Miguel Cotto: "I'm ready for anyone" - Williams, Hatton, Mayweather or Margarito?

miguel cotto13.11.07 - By Richard Rodriguez: In the aftermath of World Boxing Association welterweight champion Miguel Cotto’s close decision over Shane Mosley, Cotto claimed, “I’m ready for everyone,” meaning Floyd Mayweather Jr, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron. However, interesting as this might be, none of the above mentioned fighters appear to be available to fight Cotto in the near future.

A couple of the names, Mayweather, and De La Hoya, may in fact never fight Cotto. There’ a chance, of course, but it would seem improbable that Mayweather would be interested in a bout with Cotto, since it would obviously be a messy fight, one that would involve a lot of hard exchanges between the two. De La Hoya, based on reports, has an agreement with his wife that he’ll never fight a Puerto Rican fighter, which would rule him out as well.

I will admit, right away, that this would be an interesting fight if it were possibly, but that’s only because of the spectacle of watching an ancient fighter like De La Hoya against one of the world’s best.

Naturally, De La Hoya would get completely destroyed by Cotto, but so what? De La Hoya has lost three out of his last five bouts (actually four out of his last five, if you count his questionable decision over Felix Sturm) and he shouldn’t be expected to win any of his bouts as this stage of his career (unless he’s fighting a near-dwarf, that is).

Mayweather would be much more entertaining, but he’ll likely be fighting a big money rematch with Hatton, and he certainly won’t need someone like Cotto, since it would bring in less money. By the way, I expect Mayweather to defeat Hatton, but I think Floyd’s going to let Hatton win some rounds so that it will be close at the finish - and that much more likely that a push for a rematch will be made.

Ricky Hatton would be an interesting match-up with Cotto. However, for the reasons I just listed, he’s not likely going to be fighting Cotto anytime soon. After Hatton gets done fighting a couple bouts with Mayweather, Hatton will likely be facing De La Hoya, whom has stated repeatedly that he’s interested in fighting him. Obviously, this would leave Cotto out of the equation once again.

As much as I like a bout between Cotto and Cintron, that probably won’t be happening either. Cintron’s about to face Paul Williams on February 2nd, and I don’t expect Cintron to win. In fact, I see Cintron getting badly beaten by Williams, similar to the way Kermit was beaten by Antonio Margarito by 5th round knockout in April 2005. Cotto could always face Williams, but that would involve Cotto waiting until at least June or July 2008. Not a long wait, mind you, but clearly not someone that Cotto can fight in his next bout if he’s serious about wanting to fight a top fighter.

That leaves only Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley. Shane would be an excellent opponent since Cotto didn’t prove that he was conclusively better than the 36 year-old fighter. As much as I like Cotto, I he was pretty much fought to a standstill by Mosley, a fighter at least three or four years past him prime. If Cotto is to be truly considered one of the best fighters in boxing, he should at least prove conclusively that he’s better than a 36 year-old fighter. Minus a rematch with Mosley, I see Cotto about as good as him at this point.

Antonio Margarito, who fought on the Cotto-Mosley undercard against Golden Johnson, would be the ideal opponent for Cotto. However, Margarito is a large welterweight with a high volume offensive style. Not exactly a good opponent for someone like Cotto, who averages around 50 punches per round. Margarito nearly doubles that output, meaning that Cotto could only win if he were to knock Margarito out. As tough as Margarita’s chin has proven, that would seem unlikely for Cotto. For that reason, I don’t expect Cotto to face Margarito anytime soon.

Cotto would most probably lose and lose badly to Margarito, as well as Paul Williams. As such, I see Cotto facing a lower level fighter in his next bout, someone that Cotto can look good against while he waits for Mayweather, Hatton or De La Hoya come calling. He may be waiting a long time.

Article posted on 14.11.2007

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