By Paul Cotton
The future of Miguel Cotto quite literally took a hit last night. Austin Trout left no doubt, and yes pun is absolutely intended, in their super welterweight bout leaving the victor by a comfortable albeit competitive decision. The judges had it surprisingly wide at 119-109 and two lots of 117-111; I personally had it 115-113 Trout. Despite the wide scores the correct man won the fight.
Stylistically it was the Miguel Cotto people would have expected just maybe a lesser version. Cotto predictably walked the slick boxer Trout down most of the fight but often struggled to land clean shots and took a fair bit of leather for his troubles. Without taking too much away from Trout, who absolutely deserves a lot of credit for his performance in his biggest fight to date, it looked a different Cotto to the one who had fought Mayweather as soon as last May. Cotto, although a loser via decision on that night too, was able to push Mayweather about and land telling blows most of the fight visibly marking Mayweather up. Maybe Cotto was able to find a lot more motivation for the Mayweather fight, understandably so, and coming into the lesser known Trout fight was unable to have the training camp he’d have wished for. On the other hand maybe it was a combination of Cotto not at his prime and fighting a guy who was able to have Cotto’s ‘Mayweather motivation’ for this fight and is extremely underrated – only time will tell.
Despite this lackluster performance Cotto will still have massive drawing power and therefore getting a big fight with pretty much whoever he wants, minus Mayweather and Pacquiao, won’t be a problem. Canelo Alvarez was ringside Saturday night and it was common knowledge he was next for Cotto assuming he won. Another spanner in the works for Golden Boy much like the Ortiz Lopez fight where Lopez upset the odds and spoiled what would have been the big fight between Canelo and Ortiz. This time might be different however as in spite of Cotto’s loss he may land the Canelo fight anyway. Richard Schaefer the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions said this on the subject, “Do I think a Cotto and Canelo match up would still be a fascinating match up? Absolutely. They say styles make fights and I think those two guys would be made for each other.” I think Canelo would beat Cotto in a competitive match ultimately out working him but as Schaefer said it would be a great fight.
A wildcard bout for Cotto could be Victor Ortiz. Both now coming off two consecutive defeats, including Mayweather for the both of them, they could be what each other need to get their careers back on track. It might be what Cotto needs to land himself one final huge fight and would be exactly what Ortiz needs to get his young career kick started again. Although undoubtedly this would be a great match up, likely ending in a knockout, there are two main obstacles stopping this fight: 1) Ortiz would have to be willing to go up to 154lbs as Cotto has publicly stated many times he isn’t willing to go below and 2) Cotto would be able to get a bigger fight than this without having to fight Ortiz. I personally would love to see it though.
Cotto’s final, and most likely option if entirely up to Cotto himself, is a rematch with Trout as he has the clause in the contract. It is unlikely to generate the pay the Canelo fight would but for a man in Cotto’s position wanting redemption, he may just take it. Whether he could beat him or not remains to be seen and is dependent on how hard Cotto trained for their first fight and how far, if anything, Trout was boxing above himself. I personally believe Cotto could beat him in a rematch but would have to be willing to put himself fully into it and try to regain some of the fearless aggressiveness he possessed earlier on in his career at 140lbs.
Cotto now has 4 ‘official’ losses on his record (let’s not get going on the first Margarito fight) and one more could well be the end of his career if he doesn’t choose to hang them up before then anyway. Any one of the aforementioned fights is a great match up and I’ll be watching knowing Cotto will be fighting for his legacy.
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