing fashion are very good. Miguel doesn’t have tool-one to beat Gennady with, why get annihilated for peanuts compared to fighting Mayweather or Alvarez via PPV?

It looks like Cotto is left out in the cold, or he’ll have to to fight Golovkin, which might be hell for him in the ring. On the other hand, if he can somehow manage to keep the WBC title until after Mayweather beats Pacquiao, and he will, then he can fight Floyd and he’ll look like a genius for not agreeing to fight Alvarez. Even in the worst case scenario, say the WBC strips Cotto of the title, who cares, as he’s still the man who beat the man. What would be better than after Mayweather beats Pacquiao then winning a title in a sixth division against the smallest fighter in it, who owns the lineage to the middleweight title going back to Bob Fitzsimmons, Stanley Ketchel, Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins?

Is Cotto out in the cold and on the verge of being forced into meeting Golovkin? Perhaps. But it just may be in his best interest not to fight again until after Mayweather and Pacquiao settle their six year old score. All he has to do is sit ringside and goad Mayweather after the fight. Floyd will no doubt brush it off and proclaim he doesn’t need Cotto. However, behind the scenes he’ll be telling his hired guns to get me Cotto, I want that middleweight belt for my sixth division title.

Yes, don’t be surprised if Cotto doesn’t announce a major fight until after Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Because after beating Pacquiao, what’s left for Mayweather? And that sixth title would be sweet icing on a ceremonial cake for Floyd to go out with and Miguel will make a fortune providing him the opportunity.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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COMMENTS

-Pazuzu :

As usual, great piece, Frank. More likely than not, however, I think Cotto has been left out in the cold and will be angling for a match against Alvarez this fall, while still ducking GGG. May Pac are going to fight again in September. The May 2 fight is going to make bonkers money for everyone involved, and they'll hit it again later in the year. So Cotto will have to renegotiate with Alaveez and Golden Boy, but this time Canelo will have the upper hand as he'll be coming out of a big action fight, brutal stoppage of the Mandingo Warrior. Cotto can beat Alvarez, but he'll have his work cut out for him, and time is not on his side. Tick-tock...


-Pazuzu :

Also, Cotto against Bradley, Rios or Bundrage for the lineal middleweight crown would be a disgrace. Let's not speak of this again...


-Kid Blast :

Cotto has become a diva


-dino da vinci :

Also, Cotto against Bradley, Rios or Bundrage for the lineal middleweight crown would be a disgrace. Let's not speak of this again...
:cool:


-SouthPawFlo :

Great Piece, yet I seriously disagree with the "wording" of a few things... Miguel Cotto is a sure fire hall of fame, and he's been in the ring with multiple guys who may end up in the hall themselves, and to suggest that he hasn't even have "tool one" in a fight with Golovkin, a fighter who has look tremendous but against B-Level Talent (at best) is something I disagree with... I agree Golovkin will be a tough match because of his size and power but Miguel Cotto is too skilled and too Seasoned to be "Annihilated" by GGG... And we still don't have much evidence how GGG will actually handle a big stage against a guy will a serious Skillset and a corner who can put together a solid Gameplan.. The Miguel Cotto Left Hook is nothing to sneeze at and GGG isn't exactly the most elusive guy in the ring... I think a Cotto-GGG match will be a back and forth War and not a "Demolition" as this piece suggests...


-the Roast :

Great Piece, yet I seriously disagree with the "wording" of a few things... Miguel Cotto is a sure fire hall of fame, and he's been in the ring with multiple guys who may end up in the hall themselves, and to suggest that he hasn't even have "tool one" in a fight with Golovkin, a fighter who has look tremendous but against B-Level Talent (at best) is something I disagree with... I agree Golovkin will be a tough match because of his size and power but Miguel Cotto is too skilled and too Seasoned to be "Annihilated" by GGG... And we still don't have much evidence how GGG will actually handle a big stage against a guy will a serious Skillset and a corner who can put together a solid Gameplan.. The Miguel Cotto Left Hook is nothing to sneeze at and GGG isn't exactly the most elusive guy in the ring... I think a Cotto-GGG match will be a back and forth War and not a "Demolition" as this piece suggests...
Tell it!


