Miguel Cotto wants another crack at Manny Pacquiao, and believes he can win if he gets it. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto believes that if he's given a rematch with Manny Pacquiao in 2012, he would this time defeat the Filipino icon, avenging his 2009 shellacking at Pacquiao's hands:
"I have no doubt about it [that I would beat Pacquiao in a rematch]. With the right encouragement and with the people that are now in my team, we have no doubt that," Cotto told Esteban Pagan.
We've discussed this idea in brief on the site, and I said then that I'm in favor of the rematch under the condition that a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr cannot be finalized.
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I would pick Pacquiao to win. He was that much better than Cotto (37-2, 30 KO) in 2009 that it's tough to see a different outcome this time. Plus, Miguel hasn't made the 147-pound limit since that fight, and while I have no doubt he could do so without much problem, there's the chance that the last two or three pounds could turn out to be more hassle than I expect.
But I like the fight still. I was a bigger fan of their first fight than most, and I've always wondered what might have happened in that fight if, when Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) turned it up after four rounds and completely took over the fight, Cotto would have had someone in his corner who knew what they were doing. Joe Santiago was Cotto's trainer for that fight, and wasn't really his trainer. That was just his title.
Santiago is not a boxing trainer. He did Cotto no favors against Joshua Clottey, where only Clottey's own mental mistakes lost him the fight, and less than no favors against Manny Pacquiao. It's not that I'm trying to insult Santiago here, you understand, just that a total novice should not be leading the corner for fights on that level, ever. Miguel Cotto deserves better than that.
And he has that now in Pedro Diaz, who helped Cotto get into great shape and come up with a good game plan, and also kept him sticking to that game plan in the rematch with Antonio Margarito last Saturday.
If Juan Manuel Marquez wants too much, if the Mayweather fight can't be made, I'll take a Pacquiao vs Cotto rematch any time. It's got a great story, in which Miguel Cotto tries to get his win back from Pacquiao, now the only man that Cotto has faced as a pro and never beaten. I'd definitely like see Pacquiao vs Cotto II if the other option is Pacquiao against Timothy Bradley.
Let's assume it's Cotto or Bradley: Who do you prefer?