Miguel Cotto is still looking for his next opponent, following his big win over Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden on June 7. A fight against Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao in 2014 can’t happen, and a bout with Canelo Alvarez doesn’t seem like a possibility, so the Puerto Rican star will have to look at other options.
The best candidate to get in the ring with Cotto by the end of the year might be one that was on the undercard of his last fight. Two months ago, Andy Lee defeated John Jackson in a fifth-round knockout at MSG, and the two sides reportedly spoke about a potential bout. Lee is currently being seriously considered by Cotto and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum as a frontrunner to fight in 2014.
“Bob knows we won’t price ourselves out. He knows we want the fight and knows Andy sells a lot of tickets,” Lee’s promoter, Lou DiBella told ESPN.com. “I really believe you’ll have a similar crowd to what Cotto-Martinez drew, and Andy really wants the fight. Bob and I have worked together on fights before. I’m sure HBO would like Andy as an opponent, and I know the Garden loves the fight. Bob and I talked about it, and he knows we want the fight.”
Lee, a southpaw who hails from Ireland, has never faced an opponent as known as Cotto. In 2012, he had his only potential 12-round bout, but the 30-year-old only made it to the seventh round, losing to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by TKO. The Chavez Jr. bout was also the last time he competed with a major belt on the line. Since that loss, Lee is undefeated, winning five consecutive fights, only three of which went the distance.
Cotto has won his last two times in the ring, bouncing back from losses against Mayweather and Austin Trout. The 33-year-old has looked dominant over the last year, needing just 13 total rounds to get by Martinez and Delvin Rodriguez.
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“All my dealing with Top Rank have been good. We have always worked well together, and when there is a fight that we have tried to make, there’s never been a fight we couldn’t get done,” DiBella continued. “If Bob and Cotto want to make this deal, we’ll make it very easily. We could do it in one phone call.”
The two could likely draw a large crowd at MSG, where Cotto has fought five times in the last five years. While his opponent hasn’t been named, Cotto plans to fight at “the world’s most famous arena” on Dec. 13.
Lee is 33-2 in his career. Cotto would be looking for his 40th victory in a potential bout.