The lengthy negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have dragged on for months, causing schedule issues for other boxers. Miguel Cotto is still looking for an opponent in his next fight, but he might not pick one until a decision about the mega-fight is made official.
A fight with Mayweather is Cotto’s biggest potential payday in 2015. While Pacquiao remains the undefeated boxer’s primary concern, no deal has been made, and it’s unknown if the two sides will come to an agreement on a contract. If Mayweather decides to pass on a fight with Pacquiao once again, his most likely option might be a rematch with Cotto and a move up to middleweight.
The two boxers squared off in May 2012, with Mayweather winning by unanimous decision in a super welterweight bout. Weighing in at 151 pounds, Mayweather defeated the 154-pound Cotto.
Not only has Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would be wrapping up this week, he also said Cotto would pick his next opponent in the coming days. A fight between Cotto and a boxer other than Mayweather could take place on June 13 at Madison Square Garden.
“Miguel is lucky, unlike a lot of fighters he accumulated a lot of money, he doesn't brag about it,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “But he's a very wealthy guy and he's been very careful with his money.
Arum added that Cotto will fight in June, and his opponent will be determined this week.
If Mayweather no longer becomes an option, Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios appear to be the most likely candidates to face Cotto. Bradley hasn’t been able to win either of his last two fights, losing to Pacquiao in April of last year and fighting to a draw with Diego Chaves in December. After losing to Pacquiao in 2013, Rios has won two bouts in a row, defeating Chaves and Mike Alvarado.
Facing Cotto would mean moving up in weight classes for both Bradley and Rios. Cotto moved up to middleweight in his last bout, weighing 155 pounds in his victory over Sergio Martinez, who weighed in at 158.75 pounds. Bradley weighed in at 145.8 pounds in his welterweight bout with Chaves, and he fought at light welterweight before his first match with Pacquiao in 2012. Rios’ fight with Alvarado was also in the welterweight division, but he’s said he’d move up to 154 pounds for the right fight.
Cotto looked terrific in his last fight, having moved up in weight class. Prior to stopping Martinez in the 10th round, Cotto knocked out Delvin Rodriguez, in a light middleweight bout.
In January, it looked like Cotto would meet Canelo Alvarez on May 2. However, negotiations broke down in mid-January, and Alvarez is set to fight James Kirkland, instead.