It's good to be Miguel Cotto right about now. As one of American boxing's few true and proven drawing cards, the 33-year-old Puerto Rican superstar is being wooed for a pair of big-time fights that would each net him a major payday, but it appears for now that Cotto will face Sergio Martinez instead of Canelo Alvarez.
ESPN Deportes reports that Cotto would face Martinez, the reigning middleweight champion, on June 7 at Madison Square Garden on HBO pay-per-view. With that fight, which Top Rank would promote along with Martinez's promoter Lou DiBella, Cotto could make around $15 million, and would also be a promoter for the show himself. Cotto was recently said to be offered $10 million to face Alvarez on March 8 on Showtime pay-per-view.
The veteran free agent has won world titles at 140, 147, and 154 pounds, and a fight at 160 against Martinez would give him a shot to win a championship in a fourth division. Not only that, but Martinez, 38, is beginning to look very vulnerable, and will be coming off of a significant layoff to recover from a series of injuries that plagued him in his one 2013 fight, a debated win over Martin Murray in Argentina.
Cotto (38-4, 31 KO) lost two straight in 2012 and returned this year with trainer Freddie Roach, dominating Delvin Rodriguez on October 5. Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO) and Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KO) are both obviously big fights, but I don't think it's any stretch to say that the Martinez fight possibly being the bigger money option for Cotto is a bit of a surprise. Canelo is a much bigger name fighter than Sergio and a far bigger draw, but HBO and Top Rank could use this "win," and it would not allow Showtime and Golden Boy to boast of big PPV cards with Canelo-Cotto in March and then Floyd Mayweather's May 3 return.
We'll see how it shakes out, but for right now, it does look like Cotto will face Sergio Martinez instead of Canelo Alvarez.