-Kid Blast :

Cotto destroyed a shot Martinez and a badly out0matched D-Rod. Nothing in that suggests he would not be annihilated by GGG or Canelo. The one big thing Cotto has going for him now is Roach, but once a fighter backs Cotto up. it's all over. That said, his level of opposition has been off the wall but that fact just be what might have slowed him down. Too many wars maybe. IMO


-oubobcat :

As far as Cotto being left in the cold, I don't think so. It appears that way today but keep in mind Cotto, much like Mayweather, is a very smart businessman. He will when all is said and done be in a position to make a lot of money for one last mega fight. I predict Cotto is either going to face Rios or K9 next on HBO. Both are very winnable fights for him. I think Rios is option one but if that falls apart K9 is the backup plan. Rios stylistically is perfect for Cotto and would really be ballooning in weight. Cotto would have a size advantage and a fighter would come straight forward which is what he wants. And no matter how Pacquiao-Mayweather plays out, Cotto is in line to fight Mayweather in the future. Lets say Mayweather loses. Well Cotto is still there with the Middleweight title (the lineal title) and Mayweather can fight him at say 155 down the line for that title. Its still a highly marketable fight. And if Mayweather wins, guess what would be his next natural move? Yes fighting Cotto for the Middleweight title. See where I am going with this... Today, Cotto looks like he is left out in the cold but mark my words when all is said and done he will get that rematch and payday that comes with it against Mayweather.


-Carmine Cas :

The next couple of months will indicate if Cotto is a fool or genius. Rios? Get out of here with that nonsense Arum, he's a blown up welterweight. He's better off fighting Queen Khan, there might be a little more money in that :D


-amayseng :

As far as a business decision this is good for Cotto. For the hardcore fans like us, we will be robbed of a legit MW lineal title fight against GGG Cotto should wait and fight the winner of Pac Floyd for his MW title, make big bucks and call it a day. For me, he will be holding the mw title hostage not fighting GGG at 160 for all belts.


-Pazuzu :

As far as a business decision this is good for Cotto. For the hardcore fans like us, we will be robbed of a legit MW lineal title fight against GGG Cotto should wait and fight the winner of Pac Floyd for his MW title, make big bucks and call it a day. For me, he will be holding the mw title hostage not fighting GGG at 160 for all belts.
We'll see, but if the May 2 fight is competitive at all, there will be a rematch. Cotto will still be looking for a dance partner to give him the payday he wants. Bradley or Rios (shudder) won't do it. Right now, I see Alvarez, Floyd and Pac with fights in May. Cotto has nothing. So far, he's overplayed his hand. That MW strap doesn't mean anything if he's not willing to put it on the line.


-The Good Doctor :

Cotto destroyed a shot Martinez and a badly out0matched D-Rod. Nothing in that suggests he would not be annihilated by GGG or Canelo. The one big thing Cotto has going for him now is Roach, but once a fighter backs Cotto up. it's all over. That said, his level of opposition has been off the wall but that fact just be what might have slowed him down. Too many wars maybe. IMO
I see your point but doesn't that same line of thinking go both ways. Cotto beat people he should have and pretty handily. GGG has made a career of beating below average guys handily. Both have looked like killers against what is and has been overmatched competition. Do I think Cotto will beat GGG?, no I don't and that is coming from a die hard Cotto fan. However as SouthPawFlo earlier stated, absolute destruction is a bit much. As for Canelo, he has been on the real big stage twice and he has been average at best. Floyd smoked him and if Lara just throws (not necessarily lands) 5 more punches a round, he probably takes it. As for being left out in the cold, I would also disagree. Being left out in the cold implies that he is desperate for a fight and no one is there to fight him. Ever since the first Margarito fight, Cotto has never shown any urgency to get in the ring for any fight. Heck, he wasn't even that bent on fighting Margarito again to avenge his loss until the dollars just got too big. If you listen to his interviews, he talks alot more about family, retirement, training and promoting other Puerto Rican boxers and other things outside of the ring more than ever. He walked away from a 7 figure purse with Canelo with relative quietness and ease so I think this hardly bothers him.