Dan Rafael of ESPN.com has reported how Puerto Rican great Miguel Cotto will not now be having a June 18th bout, as was originally planned. Cotto, who has not boxed since putting in a valiant but losing effort against middleweight champ Saul Alvarez, will now look at coming back towards the end of the year, ESPN.com reports, against a big name.
Cotto’s list of possible opponents for the now scrapped June date included James Kirkland and Diego Chaves, but neither guy was deemed suitable by HBO; either for a regular show or a pay-per-view headliner. Britain’s Kell Brook, the reigning IBF welterweight champion, was also a possibility but, depending on which source you choose to believe, either Cotto didn’t fancy the fight or Brook was unavailable on that particular date. In light of Brook’s recent and growing desperation to land himself a big and meaningful fight (his promoter Eddie Hearn was quoted as saying Brook would “walk to New York to fight Cotto”) it’s perhaps hard to believe the Sheffield man would have turned down the fight.
So who might Cotto, 40-5(33) and now 35-years-old, face in the latter portion of 2016? According to Rafael, a return with Canelo is quite possible, as too are fights against the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez (a fight that has been spoken about for some time now) and Tim Bradley. Of these possible options, a Marquez fight is perhaps the most attractive, and sensible for Cotto. The two veterans are both future Hall of Famers with nothing left to prove, but they still have the urge to fight. Against each other, the two would likely engage in a good fight.
As for a possible Alvarez-Cotto II, would fans be pleased if this fight got made? We all know who practically everyone wants to see Canelo fight, and that’s the guy with the initials GGG. If Canelo beats Khan (as most people feel he will do, but with a growing number of experts starting to lean Khan’s way) and then signs to fight a man he has previously beaten instead of Golovkin, the backlash will be pretty fierce. Golovkin-Cotto was a good, engrossing fight, but we don’t really need to see a rematch.
But Cotto has more than earned the right to see out his great career the way he sees fit. And if Cotto – who truly believes he beat Canelo last November – wants and can get himself a return meeting with the Mexican star, then of course he’s going to do it. Cotto could have retired some time ago and his reputation as a great fighter would be secure. Like many other champions, however, Cotto loves what he does and isn’t ready to walk away just yet.