The winner of next weekend's rematch between WBA junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito could move up to middleweight to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr next year.
A few days ago, a report out of Mexico noted that Bob Arum would like to see a Chavez vs Margarito fight next year. Take that for what it is: That fight would do big, big business in Mexico, Texas, or Nevada (if Margarito got a Nevada license), so of course the money man who promotes them both would love to do the fight, and there are a couple more good reasons:
- Win or lose on December 3, Margarito is on his way out of the sport sooner than later, at least as a guy who can compete at the top level. He may already be past that, in fact -- he wasn't competitive against The Little Fella last year, and we'll see what he has with Cotto.
- Chavez, given his size and youth, would be, in my view, a pretty strong favorite. It's not like Margarito is going to out-box him or something. It would be toe-to-toe, and the fresher, bigger man would have an on-paper advantage. And if Margarito was coming into the fight off the Cotto win, it would be a perfect synthetic torch-passing.
As for Cotto, BoxingScene.com reports that Arum is also interested in that fight, but that's nothing new. Arum wanted to make that fight in December 2010, putting it on independent pay-per-view, but Cotto instead decided to sit out the final months of the year after minor shoulder surgery.
"If Miguel Cotto wins this fight against Antonio Margarito, and wants to fight Julio Chavez, for the middleweight title - I will get that done. But, Miguel and his people have to want that, so I don't know."
Chavez vs Cotto works on the same level as the Margarito fight, basically, except Cotto, at 5'7" with a 67" reach, would be at an even bigger physical disadvantage than Margarito would against Chavez. Like his rival, Cotto may be in the home stretch of his big-fight career. He's suffered a couple of bad losses and since then, has fought only Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga. He's still one of the biggest stars who fights on U.S. soil, and style-wise, he's a good matchup for Chavez.
Also like the Margarito fight, it would make serious money, and would have a waiting audience in New York, Nevada, California or Texas (you can count out Cotto going to Mexico).
Either fight's a money grab with a matchup that Top Rank and Fernando Beltran could be confident that the young cash cow who has a lot more years left will win, or should win, or at the very least, definitely could win. Either fight could also have very good action and legitimate interest from a legitimate fan base (or two).