In May 2012, Miguel Cotto gave Floyd Mayweather enough of a challenge that Mayweather rehired his father Floyd Mayweather Sr to take over the lead trainer's role in camp, replacing his uncle Roger after Cotto was able to get to Floyd, land clean shots, and pin him on the ropes repeatedly.
Since then, the two have gone in different directions. With a renewed focus on his ultra-slick defense, Mayweather has routed Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez, while Cotto went on to lose a trap fight with Austin Trout, which led to his own trainer change. Cotto parted with Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz and went with Freddie Roach, rediscovering his own strengths, a ferocious offensive assault that breaks the body and then the head in a win over Delvin Rodriguez on October 5 of this year, after a 10-month break.
Right now, Cotto (38-4, 31 KO) is in the middle of a bidding war of sorts between Top Rank, which hopes to match him with Sergio Martinez on HBO pay-per-view on June 7, and Golden Boy, aiming for a March date on Showtime pay-per-view for Cotto against Canelo Alvarez.
Big numbers are being thrown around. At least $10 million from Golden Boy, and a reported potential $15 million from Top Rank. Cotto, a promotional free agent, is free to fight with any promoter and on any network. And everyone wants his services. He's a hot property to say the very least.
Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO) is expected to soon announce a fight with Amir Khan on Showtime pay-per-view, but there are questions about how viable that matchup really is. Though Khan (28-3, 19 KO) can help bring in UK pay-per-view money, will the domestic pay-per-view in the States be truly significant for a Mayweather-level fight? That's an open question, because no matter what Golden Boy or Showtime sell you, Khan is no bigger a star in the United States than Guerrero, and that pay-per-view flopped, relatively speaking.
Factor in that few would see Khan having any realistic shot of winning the fight due to his faulty chin and frankly inferior ability, and that could be a recipe for a truly underwhelming fight. And if it's not Khan, who will Mayweather look to face? Devon Alexander? Anthony Mundine?
Maybe, just maybe, Floyd should be looking to his recent past to guide his future. Maybe Miguel Cotto is the answer for May 3.
Cotto, 33, is not going to be in a better position than this to rematch Floyd, or at least he would be risking the viability of that fight if he faces Alvarez or Martinez instead. Now, there's no guaranteeing that Cotto could get more money against Mayweather than he's being offered to face those guys, and I think we can all agree that he's more likely to beat Martinez or Alvarez than he is to take Floyd's vaunted "0."
And there's no indication that Mayweather, who will turn 37 in February, is particularly interested in a Cotto rematch, though the first fight definitely stuck in his craw at least a little bit.
Mayweather-Cotto II wouldn't be on the level of the Mayweather-Canelo fight or anything, but there is good reason to believe that of what's truly available (no Pacquiao, no Bradley), the Puerto Rican star may in fact be the biggest option out there for boxing's top dog.
If it came down to it, what would you rather pay $74.99 to see? Mayweather-Cotto II or Mayweather-Khan?