By Manuel Perez: Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) did well for himself last Saturday in winning the vacant WBO junior middleweight title in defeating Yoshihiro Kamegai by a 12 round unanimous decision at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Fighting in the main event on HBO, Cotto showed flashes of the greatness that he once had in beating Kamegai by a one-sided round decision.
After the fight, Cotto was quick and to the point in letting the boxing media know his plans for his final fight in December.
“I tried to do my best, and I think I did that tonight,” said Cotto. “I am happy with my performance. Kamegai is a tough fighter and opponent. It was during round five or six that I knew he was going to make it to the 12 rounds. Come December 31, I will retire. I’ve done it all. I’m 36 going on 37, and I think I’ve come to the end of my career. I will fight once more in December. I’ll let Freddie tell you who I want.”
At that point, Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach let the media know that they want the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight. That fight takes place on September 16 on HBO PPV.
“We want the winner of Canelo-GGG,” said Roach.
It would be good if Cotto can get the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight, but unfortunately that would be pushing it for either of them. That would be only 3 months’ time for the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight to return to the ring to face Cotto in December. That’s too quick of a turnout for them. Canelo-Golovkin is likely going to be a grueling affair where both guys take a lot of punishment. For them to get back into the ring almost immediately to start training for a fight against Cotto, it’s unreasonable.
If Cotto can’t get the winner of the Canelo-Golovkin fight, he could fight David Lemieux. His name was floated as a potential opponent for Cotto to fight on December 2. That would be a hard fight to get made, because Cotto would likely insist on a catch-weight to get Lemieux’s weight down to weaken him. Lemieux barely makes 160. He would be in bad shape if he had to get down to 156 to fight Cotto. Lemieux will likely say no. It would be a good payday for him to fight Cotto, but a loss due to him being weakened by the catch-weight would hurt his career long term.
Cotto could also defend his WBO junior middleweight belt against one of the contenders in the division. Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook would be ideal for him. Brook is coming off of another eye surgery to repair an eye injury he sustained in his loss to Errol Spence Jr. last May. Brook might not be ready to fight Cotto in December. A healthy Brook would be a tough fight for Cotto. He might have too much size for Brook, but it would still be an excellent fight for the boxing public to see.