COMMENTARY | After losing to then-undefeated Austin Trout last December, Miguel Cotto bounced back with a dominant performance against Delvin Rodriguez, stopping the Dominican during the third round of their Oct. 5 tilt.
It was a well-needed confidence boost for Cotto (38-4-0, 31 KOs), who is now campaigning for a second shot against Floyd Mayweather (45-0-0, 26 KOs).
Cotto's new trainer, Freddie Roach, who cornered him against Rodriguez, also thinks a rematch against Mayweather is a good idea, even stating that Miguel would have won his 2012 showdown against Floyd if he was in his corner.
"Miguel is ready to go against Mayweather. He's in the best shape of his career," Roach explained. "He returned to the style that he needed to go back to. And as Miguel said last week, if I had been in his corner for the first fight against Mayweather - he would have won."
Perhaps not the kind of statement one would expect from a trainer whose star pupils Manny Pacquiao, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Amir Khan all struggled in 2012, prompting Khan and JCC Jr. to leave Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club.
Not surprisingly, team Mayweather isn't taking talks about a Mayweather vs. Cotto rematch seriously. Floyd Sr. made it clear during an interview with Chris Robinson that Miguel will need to do a lot more than beat up on the 17th-ranked light-middleweight in the world if he wants a second chance at boxing's pound-for-pound king.
"I think it was a good performance for the guy he had in front of him," Mayweather Sr. said. "He could have did that [defeated Rodriguez] anyway without Freddie Roach, and I'm being for real with you. … Who in the hell is that guy who he fought? Do you know who he is? Cotto did what Cotto's supposed to do. … He [Cotto] got to fight somebody, he ain't fought nobody. Until he fights somebody, he can forget about getting another shot with any damn body."
As entertaining as Cotto's 2012 showdown with Floyd was, selling a rematch to boxing fans won't be an easy task given Miguel's loss to Austin Trout. Like Mayweather Sr. said, he needs at least one more victory against a respected adversary.
Fortunately for Cotto, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Sergio Martinez are both viable candidates for his next opponent, and a win against either man would significantly increase his chances of securing a rematch against Mayweather -- assuming he splits from Top Rank Promotions.
To make things even better for Miguel, Canelo's camp has already indicated their interest in fighting him next, while Martinez will probably be open to the matchup as well given his limited options.
Of course, winning either fight won't be an easy task for Cotto.
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