By Kirk Jackson
Miguel Cotto made history this past weekend, becoming the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles across four different divisions when he annihilated WBC and Lineal Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez.
This what was a lucrative payday for Cotto, topped off with perhaps his most impressive display of speed, power and overall skill. This virtuoso display took place in front of all of his fans at the legendary Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
With his performance, he not only established himself as a factor in the middleweight division, but he put an end to the career of Argentine, Sergio Martinez.
At age 39 and with shot knees, Martinez looks like a shell of his former self and will only risk further injury if he continues his career as a professional fighter.
But this is about Miguel Cotto, and with his recent triumph, he opened the door to many lucrative options moving forward.
It’s funny, just a few years ago, Cotto’s career was knocking on the door of retirement after suffering a second straight defeat to Austin Trout in an uninspiring performance.
A change of trainers and TKO victories over Delvin Rodriguez and Martinez can shortly change things around.
Miguel with his victory, established himself once again as one of the premier fighters in the sport and he is one of the highest revenue generating fighters in the sport, only behind Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
In the future, match-up possibilities are endless, as he could end up fighting WBA Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin, WBO Middleweight Champion Peter Quillin, the winner of Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, or even a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
Golovkin and Quillin would probably be the most problematic out the bunch, because of their natural middleweight size and punching power.
Cotto is relatively short for the middleweight division, standing 5’7” with a 67” reach. Quillin is 5’11” and has a 73” reach. Golovkin is 5’11” with a 70” reach. Both Golovkin and Quillin are undefeated, with Golovkin having 26 knockouts in his 29 victories and Quillin has 22 knockouts through 31 wins.
The chances of seeing Cotto vs. Quillin is slim, because of the difference in promotional companies and networks they fight under. Quillin is under Golden Boy Promotions and fights primarily on Showtime, while Cotto is with Top Rank Promotions and fights primarily on HBO. The fight would sell well in New York however, as both guys have huge east coast followings and they are both skilled action fighters willing to take risks.
Not sure if we see a match-up between Golovkin and Cotto either. Golovkin will be occupied with Daniel Geale this summer and potentially Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. later in the year. Also, a fight with Golovkin is an extremely risky fight and there would not be much to gain from Cotto’s perspective.
The most logical choices for Cotto would be Alvarez if he beats Lara and a rematch against Mayweather.
Miguel and Canelo’s teams were in negotiations for a fight earlier in the year but Miguel chose legacy over the larger payday, which was the Sergio Martinez fight and in hind sight this could have been the best path for Miguel with all things considering.
He made history by defeating Martinez and this makes the potential match-up between he and Canelo even bigger and financially rewarding.
The element of the Mexican-Puerto Rican rivalry, Alvarez is boxing’s next rising star, already having participated in one of the highest grossing fights of recent memory with Floyd Mayweather. This would be a huge fight for Cotto.
Alvarez is with Golden Boy so that may be a road block for that match-up, but in recent times, Oscar De La Hoya (President of Golden Boy Promotions) and Bob Arum (Founder and CEO) are on good speaking terms. For a fight of this magnitude, maybe they could work together and work something out.
If Alvarez can get past Lara of course, because Lara is no push-over.
A Mayweather rematch makes sense because Mayweather brings in a ton of money. Cotto wants to avenge his loss and be the first man to defeat the legendary defensive wizard. Wouldn’t’ that be quite the accomplishment for the Puerto Rican Star? Back to back historic victories.
But there is a few issues with that pairing of two fighters though.
Presently we are in June and Mayweather is slated to return to the ring in September. Although he did not endure too much damage from Martinez in his last fight this past weekend, a three month turnaround may be too quick of a turnaround for Cotto. Although you could argue Floyd’s four month turnaround may be too soon considering the grueling fight he had against another Argentine Marcos Maidana.
Of course another issue that lies is the issue with promotional companies, the issue Mayweather has with Bob Arum. So that can nix any match-up we see.
The Manny Pacquiao rematch with Cotto was left out of the equation because Miguel’s current trainer Freddie Roach, who also happens to be Pacquiao’s trainer was quoted as saying there will not be a rematch between the two fighters.
The probable choice for Miguel Cotto is continuing his historic run against Saul Alvarez sometime in the near future.