Most experts and fans are picking Floyd Mayweather to beat Miguel Cotto in their May 5 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. However, Miguel Cotto and his fans are not giving up quite so easily. For three-division world champ, Cotto, this Cinco de Mayo clash will be the Super Bowl and World Series Game Seven all rolled into one.
For the popular Puerto Rican battler, the Mayweather bout is a legacy-defining contest that will negate an up and down four-year span which has seen the fighter battered into submission by Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao as well as register solid wins over Joshua Clottey and Yuri Foreman. Cotto's rematch victory over Margarito last December was the emotional high-point of the last four years, tempered by the fact that the victory was attained through tenth round doctor stoppage due to concerns over Margarito's damaged eye.
So, Floyd Mayweather represents a rebirth of sorts, a big eraser to a tough career patch and a portal to bigger things.
Cotto is a clear and obvious underdog, but it would be a mistake to completely disregard the drive and passion of a fighter looking for redemption in, possibly, the last career-defining bout of his career. After the loss against Pacquiao and the apparent end of his dealings with Margarito, Mayweather is likely the last option for a truly major, mainstream blockbuster. With this in mind, Cotto could be coming into the bout in the best physical and mental condition of his career. Crazier things have happened.
Here's a look at Cotto's future should he be able to defy the odds and defeat Floyd Mayweather:
Manny Pacquiao II
The only way to sell a rematch with Manny Pacquiao would be if Cotto could beat Mayweather first. Cotto wins over Foreman, Mayorga, Margarito, and Mayweather should be enough to validate a second bout with the Filipino superstar and earn the Boricua fighter another major payday. The end result would likely be another defeat, but the exposure from another big-ticket bout would keep Cotto among the sport's biggest stars.
The Golden Boy Tour
If Cotto decides against a return to Top Rank for a Pacquiao bout, an affiliation with Golden Boy would prove to be a very profitable endeavor. Oscar De la Hoya's promotional company has Saul Alvarez, James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and Luis Collazo on their roster-- enough talent to provide quality paydays for the rest of Cotto's career.
K9, Trout, Middleweight
If Cotto should decide to remain a free agent, he could work out some temporary arrangement with Top Rank or Golden Boy and make his own deals. If he should choose to avoid entanglements with the two big promotional companies altogether, there are still options for him. IBF titlist, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage and minor WBA titlist, Austin Trout would make for respectable opposition. A move up to middleweight to face Sergio Martinez would provide a major payday for an almost unwinnable bout.
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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Sachin Nakrani, Miguel Cotto confident he can end Floyd Mayweather Jr's unbeaten run, The Guardian UK
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