COMMENTARY | It's now no secret that three-division former world champion, Miguel Cotto is being openly courted by Golden Boy Promotions. As a matter of fact, news stories have surfaced, showing exactly how much the promotional firm is willing to invest in the Puerto Rican star's next bout.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has even met with members of Team Cotto, issuing a plan that could bring Cotto his biggest payday as a pro for a potential clash with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
"I had a very good meeting with them," Schaefer told RingTV.com. "I outlined to them a deal structure for a potential Canelo fight. It's a very lucrative fight. Without any question, it's the most lucrative fight for Miguel, and it's a structure where he would be guaranteed an eight-figure amount as a guarantee.
"You know, well in excess of $10 million. But the fact is that if he did not want to do that, then there are many other options for him. The fact is that most of the relevant options are obviously fights which would be promoted by Golden Boy and Miguel Cotto promotions. So, we'll see. He walked away happy and thinking about it, and he will get back to us."
The 33-year-old Cotto, who had lost two consecutive bouts prior to pulverizing an overmatched Delvin Rodriguez in October, just may be boxing's most sought after free agent. With a huge fan base and TV-friendly style, he's also thought to be infinitely vulnerable and, as such, a prime fall guy for a main stage fighter looking to deepen a resume.
And there's no doubt that Golden Boy intends on using the Boricua battler as a fall guy for one of their young fighters, preferably a 23-year-old Canelo Alvarez in desperate need of redemption after an embarrassingly one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather in September.
Schaefer and company would also like to serve Cotto on a platter to Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin, the WBO middleweight champ whose resume is paper-thin at the moment. A win over Cotto would bring Quillin a level of legitimacy not yet achieved with victories over Gabe Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, or Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam.
"If Miguel wants to fight for a middleweight title," Schaefer later told Boxingscene, "and he wants to fight in New York, he can go and fight Peter Quillin…no problem."
The question for Cotto is whether he recognizes the fact that Golden Boy is bringing him in to lose and, if so, whether he's okay with being the big-named opponent/resume-filler battling the odds inherent in such a situation.
Cotto could shock the world and beat Alvarez or Quillin, but at this stage of the game it's not likely. His destruction of Rodriguez was more optical illusion than cold, hard reality. Most boxing people know this, maybe Cotto, himself, knows this. A petrified, overmatched ESPN2-level fighter could never compete on Cotto's level, no matter how much the Puerto Rican had slipped.
Now, for Cotto, it's just a question of whether to cash out or stay safe and squeeze out a few more decent paydays.
By staying independent with a loose affiliation with Top Rank, Cotto has greater control over his level of opposition and could extend his career several more years. And even if he should opt for a bid at WBC middleweight champ Sergio Martinez in an effort to become the first Puerto Rican four-division world champ, the danger isn't really there. Martinez is a smallish middleweight who, at 38, is coming off some substantial injuries and, like Cotto, is in the final stages of his career.
Maybe after a long career of fighting anyone, anywhere, Cotto has earned the right to do some cherry picking. Why face the young lions for pension money when he can make decent money fighting less dangerous opposition?
Regardless of what the fans and media may say, it's time for Cotto to reap the benefits of a career's worth of risky battles and stay away from Canelo and Quillin.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Sources: RingTV, Boxingscene
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