Immediately after Cotto’s victory over Yuri Foreman on Saturday night, my interest sparked next to see what would be next for Miguel Cotto.  This is an interesting situation for him.  From here on out it is either make or break for Cotto.  He claims to pay no attention to those that say he is finished, but one must really wonder how much the public whispers are really affecting him.  Miguel Cotto has a warrior like spirit and as much as he claims to pay no mind to opinion, just read this his quote after the fight with Foreman, “I think I proved this night to everybody who said ‘Cotto is finished’ that everybody has failed,” he said.  Just hearing these words makes me believe that Cotto still has a chip on his shoulder against those that say he is done. 

In his last 5 fights Cotto has gone 3-2.   His lost to Margarito can be perceived either way, but  the way boxing is set up these days, if your an elite fighter and lose a couple fights, your either considered a shot fighter or near the end of your career.  That is why it is very important who Cotto fights next.  Lets look at some options for this Boriqua bomber:

1.  Antonio Margarito –  Cotto really needs to avenge this lost and fight Margarito one more time to get his confidence back.  After analyzing Miguel’s last few fights there were times when he didnt look like his old self and faded during heated exchanges.  Against Margarito, Cotto was winning the fight all the way until the 6th round but thats where the fight ended.  As the rounds went on, Cotto’s face started to look like he was being battered with something other than gloves and then his soul finally took a knee and he lost the fight.  As much as Cotto will deny it, a victory over Margarito in a second fight will give him a tremendous mental edge and reaffirm the public’s belief that Margarito did in fact have loaded gloves.  Ask any anyone that knows boxing, 80 percent of it is mental, so if you dont have it, you dont belong in this sport.

Miguel Cotto (L) and Antonio Margarito trade blows during their WBA welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 26, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Margarito won by TKO in the 11th round.

2. Julio Chavez Jr. – A fight with Bob Arum’s Mexican cash cow would be an event to witness.  Mexico and Puerto Rico have rich boxing history with each other and to pit these two together would create hype reminiscent of Chavez and Camacho in the early 90’s.  Many passionate latino fans would tune into this event which in turn into a great event.  In terms of Promotion and financial rewards, this fight would do very well in PPV buys and be a big payday for Miguel Cotto.  Don’t be surprised if this happens – assuming Chavez Jr. gets past John Duddy first. 

3. Manny Pacquiao – In their last fight, Pacquiao pummeled Cotto into a 12th round stoppage which did very little to boost Cotto’s morale as a fighter.  The only exception here is that Pacquiao is the best right now and there was no way he was going to last 12 rounds trading fire with fire against this Filipino slugger.  Arum has spoke openly with the media about a possible Pacquiao rematch if the Mayweather fight does not fall through, but to me this fight is looking like it is being hyped for Miguel to lose as Bob Arum has been saying recently as this being Pacquiao’s chance to set history by winning his 8th title in a record 8th different division.  If this fight does happen, I can’t forsee Cotto winning, but if he does pull of an upset, I would like to see Cotto retire while he is on top. 

Manny Pacquiao celebrates his 12 round TKO victory against Miguel Cotto as Cotto is consoled by referee Kenny Bayless after their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

4. Paul Williams – Paul Williams is considered by many as the most feared fighter in boxing.  His freakishly long arms, height, and highwork rate creates matchup problems in any fight hes in from 147 to 160lbs.  If this fight can be made, Miguel further solidifies his reputation that he does not duck anyone.  More so, a win would get him right back in the p4p discussion. 

Now sure Miguel can drop down to 147 and fight Andre Berto or maybe even rematch Sugar Shane but there really isn’t any meaningful fights for Cotto to continue fighting at that weight unless your nickname is “money” or “pacman.”  Truth is, Miguel should stay at 154lb and embrace it as his next division to conquer much like how he did at 140 and 147.  If he can continue his winning ways like he did in the past he would dismiss all his naysayers that he is shot..


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