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The Miguel Cotto Option: Antonio Margarito, Sergio Martinez or Manny Pacquiao

By Joseph Garcia

Miguel Cotto returned on March 12th, against Ricardo Mayorga at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Withstanding Mayorga’s taunts and chopping right hands, Cotto scored a 12th Round TKO after hitting Mayorga with a beautiful left hook.

The sequence caused a bit of confusion as Mayorga looked at his left hand to indicate something was wrong, but replays didn’t quite answer the question of what actually happened to the hand. He, who has given fight fans crowd-pleasing fights, announced after the fight that he is retiring but what is in the future for Miguel Cotto?

Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum announced plans to place Cotto against Antonio Margarito in June but people in Cotto’s camp have called this premature and that the negotiations are in the preliminary stages.

Meanwhile, across the country in Connecticut, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez was completing his dismantling of previously undefeated Sergiy Dzinziruk.

The impressive showing saw Martinez out-jab a man many believed to possess the best jab in the world and knock him down 5 times en route to an 8th round TKO.

Many also feel Martinez cemented his place atop the pound-for-pound list. While people are calling for Martinez to take on #1 pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao, Martinez has targeted Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto as potential opponents.

Cotto’s confidence looks to be rebuilt under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward and has bounced back from two devastating losses to Margarito and Pacquiao.

A fight with Martinez would be a great indicator for both men where they are in their respective careers. It’s been an easy cop-out to suggest that a fighter is “shot” as they are claiming Cotto is, but I believe he would be a good match-up for Martinez.

If Bob Arum decides to keep business in-house (which, let’s be honest, that’s probably the case) then the likely opponent will most likely be Antonio Margarito. It carries a big storyline – avenging Cotto’s first loss against the man who may have had illegal hand wraps during the victory and would be an easy sell to the fans.

Another viable opponent: Kermit Cintron is available.

Cintron hasn’t fought since taking a fall out of the ring during his May 8, 2010, clash with Paul Williams. If a fight with Antonio Margarito cannot be secured, why not stage a Cintron/Cotto fight in New York during the Puerto Rican Independence Day celebration?

A better angle would have the Puerto Rican Cotto face a viable Mexican fighter during the Puerto Rican Independence Day – and if that’s the case, how about Alfredo Angulo?

This would fulfill the obligatory ongoing Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing war angle and would be an easy sell in New York. A fight with Angulo would be an extremely competitive bout and a fight that could prove to all that Miguel Cotto still has plenty of gas left in his tank.

The point being is that Miguel Cotto has a wide variety of options left this year.

It’s easy to write a boxer off as “shot” because of a couple of tough losses but there are a special few – think Muhammad Ali after Joe Frazier, Joe Louis after Max Schmeling, Bernard Hopkins after 2 losses to Jermain Taylor, that can comeback and reclaim their spot as a top fighter and I am a firm believer that Miguel “Junito” Cotto is one of those fighters and will prove that there is still a lot of fight left in him.

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