Opinion | Jun 05 2017

Could Miguel Cotto fight Juan Manuel Marquez this year?

Eric Armit considers what to make of Miguel Cotto, his climb up the WBO ratings and much more
miguel cotto
Cotto also improved his explosive power Jake Roth/USA Today Sports

I can’t get too excited over Miguel Cotto signing a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy and going straight into a fight for the vacant WBO super welter title. At 36 (Cotto not me unfortunately) I have to be honest and say I see the great Puerto Rican as yesterday’s man. In his last fight he lost a wide unanimous decision to Saul Alvarez by 10, 8 and 7 points on the three cards and is 18 months older now. The fight with his selected opponent Yoshihiro Kamegai will probably be an entertaining one as much for the Japanese fighter’s style as anything. The WBO’s manipulating of their ratings for this fight are a disgrace. Cotto’s last fight was his loss to Alvarez in November 2015 but despite 18 months of inactivity he has climbed to No 1 spot in the WBO ratings. For the Cotto fight to be a “big” fight Golden Boy’s selected opponent Kamegai also needs to be rated. No problem after six months of not being in the WBO ratings Kamegai suddenly finds the magic ratings elevator and steps out at No 12 in March this year. Not enough. In the last WBO ratings in May he has climbed to No 5 and they have time to issue a couple more ratings before fight time on 26 August so who knows where Kamegai could rise to by then…

The eventual aim is a Cotto vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight perhaps in December. Marquez had a bout scheduled for July in Mexico with no opponent named yet and there is no contract in place for a Cotto fight. Added uncertainty was thrown into the mix with 43-year-old Marquez reporting a shoulder injury in training. The extent of the injury is not yet clear but it may delay his return which could throw the whole Cotto vs. Marquez schedule out.

Miguel Cotto