By, Dan Ambrose, first published on Boxing News 24
Miguel Cotto’s opportunities are limited for his December fight, as Saul Canelo Alvarez isn’t interested in facing him if he gets past middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on September 16. Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso says they have no interest in a fight against Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) because they already beat him in 2015. This means that Cotto is going to need to root for Triple G to beat Canelo so that they can possibly get a fight against him in December.
Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya says he’d like to match Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux with Cotto in December. If he’s not up for Lemieux, then he believes he has other options for him. If Cotto has to face Lemieux in December, he would basically be a stepping stone for the 28-year-old former IBF middleweight champion.
Lemieux needs a scalp, and Cotto would be the perfect one for him to grab to take his career to the next level. Lemieux lost a lot of momentum with his boxing career when he was trounced by Golovkin in 2015 in losing an 8th round TKO in their fight on HBO PPV at Madison Square Garden in New York. Cotto would be the old lion to put in with Lemieux.
“We are not interested in a fight against Cotto because we already beat him. We saw the fight against [Yoshihiro] Kamegai and he beat him well, but with all the respect that Miguel deserves, we must see who won,” said Eddy Reynoso to ESPN Deportes.
That’s disappointing news for Cotto that Canelo has no interest in fighting him in a rematch. Cotto should have tried for the rematch 2 years ago after losing to Canelo in November 2015. If Cotto had pushed for the rematch right away, then he might have stood a better chance of getting it. Cotto has hurt his own boxing career by staying out of the ring for 2 years instead of staying active.
Cotto further hurt himself by wasting time fighting for the vacant WBO 154 lb. title against Yoshihiro Kamegai, who is arguably a high level journeyman at beat. The WBO has Kamegai rated No. 6 in their rankings at junior middleweight, but that’s the only sanctioning body that has him ranked. He’s seen as a 2nd tier fighter in the eyes of the other sanctioning bodies, and for good reason. Kamegai has recent losses to Alfonso Gomez and Robert Guerrero, as well as a draw against Jesus Soto Karass.
Reynoso brings up a good point. There’s not much to gain for Canelo in fighting Cotto a second time. Let’s be frank; Canelo didn’t give rematches to Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, and those guys did a better jab against Canelo than Cotto did. Lara and Trout fought well enough to deserve victories over Canelo, and both of them wanted and still want rematches against him.
Neither of them has been given any hope of ever fighting Canelo again. It should be the same way for Cotto, because he didn’t do anything special against Canelo that those fighters didn’t do, and they weren’t given rematches against him. If Canelo is going to be a superstar, he’s got to fight the right guys and not get bogged down in needless rematches.
Here are the fights that Canelo needs to take for him to become a star IF he gets past Golovkin:
• Golovkin rematch
• Billy Joe Saunders
• Daniel Jacobs
• Jermall Charlo
• Sergiy Dervyanchenko
• Luis Arias
• Jermell Charlo
• George Groves
• Callum Smith
• Demetrius Andrade
• Jarrett Hurd
• Gilberto Ramirez
• James DeGale
• David Benavidez
I threw in some fighters from the super middleweight division because of Canelo’s huge weight for the 160 lb. division. Canelo looks like he’s in the 180s now. That means he’s more than big enough to fight guys from the 168 lb. division.
“David Lemieux was following with much interest Cotto’s fight against Kamegai and obviously a confrontation between Cotto and Lemieux would be very interesting for New York City, ‘‘ De La Hoya said to ESPN Deportes. “The winner of that fight, between Cotto and Lemieux, would have a good chance of becoming Canelo Álvarez’s rival.”
So what De La Hoya is saying is he believes that De La Hoya is going to fight beyond December instead of retiring at that time. De La Hoya is dangling the rematch with Canelo in front of Cotto by saying he can possibly have it if he faces Lemieux in December. That’s smart of De La Hoya. He’s offering Cotto the chance for a big money fight against Canelo IF he faces Lemieux in December. That’s a great way for De La Hoya to get Lemieux a chance to fight Cotto. Without that offer by De La Hoya, I don’t think Cotto will ever agree to fight a puncher like Lemieux without some kind of catch-weight to reduce his punching power and strength. De La Hoya would still need to persuade Canelo in facing Cotto again if everything works out as planned. It’s not good having Cotto fight Lemieux if Canelo isn’t going to do his part and fight Cotto if he gets by Lemieux.
I don’t think there’s much chance that this is going to work out well for Cotto. I see him losing to Lemieux in December by a knockout in a career-ending loss. Besides that, even if Cotto were to beat Lemieux, Canelo would still need to beat Golovkin on September 16 for a fight between Canelo and Cotto to make sense. A loss for Canelo to Golovkin would cause a lot of boxing fans to lose interest in Canelo. At that point he could fight Cotto if he wanted to, but I don’t think it would matter much. The fans wouldn’t be interested in seeing the fight.
“I think there are many options to find a rival to Miguel Cotto,” said De la Hoya.
Here are the options Golden Boy has in their stable for Cotto to fight at 154 and 160:
• David Lemieux
• Jason Quigley
• Tureano Johnson
• Marvin Cabrera
• Daquan Arnett
De La Hoya says there are “many options” for Cotto to fight, but the truth of the matter is, there aren’t too many options if he doesn’t want to fight Lemieux in December. That leaves some obscure fighters for Cotto to fight. I don’t see Cotto agreeing to fight Tureano Johnson despite him coming off of a grueling defeat to Sergiy Derevyanchenko last month. The problem that Cotto has is he wants his fight in December to be on HBO PPV. He’s not going to be able to fight any of the above mentioned fighters on HBO PPV other than Lemieux.
If Cotto tries to fight Quigley, Arnett, Cabrera or Johnson on HBO PPV, he’ll be lucky if the fight brings in 50,000 buys. That would be a mistake for Cotto to try and fight a weak fighter on PPV. He’s got to take someone like Lemieux at the very least.
Cotto is in a bad position right now for his December fight. He wants that fight to be on HBO PPV, and the only way he can do that is if he fights someone talented enough to attract boxing fans to want to purchase it. I don’t know that the fans would be willing to pay to see Cotto even if he selected someone like Lemieux. Cotto has likely been too inactive to attract boxing fans to want to pay to see him fight Lemieux. For Cotto to get fans to want to see his December fight, he’ll need either Canelo or Golovkin. It sounds like Golovkin might be Cotto’s best bet.