Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Miguel Cotto: Farther Away Than You Think
By Eric Marks (March 28, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
The most tantalizing bout in all of boxing at present is Floyd Mayweather Jr. against Miguel Cotto. Such a fight would pair two of the best pound for pound, undefeated welterweights champions against one another. Maybe Miguel Cotto is the only one who can beat Mayweather. Unfortunately, we may not find out for a while or at all.

First, for all the Mayweather critics questioning his risk averse nature, one could make the argument that he has nothing to gain by fighting the talented but untested and low profile pool of welterweights until a clear dominate
fighter emerges in this seeming round robin that is occurring in boxing’s elite division; then it would be difficult for Mayweather to ignore such a fighter without losing credibility.

Miguel Cotto appears to be that dominant fighter. Each time he steps in the ring he looks hungrier and more brutal than his previous fight. With wins over Zab Judah, Carlos Quintana, and most recently Sugar Shane Mosley, one cannot question Cotto is the real deal despite any vulnerability he may have shown. Should he win his next fight and beat the Antonio Margarito/Kermit Cintron winner this summer, Mayweather will most certainly have to entertain the notion of fighting him or else lose significant credibility. But with the type of options that Mayweather seeks looming on the horizon (high reward, minimal to low risk fights), a Mayweather/Cotto fight may not occur for two more years or possibly longer.

Consider Mayweather’s likely next three opponents: The rematch with Oscar De La Hoya is all but set for September 20th of this year. It is not rocket
science that this is the most lucrative fight out there and at this stage of Oscar’s career, the risk, while certainly moderate, is worth the huge payoff for Mayweather. Barring an unlikely De La Hoya knockout, it is hard to imagine this fight looking any different than the one last Cinco de Mayo.

After Oscar, Floyd will most likely seek a rematch with Ricky Hatton, a fight against Shane Mosley, or a huge pay per view against iconic but tiny Manny Pacquiao. We know Hatton is not a welterweight, but if he decides to seek a rematch with Mayweather, of course Floyd will accept a fight he virtually can’t lose. The case is the same with Pacquiao, who just won’t cut it in the welterweight division despite his talent and pound for pound status. Mosley, while still dangerous is far enough along in his career that the risk for Mayweather in fighting him is low and the reward very high, given Molsey is still a high profile fighter boosting any boxer’s resume.

So to put this to a tentative schedule: Mayweather fights Oscar in September and then probably does not fight again until April 2009. If De La Hoya fights Pac Man in December of this year, as is rumored to be the case, then a Pac Man/Mayweather fight is likely in April 2009. If De La Hoya does not fight Pac Man in December, but instead postpones that fight until May 2009 or if Pac Man decides against coming to welterweight, then Mayweather will go for Hatton if possible or Mosley for April 2009. In this case, the earliest we would see a Mayweather/Cotto fight would be September 2009, which is still a year and half away. If he fights De La Hoya, Pac Man, then Sugar Shane, a Mayweather/Cotto fight may not occur until April or May of 2010, over two years from now.

Make no mistake, Mayweather will avoid fighting Cotto as long as possible, and as long as rematches with Oscar and Hatton are possible or a fight with Manny Pacquiao or perhaps someone like Ricardo Mayorga – a fairly big name, good pay, and zero risk fight – his avoiding Miguel Cotto will be legitimate given the stature of the above named fighters. Floyd may be hoping that Cotto suffers the Paul Williams fate, namely losing a fight he was supposed to win thus lowering his stock so avoiding him is legitimate. If Cotto keeps winning in the manner he is against high caliber opponents, then Floyd will eventually be forced to fight him; just don’t be surprised if it is a couple years away.

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