Boxing News 2014: Miguel Cotto Has Options as He Decides Next Fight
Outside of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto is drawing a lot of attention from fighters looking for a big pay-per-view (PPV) payday and top-flight name to add on to their resume.
Boxers ranging from Kazakhstan's hard-hitting Gennady Golovkin to Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez are looking to step into the ring and test their mettle against Cotto, who, at the age of 33, despite still being one of the best boxers--with ESPN ranking him as high ninth in their "Pound For Pound" list of top fighters in the world--as well as a marketable star in the sport, only has a couple of big money prizefights left in the tank after a career of having fought many of his big name contemporaries such as Mayweather, Pacquiao, and "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
Here is a look at potential fights for Cotto as he sorts out his options:
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin
The most accurate word that can be used to describe the man known as Triple G to his growing fan-base is "monster". Many of the world's top boxers, including names like IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch, have avoided the hard-hitting Kazakh.
Golovkin has been rolling over the competition man enough to face him, compiling a record of 30-0-- 27 of his victories coming via knockout or TKO.
"Just swerve Golovkin like the plague. He punches like a mule. I don't need to be in with him. Dangerous fight," said Froch. in an interview.
While many criticize Golovkin's undefeated record as inflated, Golovkin cannot force adult men avoiding stepping into the ring against him to do so, or strong-arm a boxer's management team to fight him as they look to protect their fighter's rankings. Golovkin politely called out Cotto after his win Daniel Geale last month. Golovkin knows that a bout at Madison Square Garden, which both boxers consider "home," would rake in huge dollars for him while hoping that Cotto's warrior spirit and a packed house at "The Mecca of Boxing" will entice him to step into the ring against him.
But Golovkin may have to wait his turn, with Cotto's team focused on another potential big-money fight for the Puerto Rican fighter.
"Certainly, it's up to Miguel who he wants to fight but I think the Canelo [Saul Alvarez] fight is a much more attractive fight," said Top Rank Boxing's Bob Arum, Cotto's promoter, to ESPN.com. "Even though I love Golovkin and [K2 Promotions managing director] Tom Loeffler -- and nobody can say that Golovkin isn't a great fighter -- it's risk-reward in boxing. We don't know about Golovkin's ability on pay-per-view."
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
While Cotto could make a nice of chunk of change fighting Triple G at MSG, going up against Canelo Alvarez, who is 44-1-1 and coming off a controversial win over Erislandy Lara, in Las Vegas may prove to be the more profitable move--and possibly the physically safer decision, as well--for Cotto.
Bouts between Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters are proven money-makers for both pugilists. Match-ups such as Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs Hector "Macho" Camacho and Oscar De La Hoy vs Felix Trinidad fire up fans to buy the PPVs. A match-up between the young Mexican boxer and the cagey Puerto Rican veteran could bring in similar results for Cotto and Canelo.
"I would love to work with Cotto Promotions on a possible Canelo-Cotto fight," said Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya to RingTV.com after Miguel Cotto defeated Sergio Martinez in June. "July 12 is very important toward possibly seeing the pugilistic rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico once again. It would be Salvador [Sanchez] vs. [Wilfredo] Gomez, [Julio Cesar] Chavez Sr. vs [Edwin "El Chapo"] Rosario, [Oscar] De La Hoya vs. [Felix] Trinidad. Huge!"
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Canelo Alvarez is not the only Mexican fighter throwing his name into the hat in hopes of fighting the Puerto Rican legend.
Chavez Jr., known to his fans as JCC, is also intrigued with taking on Cotto, with Chavez Jr.'s father saying that they hope to lock a deal down in time to fight in December.
But a fight with JCC Jr., who is 48-1-1, brings about its own complications. On top of the fact that Chavez Sr. says his son will only fight Cotto at 160 pounds, Chavez Jr. has had issues making weight in certain matches. Chavez Jr. also ate a suspension after his huge bout against Sergio Martinez by testing positive for marijuana after a match, his second suspension of his career. JCC previously failed a Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test after a diuretic on the commission's list of banned medications was discovered in his system as he tried to make weight for his fight against Troy Rowland.
Chavez's camp believes that JCC Jr. has matured after those past incidents and will not have a problem making weight should Cotto agree to a bout against the son of the Mexican boxing Hall of Famer.
"Because of the World Cup, things were help held up. We hope to to down in these final months, come to an agreement," said Chavez Jr. to ESPN Deportes last month. "I would like to fight sometime between September to December, I'll be ready whenever they tell me to be ready."
While promoters jostle for position to earn a large check doing business with Cotto, the unlikely winner out of the names such as Golovkin, Alvarez, and JCC Jr. may end up being Irish boxer Andy Lee.
Boasting a career 33-2 fight record, Lee does good business drawing a crowd in New York City, which will help his cause being that Cotto's promotion team is interested in their client fighting at MSG rather than in Las Vegas.
ESPN's Dan Rafael reports that Cotto's Top Rank management has saved December 13th at Madison Square Garden and after Golovkin canceled on Lee after the death of his father, Lee's promotion team has been looking for a similar big-name fighter as an opponent for the scrappy Irishman.
"I really believe you'll have a similar crowd to what Cotto-Martinez drew, and Andy really wants the fight," said Lou DiBella, Lee's promotor. "I'm sure HBO would like Andy as an opponent, and I know the Garden loves the fight. Bob and I talked about it, and he knows we want the fight. Andy has wanted the opportunity to fight a legend. If you're a fighter and you don't want to fight a future Hall of Famer and the middleweight champion of the world, you're not a real fighter. Andy Lee is a real fighter. It's a tremendous fight."
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