By Sean Crose
It must be nice to be Miguel Cotto as 2014 comes to a close.
A year ago, he was considered a has-been. Now, he’s THE hot item in all of boxing. For not only does Canelo Alvarez want to face him in the ring, but Floyd Mayweather himself may want to, as well.
And Camp Cotto has made it clear that all options are on the table.
In a vague article published in thesportpress.com, Gaby Penagaricano, the man who has Cotto’s ear, says that “a fight with Mayweather has not been totally ruled out.” After pretty much declaring that a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight takes precedent, Penagaricano went on to state that Mayweather-Cotto II “could be a possibility. It’s an interesting fight.”
Of course it could be argued that all this is simply idle chatter and negotiation table maneuvering. Recent Tweets from Oscar De La Hoya, however, indicate that Cotto may indeed be turning his back on a bout with Alvarez in favor of Mayweather.
“The fight that will continue the México vs Puerto Rico boxing rivalry,” De La Hoya tweeted of a Cotto-Canelo matchup on Saturday.
By Sunday, however, the man seemed to have taken a different tone.
“@caneloOficial has conceded on all demands including moving from 50/50. the ball has been in @RealMiguelCotto court for more than 6 weeks,” De La Hoya tweeted.
If you feel De La Hoya’s words read like there may be some bitterness to them, you’re not alone. Cotto is known to not be a charmer in the lead-up to a fight. Sergio Martinez made it quite clear that he found Cotto pretty unlikable prior to their match last June.
To have such words come from the keypad of De La Hoya, however, is another matter entirely. Cotto may not exactly be warm and fuzzy (he darted from a press conference at Madison Square Garden last year so fast that it took back some of us in attendance), but the man is always professionally polite.
You don’t have to be Columbo to sense that something is up here.
Of course, this would all be quite a coup for Floyd Mayweather should a rematch with Cotto happen. After all, Canelo has declared that Cinco De Mayo weekend now belongs to Mexicans (meaning primarily himself).
If heretofore likely Canelo opponent Cotto decides to fight Mayweather that weekend, however, who could Canelo possibly face? Oh, there’s plenty of opponents out there, sure, but how many would prove to bring in solid Pay Per View numbers?
Of course, Mayweather has claimed he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao that weekend, as well. Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, however, has made it clear that he doesn’t want the fight to occur that weekend, ostensibly out of deference to the Mexican people.
That means if a fight between Floyd and Cotto happens on May 2nd, it will be hard for people to accuse Floyd of ducking Manny. After all, it was Pacquiao’s own promoter who publicly took the May 2nd date off the table.
In the end, this may all prove to be folly. Cotto may simply be playing hard to get while intending to eventually face Canelo in the spring. Then again–Floyd may indeed be looking for dance partners. De La Hoya’s recent Twitter activity certainly indicates that the air is filled with tension.
As always, time will tell the tale. If Mayweather-Cotto II DOES happen, there’s little doubt it will be an interesting matchup. Cotto lost the first time, but he gave Floyd a legitimate run. What’s more, Cotto seemed much improved when, under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, he battered an aging Martinez around Madison Square Garden last June.
Some argued afterwards that Cotto only looked good because the hurt Martinez looked so bad that night. This writer was not one of those people.