Ain't Gonna Be No Rematch: Miguel Cotto says Antonio Margarito has no credibility, and won't get a rematch with him in 2010. (Photo via a.espncdn.com)
Despite Antonio Margarito's delusional claims that he'd "allow for" a rematch with Miguel Cotto next year if he's re-licensed in the States, don't expect that fight to ever happen. Miguel Cotto shot it down and left no second-guessing about the matter.
"I don't care about anything Margarito has to say. He lost all of his credibility, benefits and consideration in boxing. When it comes to Miguel Cotto, he will not earn another penny," Cotto told Puerto Rico's AP.
Simple, direct, and to the point. Expect Margarito to find this response from anyone legit and with any other options in the sport, even if he's re-licensed next year. Nobody's ever going to want to risk fighting this guy again except for guys who have nothing to lose. Even if he gets back in the States and even with Top Rank's help, Margarito is going to have an awful time getting legit fights again.
Cotto also spoke out about the dismissal of Frankie Figueroa from his training camp. Figueroa was brought in to spar with Cotto, who needs quick southpaws to prepare for Manny Pacquiao. There just aren't that many of them of relative size, and even fewer who can at all mimic Pacquiao's style. Figueroa being booted from the camp was a surprise to everyone, as it left Cotto with very inexperienced partners Kenny Abril and Fred Tukes.
Cotto told El Nuevo Dia about the situation:
"We work seriously here, no one is here to clown around and be mocking. The sparring partner is here to help us and make us work, not to clown with his hands down and show off. There are two kinds of fighters, those who elevate their skills in fights and those who elevate their skills in sparring. 'Gato' is one that likes to elevate in sparring."
Figueroa responded in a press release:
"Don't try to play me with all this 'Gato wasn't serious' or that I was clowning you with my hands low. Who the hell do you think you're fighting? Margarito? This is Pacquiao, goddamn it! This dude is a beast! He is for real! Pacquiao fights with his hands low, or midway, and punches from all over the damn place. I've sparred many great fighters, Sugar, Berto, Hatton, Gatti, and never have they complained. They endured or went back to their corners to figure out how they can handle me. I'm not a sparring partner, I'm a fighter! It's not my fault I was frustrating the s**t out of you with the 'Gato' moves and the Pacquiao punches coming from all angles. That's what your team is for, to figure out how to stop it, but if you wanted to run your own camp, that's your damn problem."
"After we sparred, you could feel the tension in the air 'cause I was doing my thang thang. I was the only damn sparring partner putting the massive pressure on you, from the counter attacks to the first offensive attacks, every damn thing! ... You was just mad 'cause you couldn't catch me, 'El Gato,' AKA the best sparring partner you had for this mega-fight. Seemed like I wanted it more than you."
As with most everything, there are surely two sides to the story, and I doubt Figueroa's "Gato moves" were the reason he was sent away. If I had to really hazard a guess, I'd lean toward believing Cotto's side more than Figueroa's, but that comes with the big asterisk that they both know and I don't. This is a big circle of trash talk either way. Cotto fired Figueroa, Figueroa started yammering about his "Gato moves," Cotto said Figueroa wasn't serious, Figueroa continued to describe his "Gato moves" and his "thang thang." Life will move on, but I still find it risky that Cotto let Figueroa go. Frankie was the best fighter he had in camp and Miguel's going to need good sparring, which is something Pacquiao has in spades.