Don't expect much to change now that Miguel Cotto is technically a free agent, as the fighter remains loyal to Bob Arum and Top Rank. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
With his Top Rank contract having expired on December 31, Miguel Cotto is a true free agent at this point, but as previously noted, there's no reason to expect he's going to sign with Golden Boy Promotions or anything like that. Most likely, Cotto will be working with Top Rank on a handshake deal, a fight-by-fight basis, with his career-long promoters still at his side.
What does change is that Cotto now has a lot more control over where his career goes. He's not going to have to take any fight he doesn't want to fulfill a contractual obligation. Everything Miguel Cotto does from here on out will be 100% stamped for approval by Miguel Cotto.
Cotto says that fights with Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and Canelo Alvarez are all possible. Every single one of them is a big money fight.
So what are the odds?
This is actually what I expect we'll see this spring. Pacquiao vs Cotto makes business sense, bringing together two legitimate fanbases, and it's a chance for Cotto to avenge the only unavenged loss on his career record. Pacquiao would be a favorite, but I think some may be underselling this potential fight -- Manny didn't just look vulnerable against Marquez, I thought he was slow and showing serious signs of decline against Mosley. You can look it up. Or I'll link it. Yeah, that was easier.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
Obviously Mayweather has other issues right now, but there was that "secret meeting" the two had in Puerto Rico some time back, and I think there's interest on both sides. Whether or not Top Rank could work with Mayweather is another story, but I think if Todd duBoef took the full lead here, Mayweather vs Cotto could happen. Mayweather and duBoef are still pretty friendly, by all accounts, and Cotto, as much as Arum respects and even loves the kid, is a duBoef fighter first.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
Any time Miguel Cotto wants this fight, it can happen. That's pretty much a fact. It almost did in December 2010, but Cotto had a minor shoulder surgery and opted to sit out the remainder of the year to heal up. Chavez vs Cotto is a fight Top Rank wants to make because it is money in the bank.
Probably not. Canelo's a GBP guy and though some may physically favor him, let's be real: Golden Boy hasn't put him in with anyone near Cotto's level, and they're not going to start any time soon. This might also be true in 2013.
In other words, I don't think a lot is going to change. To make a fight between Cotto and a non-Top Rank fighter, something different would have to happen than the current status quo. For all intents and purposes, Miguel Cotto remains a Top Rank fighter. It's not on a piece of paper, but he's loyal to them and I just can't see him going off on his own to make a fight unless it was truly remarkable. Mayweather may be able to accomplish that, but Floyd's off the radar for this moment.