COTTO TO FIGHT JUNE 6TH - WHO WILL HE FACE?
By TOM WATT on April 10 2015
Puerto Rican superstar and Future Hall Of Famer, Miguel Cotto is set to fight June 6th in New York, according to his promoters, Roc Nation Sports and HBO who will apparently be televising the event. Other than that there have been no solid announcements on who his opponent will be, although there are a few names being touted as possibilities, the best known of which being former 2-time World Champion, Daniel ‘Real Deal’ Geale.
Other names include #1 ranked WBC contender Sebastian Heiland (25-4-2, 13 KOs), #2 ranked WBC contender Tureano Johnson and current IBF Light Middleweight Champion, Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage. Neither Tureano or Johnson really has a name that will get the fans excited and this has got to be a consideration for the relatively inactive Cotto – taking on lesser-known fighters is fine when you’re having 3 or 4 fights a year but if your last fight was almost a year ago and that was your only fight within the calendar year, it’s time to start taking the big fights. You could argue that Heiland is a big name in Latin America and therefore a big fight for Cotto but in terms of Worldwide appeal, it doesn’t come close to the type of fights Cotto has been involved with over the last 5 or 6 years.
As Middleweight Champion there is one man that is constantly calling Cotto out and one man the fans want to see him fight, his name is Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin – perhaps the most feared man in boxing at the moment with a combination of slick skills and devastating power, the Kazakh destroyers has annihilated all in his path and has become a firm favourite amongst the fans. Cotto has done all he can to avoid this fight so far and as a natural light-middleweight, you can’t really blame him but if that is the case then it’s time to relinquish that belt and step back down. However, Golovkin is at the moment out of the picture as he is due to fight Boxcino winner, Willie Monroe Jr on May 16th – although it wasn’t for lack of trying to get the Cotto fight made first!
A fight with Australian Daniel Geale would be a very interesting fight technically and one that Geale himself has been asking for since his commanding win over fellow Aussie and former World Title Contender, Jarrod ‘Left-Jab’ Fletcher in Sydney. (See Geale’s post fight interview with T2TBoxing here). Geale is a former 2-time World Champion and other than his KO defeat to GGG, Geale has operated and competed at World level for a long time and would prove a tricky opponent for Cotto, particularly as he is a natural Middleweight and has the ability to box at range and potentially outwork the ageing Cotto. Of the names being linked with the fight in June, Geale would certainly be the easiest choice promotionally and would probably be the most compelling bout to watch.
Moving away from the names being mentioned by Team Cotto, the Middleweight division is awash with talent at the moment which is why the shortage of options being talked about for June 6th is particularly frustrating for fans. Although in Roc Nation’s defence, the majority of the top contenders are tied up in other arrangements with Peter Quilin and Andy Lee facing off this weekend for the WBO Title and Billy Joe Saunders lined up to face the winner that takes 3 of the top names out straight away. Curtis Stevens and Gab Rosado just fought each other in BKB and Jermain Taylor is out of the sport for the time being through mental health concerns. That does leave slim-pickings admittedly but that still leaves the likes Martin Murray, David Lemieux and Daniel Jacobs that would surely jump at the opportunity to get in the ring with a Future Hall-Of-Famer. Those who have followed Cotto over the last few years will no doubt be used to the frustration of seeing negotiation after negotiation fall apart, in the build up to his fight Cotto, former Middleweight King, Sergio Martinez said that Cotto “makes demands that a diva would make” and became frustrated with the demands coming from Team Cotto.
Regardless of these ‘Diva demands’, we should find out in the next few days who Cotto has chosen as his opponent for June 6th and no matter who it is, expect criticism from the Boxing fraternity. This is a man that has been in the ring with the best in the world such as Mayweather, Mosley, Pacquiao, Judah and Margarito and it seems that he is not as keen for those huge fights as he once was. Under the tutelage of Freddie Roach we have seen a return to his more natural style so perhaps they are taking a slow route back to the very top but one thing is for sure, if Cotto is to scale the heights he once has, he needs good opponents and he needs to fight more than once a year.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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