Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are in negotiations to fight this year, but the undefeated boxer could still choose to take on another opponent for his first bout in 2015. Miguel Cotto has emerged as a potential candidate to take on Mayweather, now that he won’t be fighting Canelo Alvarez in May.
It appeared that middleweight champ Cotto and junior middleweight champ Alvarez were going to meet on May 2, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement. Cotto did not meet a deadline that was set by Alvarez’s camp to accept a deal, so both boxers are now looking for new opponents.
"The deal is off the table with Cotto," Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN.com. "They did not accept. So Canelo decided to move on. We had a deadline. We had our fifth deadline [Friday night], and Canelo has decided, because Cotto and [attorney] Gaby [Penagaricano] turned down the deal, he is obviously not going to be waiting for nobody.”
Prior to his 2014 bouts with Marcos Maidana, two of Mayweather’s previous three fights came against Cotto and Alvarez. Mayweather defeated Cotto in a unanimous decision that drew 1.5 million pay-per-view buys. Mayweather’s majority decision victory over Alvarez generated 2.2 million buys, though the champ appeared to have an easier time with Alvarez than he did with Cotto.
The news doesn’t necessarily mean Mayweather will choose to fight Pacquiao over Cotto, but it certainly gives him another option. Mayweather has seemingly been reluctant to fight Pacquiao for years, and taking on Cotto would give him a chance to hold a belt in three different weight classes at once, something that’s only been done one other time. A middleweight championship would also give Mayweather a title in his sixth different weight class.
Even though a fight with Cotto could be one of the most profitable bouts in history, PPV buys for Mayweather-Pacquiao would dwarf the amount of buys a potential rematch might draw. Mayweather-De La Hoya set a record with 2.5 million PPV buys in 2007, but a fight between the sport’s top two stars is projected to surpass that mark.
Penagaricano says Mayweather advisor Al Haymon has spoken to him in recent months about a rematch, though the two sides have not begun negotiating a deal.
"Al and I speak all the time. We have fighters together and other business together, but we haven't talked about that fight [since the initial conversation a few months ago]," Penagaricano said. "Of course, a rematch would be big, but it's not in the pipeline. I don't know what's going to happen."
Cotto vs. Alvarez was supposed to take place on May 2, which is the date on which Mayweather is hoping to fight. Last week, Pacquiao and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum stated that they had agreed to terms for a fight and were waiting on Mayweather to sign the contract.