One of the boldest claims in boxing recently came from Top Rank and Bob Arum, who said they had offered Miguel Cotto $13 million to rematch Manny Pacquiao later this year, months after Cotto turned them down due to weight and money issues, ultimately leading to Cotto fighting Floyd Mayweather on May 5, and Pacquiao fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9.
While my feeling has always been that Cotto's name was used as a smokescreen for the latest round of Pacquiao gossip, which resulted in Juan Manuel Marquez signed for a fourth fight on December 8 and Timothy Bradley passed over for a rematch, Top Rank claimed to have made what would have been a genuinely huge offer to Cotto.
Cotto, though, says that's not true. From ESPN.com:
"Bob said he offered us $13 million, but he never came to us with that offer," Cotto said. "He always offered us the same guarantee he offered us in 2009, with the same benefits, and that's not fair. He offered the exact same amount of money. Of course it's a business, but all we want is fair business. You can say to Bob to tell me he made that offer to me to my face, and you will see his reaction."
Cotto and Top Rank have had a mostly great relationship over the years, with a couple of normal bumps in the road along the way, and minor disagreements. He was with the company from the beginning of his pro career through his win last year over Antonio Margarito, and has since worked with Golden Boy, but not in an official capacity. His fight with Mayweather was promoted by GBP, and so will be his December 1 bout with Austin Trout.
Top Rank has kept the light on for Cotto to return to the fold, or to just work with them on specific fights, but if they're claiming an offer they never made, and Cotto is this willing to basically say, "Bob Arum is lying," then maybe that light is flickering or dimming.
On the other hand, maybe it's just a normal minor bump in the road, and the door is still wide open for future opportunities.
As for Cotto's fight with Trout, he says it was simply the best option available after the negotiations with Pacquiao predictably went nowhere, and a rematch with Mayweather clearly became a no-go for 2012:
"[T]he best option was Austin Trout, so we picked Austin Trout to fight. He's a world champion, he's undefeated. He's a dangerous fighter and he was the right opponent for me, but I'll still walk out of the ring with another belt."
Cotto (37-3, 30 KO) says he has never seen Trout (25-0, 14 KO) ply his trade, while Trout has surely studied Cotto fights a time or two. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden, live on Showtime, and the idea behind it for now is that if Cotto wins, he will move on to another major money fight, perhaps a May 4 showdown with Canelo Alvarez.