Miguel Cotto (37-3), who lost his WBA junior middleweight belt to Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0), is thinking of moving up to the middleweight division (160 pounds) to face one of the top contenders in the weight class. The move would allow Cotto to capture a 4th world title in a different class and would place him amongst the greatest Puerto Rican fighters in history.
Strategically, the move seems like a viable one as there are some viable opponents in the middleweight division that would serve as attractive fights. With fighters such as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1), Sergio Martinez (49-2-2), and Felix Sturm (37-2-2), the middleweight division could produce some significant fight opportunities for Cotto.
Monetarily, Cotto is an enormous pay-per-view attraction and a fight with the likes of Chavez Jr. or Martinez would surely produce a mega fight. Even more, a bout with Chavez Jr. would act as another Puerto Rican vs. Mexico rivalry fight that could surely be considered one of the biggest amongst the rivalry of all time.
Nevertheless, the boxing world must wait to see what Cotto and his management team decide is the best option for him. Moving up to 160 pounds is an intriguing option, but one must question whether Cotto is truly big enough to enter such as division.
Specifically, a bout with Chavez Jr., who normally balloons up in weight after a weigh in, would be dangerous for Cotto as he would surely be the smaller man on fight night. Yet, it should be interesting to see how Chavez Jr. handles Martinez on Sept. 15th, which Cotto will surely be paying attention to in order to dictate who which of the two will be entered into consideration of his next fight.
On the other hand, Cotto would surely like to stay at junior middleweight and take part in a title rematch against Mayweather. Though, it is not certain that he will be granted a rematch as Mayweather will have several options to choose from within the welterweight and junior middleweight division.
Furthermore, Cotto has been mentioned as a potential opponent for Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2) by Bob Arum, Pacquiao‘s promoter. If so, Cotto would surely be looking for Pacquiao to come up in weight as he seemed to be weaker in their first encounter at the agreed upon catch weight of 144 pounds.
Even more, it would be interesting to see Cotto attempt to fight Timothy Bradley Jr. (29-0) at a catch weight somewhere between the welterweight and junior middleweight limit. However, as of yet, Bradley has not been in any conversations regarding Cotto and does not seem like the best option from a monetary standpoint for Cotto.
Though, a fight with Bradley would allow Cotto to challenge for a WBO welterweight title, which could lead to a Pacquiao rematch with a victory.
Interestingly, there have been talks of a match up between Saul Alvarez (40-0-1) and Cotto within the junior middleweight division, which would serve as another blockbuster Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry. Alvarez’s promotional team, Golden Boy Promotions, has made it evident that they are very interested in a bout with Cotto and the fight could be made in the very near future.
In the end, it should be interesting to see if Cotto decides to stay at the junior middleweight division or if he will attempt to make history by challenging for a middleweight title. There are several opponents in the division that could serve as attractive opposition with Chavez Jr. and Martinez being the lead candidates. Only time will tell,, but the boxing world should pay close attention as a move up in weight would add significant fight credibility to the middleweight division.
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