This much is clear; Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto will be performing on June 7th at the famed Madison Square Garden as part of the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. It's a tradition that Cotto basically built as he became the most consistent boxing ticket seller in the “World's Most Famous Arena.” The only question is just who he will face on this date?
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is said to be the prime target and depending on whom you ask and at what time, either negotiations are going well or have hit bumps in the road. Martinez understands that Cotto is the A-side in this equation and has agreed to take less money than Cotto (as well as giving Cotto the lucrative Puerto Rican pay-per-view market). But Martinez and his representatives have said from the very beginning that while they understand their value, they will not be insulted during negotiations.
Yes, Martinez needs Cotto as he walks into the sunset of his career with brittle knees. Cotto represents his best possible purse out there (not including Mayweather who has no interest in moving up to middleweight) and it's against a fighter who would be moving up in weight and perhaps beyond his physical prime. But perhaps Cotto needs Martinez a bit too. After all, he did turn down a date against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, which reportedly came with a 10 million-dollar payday to basically be the main attraction and work with Top Rank and HBO. But you get the sense that Martinez is the only realistic opponent who can truly be part of a pay-per-view card. HBO probably doesn't want to shell out millions for another Delvin Rodriguez-type opponent. Cotto may never get a chance to ever fight for the middleweight title against a fighter who is as physically vulnerable as Martinez looked last April against Martin Murray. Just how much is that worth to him? Let's face it; Gennady Golovkin will probably never be on his dance card.
As of this moment, Martinez's only other option is to take a stay-busy defense in Argentina (something HBO isn't particularly interested in) and Cotto, while he has a date, doesn't seem to have many viable options that would resonate to the general public.
It seems like they both need each other. The question is just what are they each willing to concede?