By Bobby Samuels (@700LVL)
This article originally appeared on 700LVL in collaboration with CULTUREDAPPROVED.
Miguel Cotto is undeniably one of the hottest commodities in boxing again. His win on Saturday wasn’t just a “comeback win” on paper like Manny Pacquiao’s win over Timothy Bradley in their rematch back in April. No. This was something completely different. Miguel Cotto not only won on Saturday but sent shockwaves through the boxing world. Cotto embarrassed Sergio Martinez, the lineal Middleweight champion of the world, a top 5 pound for pound fighter, and a shoe-in hall of famer. This wasn’t just landing more punches and sneaking away with a decision, a la Manny Pacquiao. Cotto knocked down Martinez three times in the 1st round, and made him quit by the 10th. This was Cotto's first fight at middleweight too. This was a statement. Sergio was bigger. Sergio was more athletic. Sergio was stronger.
Detractors say “well Sergio had a bad knee, he’s 39 years old, he's broken his hand before, he’s half the man he used to be!” Enough. All of the naysayers last week likely picked Cotto to lose and to lose big. The odds didn’t lie. Cotto was a 2-1 underdog. After Saturday night, however, Miguel Cotto is not only back. He’s better than he’s ever been, and anybody who watches sports, let alone boxing, should be put on notice.
Cotto is now in prime position to fight anybody of merit in the 140-160 lb range and should be feared. What would be the most likely scenario for him? Here’s how everything could play out in the best way possible for the sport, for the fans, and for his wallet:
Cotto's next date will likely be at Madison Square Garden again in December, either on the 6th or the 13th depending on the Knicks’ and Stanley Cup hopeful Rangers’ schedule. With former CEO and quintessential Swiss yodeler Richard Schaefer leaving Golden Boy Promotions, the Cold War between them and Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions is prospectively thawed. Now that Oscar De La Hoya is back for the first time (word to Ludacris) as the face of Golden Boy Promotions, he’s in his “hug the world” mode as Richard Schaefer called it and wants to do business again with his ex-promoter Bob Arum.
Although Cotto is technically a promotional free agent, and has no long term contract with Top Rank, his fight on Saturday was co-promoted by Top Rank and was a rousing success at the gate, pulling in over 5 million dollars with an attendance of 21,090. With this marriage proving lucrative for both sides, seems likely that Cotto will realign with Top Rank for his next fight, presumably this December.
The likely future of the sport and face of Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo Alvarez, fights again July 12th against a very difficult opponent in Erislandy Lara. Both are the best 154 pounders in the world, and the winner could determine the future of both fighters. If Canelo can get by Lara, a negotiation between De La Hoya and Arum could take place and officially end the promotional giants' Cold War, possibly putting together a classic matchup between Canelo and Cotto. Look for Canelo and Cotto to fight at a non-title catchweight between 154 and 160, or at middleweight with Cotto’s title on the line. Most importantly, the winner would get a highly touted rematch with Floyd Mayweather in May. That’s how this whole thing could play out. All thanks to Miguel Cotto’s resurrection, the thawing of boxing’s Cold War and Floyd Mayweather’s love of money.
Check out the full Cotto vs Martinez Fight Below: