By Jason Kim: You may not be too eager to see a rematch between Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao, but that’s likely what you’ll be seeing next year. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who promotes both Cotto and Pacquiao, said that he’ll look to put them together depending on how Cotto does in his next fight.
In an article at ESPN, Arum says “Cotto, we figure, should have another fight this winter and shown the improvement he’s made under Emanuel Steward [Cotto’s new trainer], and then we could look at him maybe next year” [against Pacquiao again]. Cotto had been in the running for a rematch with Pacquiao up until recently when Arum finally decided to go with Antonio Margarito, another one of his Top Rank fighters, for the fight with Pacquiao.
It will be for the vacant World Boxing Council junior middleweight title and will enable Pacquiao to go for a record setting 8th world title. Arum had thought of having Pacquiao go against Cotto, since he holds the WBA junior middleweight strap, for Pacquiao’s shot at the record. However, Pacquiao destroyed Cotto by a 12th round TKO last year in November 2009, and it was thought that it might be too soon for boxing fans to be seeing a rematch between Cotto and Pacquiao. However, even a rematch between Cotto and Pacquiao in 2011, might be too soon for many fans. Cotto has fought only once since the loss to Pacquiao, beating another Top Rank fighter Yuri Foreman last June.
If Cotto fights one more time before facing Pacquiao in a rematch, that would still likely be too soon for many people. When a fighter has been beaten as badly as Cotto was in the Pacquaio fight, it takes a string of wins over high quality fighters for fans to forget about the earlier loss and to think that the fighter might have a chance. It’s unclear who Cotto will be fighting next, but it’s probably not going to be someone with a big enough name for fans to see Cotto as being able to beat Pacquiao in a rematch. Beating the little known Foreman was okay, but the guy had no power and was on a bad right leg. Cotto probably needs wins over guys like Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez or Andre Berto for boxing fans to give him any chance at beating Pacquiao in a rematch.
However, that’s not going to happen now or possibly ever. At best, we probably will see Cotto against someone like Pawel Wolak. Trainer Freddie Roach would like to match Top Rank fighter Vanes Martirosyan against Cotto, but that probably won’t happen. I’m not expecting much at all for an opponent for Cotto. Foreman was perfect for Cotto, because he had no power. I’m guessing it’s going to be someone that won’t be able to inflict too much punishment on Cotto and make him look bad for a rematch with Pacquiao. Alfredo Angulo would be perfect, but he won’t get picked because he would have a very excellent chance of knocking Cotto out. I don’t expect him to get a chance anytime soon against Cotto.