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Welterweight Matchmaking: Cotto v. Mosley, Oscar v. Hatton

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Following Antonio Margarito's loss to Paul Williams, the former WBO welterweight champion is now officially out of his agreed-to December fight with Miguel Cotto, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he will begin talks with Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer to match Cotto up with "Sugar" Shane Mosley in November at Madison Square Garden.

A Cotto/Mosley fight is outstanding news on a number of levels. It will do huge business live, as Mosley is a legitimate star and Cotto is basically the current king of Madison Square Garden following his sellout fight against Zab Judah. Judah being from Brooklyn likely did help some, but how much? Most of the crowd was pro-Cotto, as he is phenomenally big among Puerto Rican fans.

The fight itself has the potential to be excellent. Mixing Cotto's head-first bully style with the speed, power and accuracy of Mosley is a recipe for success. The 35-year old Mosley is still in great shape, and is experiencing a second wind in his career following four losses in six fights from 2002-2004. And Cotto is a young, strong, charging bull of a fighter. He will stand in front of Mosley, who has the skill to challenge and beat him when he does.

The other big welterweight fight being discussed involves two fighters returning to the division: Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton. With recent news out of the U.K. that Hatton's father, Ray, has said that they will only take a fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., at 140 pounds, the proposed Hatton/Mayweather bout is likely at a standstill, at best. Oscar has contacted Hatton's people about a fight, and has already said that he'd love to fight Hatton at Wembley Stadium. Talks between the two camps will continue next week.

Oscar has let it leak that he wants to finish his career at 147 pounds, likely because he has already found out that 160 is a class too high for him, and because there's really no one for him to fight at 154. And it's a much better fight for Hatton, one he can win, as de la Hoya doesn't present the speed problem that Mayweather would. And he can still garner by far his biggest payday ever, perhaps even more money than he could have gotten from a Mayweather bout.

For Paul Williams, this means it's very likely that he will unify titles against Kermit Cintron, who manhandled Walter Matthysse in Atlantic City.

The welterweight division is ready to explode again. Oscar's return likely means little as far as the titleholders go, but his return does mean that the division is even deeper. These two fights present some intriguing possibilities on the surface and after they're completed.

As for the unretired Mayweather, he now has very little to choose from at 147, and I'd have to guess will likely opt to wait for the winner of Cotto/Mosley, or revisit a fight with Hatton if Hatton were to beat Oscar. For now, we'll have to wait and see, but it's exciting stuff.

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