Miguel Cotto: Leverage

06/09/2014 - By Robert Jackson - Comments

Congratulations to Miguel Cotto the Lineal middleweight champion. Not too long ago Cotto turned down a cool $10M guarantee from Canelo Alvarez to instead fight Sergio Martinez then recognized as THE middleweight champion. Why Cotto turned down this offer was a calculated risk on the former 154lb champions part. Having previously lost to Mayweather and then losing again to Austin Trout in an upset, there was no way that Cotto would carry his skills and power up to 160lbs and beat Martinez, or could he?

Why then would Cotto embark on an endeavor that many even the odds makers saw as a ‘fool’s errand’? Cotto always saw himself as the A-side but against some of the elite fighters always came up short. Against Canelo, Cotto would’ve been the B-side, even with $10M in his pocket, and Alvarez would’ve made twice that. So what other’s saw as ‘fools gold’, Miguel Cotto and more importantly Freddie Roach saw as the ‘pot of gold’ and the end of the rainbow. Stepping up and beating the lineal middleweight champion would propel Miguel Cotto to the highest heights of his 14 year career and return him to the A-side status he always believed himself to be.

Along with that A-side status came the leverage that a lineal champion holds, when negotiating fights against most if not all opponents who Cotto may or may not decide to fight. This new found leverage is a quantity that former champion Martinez FAILED to use when negotiating the fight against Cotto. Martinez’ team allowed Martinez to go into this fight as the OPPONENT accepting a 159lb catchweight, walking to the ring first, being announced first and most egregiously accepting a $1.5M payday to Miguel Cotto’s $7M payday. Martinez had lost this fight before even entering the ring, allowing Cotto to carry himself as if he was the CHAMPION. It was true that Cotto was the A-side, the earner, but as the lineal 160lb champion having thoroughly beaten the likes of Kelly Pavlik, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Martinez could’ve said NO using the leverage he possessed to get a more equitable slice of the purse, while forcing Cotto to observe the time honored traditions of boxing that Team Cotto chose to override.

As the lineal champion, Cotto will no longer have to TOTALLY acquiesce to the dictates of ANY foe he faces, those he faces next will be the opponents, except in the case of Pacquiao or Mayweather where the purse split will favor them, but only slightly because of Cotto’s leverage and belief he is that A-side which he dramatically proved himself to be by his domination of Sergio Martinez. Cotto will fight for a 50/50 split probably taking no less that 55/45 with either guy, where in the past Miguel would’ve had to settle for 30% or less. Even against a young lion like GGG (young in bigtime pro experience) Cotto can be expected to get the lion’s share of the purse probably taking 70% of the monies. Probably 60% against Canelo, others can expect 25% or less. This was Miguel Cotto’s ultimate goal in a boxing career that’s probably on it’s downside, to have the leverage to call all of the shots, all because of his calculated risk this past Saturday night, which worked to perfection.