Seven months ago, Miguel Cotto gave Floyd Mayweather a pretty decent run for his money in Las Vegas, ultimately losing by unanimous decision, but gaining the respect of everyone from media to fans to Mayweather himself, who has said Cotto was one of the best fighters he's ever faced, and one of it not the toughest win of his career.
Last night in New York, at the building he has called his boxing home in the United States, Cotto lost convincingly to Austin Trout, a fighter who didn't come in with the big name, or with the big fan base, and wasn't a pay-per-view attraction, but proved too good, too young, and too strong anyway, winning clearly and ending Miguel's Madison Square Garden win streak.
Seven months ago, a suggestion that Cotto retire could have been one of two things: Someone who loved Cotto, and didn't see the need for him to fight on, or someone who was crazy.
Now, though, the suggestion doesn't sound so wild. So it's a simple what: What should Miguel Cotto do?
At the post-fight press conference, Austin Trout said he's open to a rematch, and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions didn't dismiss the idea of Cotto still facing Canelo Alvarez, which for all the world appeared to be the plan were Cotto to win tonight as expected. Canelo -- jinxing his future money fight for the second time in 2012 -- was ringside and watched Cotto lose, just as he watched Victor Ortiz chopped down by Josesito Lopez in June.
Schaefer also tried to push Malignaggi-Hatton last week after Ricky Hatton was knocked out by Vyacheslav Senchenko, so it's no real surprise he'd still want to do Canelo-Cotto. There is money in it (not as much now, but still money in it), and GBP would no doubt be confident that the youthful, strong Canelo would be a serious favorite. Thus, it has become a lower-risk fight; add that to the money, and it's a promoter's dream if they can convince enough of the public to take it seriously.
Cotto said he was disappointed by the scores against Trout (117-111 twice, and a definitely too-wide 119-109), and that he would rest with his family over the Christmas season and make a decision after. He will fight again, it seems, and there isn't much real chatter about a retirement. But his mind could change.
Pros for Cotto fighting on
- He can still fight. Maybe he's not going to be an elite fighter at 154 pounds any longer, but he can still fight. He was in this bout with Trout, and Trout is a 27-year-old, fresh, legit junior middleweight.
- He's still worth money. One get-well win could easily make him almost as credible for a big money fight as he would have been had he won tonight.
- If he enjoys it, then why not? This is his job. It's hard to be told to walk away from anything at 32, I'd imagine.
Cons for Cotto fighting on
- He's got a legacy as a top fighter, and it's never fun to watch top fighters -- and fan favorites -- go down the other side of the hill.
- It's hard to see him having much success against true 154 pound fighters after tonight, and it's really hard to imagine him boiling back down to 147 pounds with success.
- He's got money. He's got a promotional company. He's got a beautiful family. He's got nothing more to prove. In short, what's in it for him, especially if he's not a greedy person?
You make the call: Should Cotto fight on with no end in sight, perhaps take one more big money or farewell fight, or tip his cap and call it a great career?