Madison Square Garden Leading Race to Land Cotto vs Margarito II

Miguel Cotto would prefer to fight Antonio Margarito in New York rather than Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Bob Arum says that although it's not a done deal yet, New York's Madison Square Garden is currently leading the race to host the Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito rematch on December 3.

"The problems with New York is the expenses with the hotel situation. In the beginning of December, the rates are through the ceiling," Arum had told BoxingScene.com on July 6., adding that Madison Square Garden, at the time, was "attempting to get us a really good hotel deal," and that, "Another problem is that the Garden, because of their union, is a very expensive building to operate in."

On Tuesday, however, Arum said New York officials came back with a nice package for the hotels, making MSG a more attractive and likely venue for the 33-year-old Margarito and Cotto to rematch.

In a perfect world, this fight absolutely belongs in New York, where Cotto has a huge following that would likely love to see him get some revenge for the 2008 loss to Margarito, the first of Cotto's career and a loss some argue that he's never truly recovered from. And Margarito is very easily cast as a villain, meaning that the fight should sell very well in New York. Vegas is still the capital of American boxing, but there's just no question that the greater atmosphere for the fight would be in New York, and Cotto's team says they're only interested in Vegas if there's a significant money advantage going there.

Arum also says that he expects Showtime's proposal for Pacquiao vs Marquez III and Cotto vs Margarito II to come soon. HBO has already made what Arum called an exceptional offer for the fights, and the two are being sold as a package deal, for all intents and purposes.

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