Do fans still want to see Miguel Cotto in the ring?

Do fans still want to see Miguel Cotto in the ring?

By Hector Franco

December 4, 2016


Miguel Cotto faced Canelo Alvarez in November 2015 for the WBC middleweight title. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Miguel Cotto faced Canelo Alvarez in November 2015 for the WBC middleweight title. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Puerto Rico’s first four-division world champion, Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will look to make his return to the boxing ring in February. Cotto has been out of the ring for over a year. The last time he was in the ring he faced off against Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) on HBO PPV (pay-per-view). The fight sold over 900,000 PPV buys and is the highest selling boxing PPV since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. 

Cotto has had trouble finding an opponent to step in the ring with him in 2016. The Puerto Rican’s promoter Roc Nation signed him to a 3-fight deal garnering him a $50 million guarantee. What this means is that Cotto can only look for opponents that will garner a huge gate or  big buy rate on PPV. Roc Nation has put itself between a rock and a hard place signing Cotto to such a lucrative deal. 

Earlier this year there were talks of a fight between Cotto and Mexican legend, Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs). Talks fell by the wayside when the two couldn’t agree on an acceptable catch weight that would satisfy both parties. Now that Cotto has 2016 behind him, the fights available to him are few and far between. Cotto even put out a challenge to Canelo Alvarez for a rematch stating that Alvarez had until the end of 2017 to make a rematch before Cotto retires. Although the first fight between Cotto and Canelo was competitive there isn’t any interest or demand from boxing fans for a rematch. 

“I’m under fight contract with the people of Roc Nation and 2017 is the final year for Miguel Cotto in boxing. The days are numbered for Miguel Cotto. We will continue to work with the same intensity. The fight with Canelo has not been provided because they did not want to do it. They’ve looked at other places and if they want a fight to materialize – then they have until December 31, 2017 to do so.” – Miguel Cotto

With Alvarez heading to a possible showdown with Gennady Golovkin, it’s unlikely that a Cotto rematch will take place. With few options available for Cotto, the name of James Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) has been brought up as a possible opponent. Kirkland was last seen getting destroyed by Canelo Alvarez in May 2015. The Texas native hasn’t fought since and would gain Cotto nothing with a victory. The head of Miguel Cotto Promotions, Bryan Perez informed the media that February 25th was the date likely for Cotto to return. 

Canelo Alvarez lands a right uppercut on James Kirkland in their May 2015 fight. Photo: Bob Levey/Associated Press

Canelo Alvarez lands a right uppercut on James Kirkland in their May 2015 fight. Photo: Bob Levey/Associated Press

“Roc Nation has informed us that Miguel will indeed fight on February 25. But for the moment that is the only thing that we can report and later on we will offer more details.” – Bryan Perez

It seems that Cotto isn’t interested in making any more fights that would enhance his legacy. What interests Cotto is making money. With Cotto not interested in making good fights, do fans still care to see him back in the ring? 

With Floyd Mayweather retiring and Manny Pacquiao in the twilight of his career, fans have become more invested in the new generation of boxing. Cotto represents the old model of boxing where fans have to buy a PPV in order to see the biggest stars fight. With Cotto’s guarantee being $15 million per fight, there’s little chance that he won’t be on PPV. Cotto-Kirkland will be an exciting fight if it takes place without question. However, it holds no significance but to line Cotto’s pockets with money. It may be better for fans and Cotto himself who has already punched his ticket into Canastota to retire. 

“We are open to having more than one fight. But 2017 is our last year. I have no preferable fights here. The only thing I want to talk about right now is the amount of money that can be generated with each name, and those fights will become real when we see a contract on the table.” – Miguel Cotto

(Featured Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

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