Miguel Cotto vs. Mikey Garcia a possibility for December

By Dan Ambrose, first uploaded on Boxing New 24.

Trainer Robert Garcia says a fight between his brother WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and WBO junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto is a possibility. Robert says the promoters are interested in that fight following Mikey sending out a Tweet that he’d like to fight the 36-year-old Cotto. Robert didn’t mention the names of the promoters unfortunately.

“They’re talking about it,” said Robert Garcia to Villianfy about the promoters being interested in the Cotto vs. Mikey Garcia fight. “Cotto is about the same height as Mikey. Cotto was a 140 pounder, and then moved up for the bigger fights, the money fights. Obviously, he got bigger. He’s not a big guy. Mikey spars big guys anyway, so why not

Cotto vs. Mikey Garcia would be a mismatch in size. Cotto rehydrates to the low 160s, and he’s been doing this for many years. Mikey appears to rehydrate to near 150 for his fights in the 135-lb. weight class. Cotto would have close to a 15-lb. weigh advantage over Mikey Garcia, and an enormous power advantage to go with it. The most important thing to determine whether a fight between Cotto and Mikey Garcia is possible is whether the boxing fans would pay to see the fight. Personally, I’d rather watch Cotto fight David Lemieux than see him beat up on a smaller and weaker Mikey Garcia. I wasn’t impressed with the power of Mikey in his recent win over Adrien Broner on July 29, and I didn’t like the way Mikey gassed out after round 6. The weight gain clearly hurt Mikey’s stamina. Now if Mikey is gassing out at fighting at 140, then what’s going to happen to him if he moves up to 154 to fight Cotto for his WBO junior middleweight title? The fight will be interesting to watch for the first 4 rounds, but after that, Mikey will gas out and take a beating. He might even run from Cotto like he did in the last half of the fight against Broner. That would be a real bore for the boxing fans that order the Cotto-Garcia fight. It would be another circus level event fight like the one we just saw with Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor on August 26. When you get a fighter like Mikey Garcia having to move up 3 entire weight classes to fight a bigger and stronger guy like Cotto, it’s got “event’ written all over it but in a bad way.

If it’s not a sellable fight to the boxing public in the U.S, then it is doubtful Golden Boy and Cotto will want to make it. Mikey is an unproven fighter when it comes to PPV. It would be a fight where a lot of boxing fans would be skeptical whether it would be competitive or not due to Mikey needing to move up 3 entire divisions to take the fight at 154.

You’re probably not going to get Cotto to move down in weight to the welterweight division to face a guy like Mikey. The Oxnard, California native isn’t a big enough name for it to be worthwhile for Cotto to drain down to 147 to meet him in that weight class. I don’t think Cotto would even bother agreeing to a catch-weight at 150 lbs. to fight Mikey, because there’s too much of an imbalance in popularity.

Mikey, now 30, was out of boxing for over 2 years from January 2014 to July 2016 in dealing with promotional issues with his former promoters at Top Rank. Although Mikey has done a respectable job of making a comeback in winning his 3 fights since returning to boxing on July 30, 2016, he’s not been able to increase his popularity enough for him to be considered a PPV worthy fighter. Cotto can do whatever he wants with his career, but I don’t think a fight between and Mikey Garcia will be a sellable fight on HBO PPV.

If Cotto wants to end his career with a knockout victory, then facing the smaller, weaker Mikey Garcia would be the way to do it. I don’t think the fight will do well though. Cotto would be smarter if he agrees to Oscar De La Hoya’s offer to fight Lemieux for the chance to get a bigger money rematch against Canelo. Cotto lost to Canelo by a 12 round unanimous decision 2 years ago in November 2015. The Cotto-Canelo fight pulled in over 900,000 PPV buys on HBO PPV at the time.

A rematch between Canelo and Cotto would have been an enticing thing IF Cotto had kept busy with his career, and beaten some high-quality opponents. Cotto didn’t do that unfortunately. He sat outside of the ring, trying to setup fights against faded guys like James Kirkland and Juan Manuel Marquez. Neither of those fights ever happened, and Cotto had nothing to show for his 2 years out of the ring. When Cotto did come back after a 2-year break, be defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai to win the vacant WBO junior middleweight title on August 26. It was such a bad opponent for Cotto. The win did nothing to build excitement about Cotto fighting the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight. Kamegai was too flawed a fighter to give Cotto a boost in his popularity. If Cotto had taken an actual risk by fighting Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara or Erickson Lubin at 154, it would have meant a lot more to the boxing world if he’d beaten those types of fighters. Cotto didn’t do that though. Cotto selected Yoshihiro Kamegai to fight for the WBO junior middleweight title, and he beat him by a wide 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 120-108, 119-119 and 118-110. Kamegai’s record was 2-2-1 in his last 5 fights going into the Cotto fight.

Cotto plans on ending his career in December on HBO PPV, and he wants a big name for that fight. He’s already said he would like to fight the winner of the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez fight, which takes place in 9 days from now on September 16. However, Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya says Cotto can fight Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux, and if he wins that fight, then he can possibly face Canelo. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler is more interested in putting his fighter back in with Canelo than matching him against Cotto. Loeffler also said he’d like to make a fight between Golovkin and WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders if they don’t get the Canelo rematch. Cotto doesn’t seem like he’s in demand by either fighter. It’s unclear whether HBO would be willing to stage a fight between Cotto and Mikey on PPV in December. It’s unclear whether Mikey is under contract to have his fights televised on Showtime Boxing. His fight against Adrien Broner ended up on Showtime.

Mikey (37-0, 30 KOs) recently moved up to 140 to face former 4 division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner on July 29 on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mikey ended up easily beating Broner by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-112, 117-111 and 116-112. However, Garcia didn’t look very powerful, and he clearly wasn’t the huge puncher in the 140-lb. weight class that it was led to believe he would be. Robert had been telling stories going into that fight about how he was told by sparring partners that Mikey this harder than former world champion Marcos Maidana. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that Mikey DOES NOT hit harder than Maidana. Mikey appears to be no more powerful than light welterweights like Viktor Postol. Mikey does have some power, but not a big puncher at 140.

It would help Mikey’s career if Cotto fought him, because the match would be seen by a fair amount of people in the boxing world due to it being Cotto’s last fight of his career. Mikey would get a good payday due to the fight with Cotto being shown on HBO PPV instead of on regular HBO. However, it wouldn’t do much for Golden Boy Promotions for them to put together a fight between Cotto and a non-Golden Boy fighter like Mikey. De La Hoya would like Cotto to face Golden Boy fighter Lemieux to earn a fight against Canelo. If Cotto does face Lemieux, Golden Boy would be helped, because it would make Lemieux a bigger name if he were to win the fight. At the same time, it would help build up the Canelo vs. Cotto rematch. That’s the important thing. Cotto’s win over Kamegai did nothing to build up interest in a rematch against Canelo. It was a terrible idea for Cotto to fight Kamegai instead of a good fighter.

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