Photo by REUTERS/Keith Bedford
By Rich Mancuso
Miguel Cotto is busy but not in the ring. The first four-division titleholder from Puerto Rico has been idle in the ring but seen at ringside at major fights. And, Cotto has taken more of an active role as a promoter for his company Miguel Cotto Promotions.
But the prevailing question, is, when will Miguel Cotto fight again? And who will the opponent be as Cotto was supposed to have a fight scheduled by November, perhaps his next to last or final fight in a Hall of Fame career.
When Cotto was last seen in the ring it was losing the middleweight title to Canelo Alvarez on pay-per-view last November. At 35-years of age, and financially secure, there was speculation that Cotto had seen his best days in the ring.
The success and accomplishments were fulfilled with not much more to prove. Cotto never ducked an opponent and after a redemption win over Antonio Margarito, their second encounter, Cotto seemed at peace and ready to call it quits.
However, there was more to prove. He wanted Alvarez and got him. Except it was the younger and stronger Alvarez against the older and experienced fighter who was on his last days. In boxing, some never know when to call it a career and in the case of Cotto, and to his defense, fighting at middleweight was more of a situation of defending the title against a future star of the sport.
So where is Cotto? Efforts to reach him direct have been difficult, though his promoters at Roc Nation Sports, that has Cotto contracted for one more fight, said that he would be in the ring again by November.
As of now, there is no date or opponent set, and a weight classification as to where Miguel Cotto stands. He is quickly losing his ranking with the major sanctioning organizations that designate champions and the possibilities of fighting for another title diminish each day.
His trainer, Freddie Roach who was disappointed with the outcome of his fight with Alvarez, recently said, he had minimal contact with the fighter. Roach, in the meantime goes about his business and continues to train fighters at Big Bear in California and works corners for the various other fighters under his wing.
He has said, that Cotto stays in shape and awaits another opportunity. But who and when will be the opportunity?
One possibility is 42-year old Juan Manuel Marquez, the four-division champion from Mexico. And the possibility of that being a pay-per-view event is a risk. Marquez and Cotto can only be advertised as another battle between the historic fights of a Mexican fighter facing one from Puerto Rico.
Both are names in the sport, however past their prime. obviously, Cotto would carry more of the burden as the headliner who has made a profit over the years as a marketable fighter of pay-per-view revenue. He, along with Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been the two profitable fighters of this era when it comes to pay-per-view profits.
And with the sport of boxing moving along with new names, and building younger and more athletic superstars, a Cotto-Marquez fight does not place itself in that category as a pay-per-view attraction.
When last reported, Cotto would take on Marquez at a contracted weight above 150. Marquez wants to fight at 147, welterweight. For years, Cotto had issues with maintaining weight at 147, but his dedication and intense training got him there.
So those photo opportunities that Miguel Cotto has, at ringside, or with the fighters he handles in Puerto Rico, are keeping his name and face in the spotlight.
But one source said a few days ago, “Miguel is looking more at being a successful promoter.” At this stage of the game,and with the respect that Miguel Cotto has, there will be one more fight because of his contract obligations.
And, there is the respect that Cotto still has for his first promoter. Bob Arum and Top Rank. They are looking to co-promote with Cotto and develop the many fighters from Puerto Rico that Cotto and Top Rank have and want to keep busy.
That makes for a good marriage, as they say in the world of boxing and politics of the sport,
However, one more fight for Miguel Cotto will occur. When the boxing icon from Puerto Rico decides who and when, we will all know. Until then, it is all speculation and counting down the days towards his Hall of Fame enshrinement.