Miguel Cotto (40-4 with 33 knockouts), who Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2 with 38 KOs) stopped in the 12th round in November 2009, looks to have redeemed himself from a series of setbacks since the Pacquiao loss by claiming the World Boxing Council (WBC) world middleweight championship from Sergio Martinez (51-3-2 with 28 KOs) on June 2014 via a technical knockout in the 10th round.
And in the first defense of his world middleweight title, Cotto over the weekend registered a technical knockout win over Daniel Geale (31-2 with 16 KOs) in the fourth round. While his win over Geale looked impressive given that his opponent was bigger, the fight was staged at a catchweight of 157 pounds, or three pounds below the 160-pound middleweight limit.
Making Geale meet the 157-pound contracted weight could be tantamount to torture, because he seemed a bit big to fight in the middleweight division.
Also, Geale on July 2014 was defeated in three rounds by International Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0 with 30 KOs) who is regarded as the top dog in the division.
Obviously, Geale’s loss to Golovkin demonstrates the former was indeed a “gift opponent” for Cotto. If Cotto wanted to show the whole world he deserves bigger fights in the future, he or his camp should not have chosen an opponent who had been “softened” by a previous stoppage loss. Sounds familiar?
Also, while Martinez was making the seventh defense of his title and had quite an impressive run after knocking out then undefeated Paul Williams on November 2010 to win the world middle title, he was already 39 years old and on a decline when he met Cotto.
Cotto’s recent performances in the middleweight division clearly demonstrate how a boxer’s camp can “choose” opponents and make their ward look impressive. Sounds familiar again?
In fact, Cotto’s run before beating Martinez wasn’t even impressive. Before Cotto squared off with Martinez, he beat junior middleweight (154 pounds) Delvin Rodriquez (28-7-4 with 16 KOs) on October 2013. Prior to the Rodriguez fight, Cotto lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0 with 26 KOs) on May 2012 and Austin Trout (29-2 with 16 KOs) on December 2012.
Now there is a clamor for Cotto and Saul Alvarez (45-1-1 with 32 KOs) to fight and the Puerto Rican himself called out for the Mexican after he beat Geale.
While Cotto-Alvarez will definitely not be boring like the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight because it will be a slam bang affair, I do not expect it to be a highly competitive because Cotto won’t last against Alvarez.
The real superfight in the boxing horizon now is Alvarez-Golovkin and forget about Golovkin-Cotto.
I am not denigrating Cotto because his accomplishments prior to his defeat by Pacquiao are still impressive. And so far he remains the boxer who put up the best showing against Mayweather. I also believe Cotto was a victim of “loaded gloves” when he fought Antonio Margarito on July 28. Without Margarito’s “loaded gloves,” Cotto could have won against the Mexican and could have put up a good fight against Pacquiao.
So my bet if Alvarez and Cotto meet is the Mexican will win handily. Alvarez has superior hand speed and can match the power of Cotto, who at this point is more of a junior middleweight than a full-fledged middleweight. Alvarez is also 10 years younger than Cotto.
If there is anything going for Cotto, it is Freddie Roach who is still considered among the best boxing trainers today. But can Roach train Cotto to become faster instantly? I doubt it.
If the Alvarez-Cotto fight will not materialize, I hope Cotto won’t end up fighting Golovkin because the Puerto Rican won’t stand a chance against the deadly puncher from Kazakhstan.