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Miguel Cotto could face Jose Luis Castillo next summer

Jose Luis Castillo may be the next opponent for Miguel Cotto. Cotto is very tentatively planning a return to the ring in summer 2010. (Photo by Bret Newton, www.pound4pound.com / www.threatphoto.com)
Jose Luis Castillo may be the next opponent for Miguel Cotto. Cotto is very tentatively planning a return to the ring in summer 2010. (Photo by Bret Newton, www.pound4pound.com / www.threatphoto.com)

A report in El Nuevo Dia (link via BoxingScene.com) indicates that one possibility for Miguel Cotto's eventual ring return may be former lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo, who recently served as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao defeated Cotto via 12th round technical knockout last Saturday night.

Cotto isn't looking to rush back into the ring, and early word is they're targeting a June or July return to the ring. Castillo (60-9-1, 52 KO) hasn't fared so well at the higher weights in recent years, and at 36 next month is far beyond his best days. He's always been a rugged fighter, and was brought into the Pacquiao camp by adviser Michael Koncz for that very reason. He has always had a targeted body attack, something for which Cotto is also famous.

But you'll recall that Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was initially not happy about the idea of Castillo coming in, referring to him as "a shot fighter." Castillo did look in good shape on "24/7," but it's almost impossible to tell how he's really feeling. He has won four fights this year against sub-standard competition, fighting as a welterweight. The last time he was seen on wide American TV, he was dominated by Sebastian Lujan on ESPN in July 2008.

Cotto-Castillo wouldn't exactly excite anyone, and would probably have to be sold as an undercard fight to one of the major networks, a Friday Night Fights main event, or most likely part of a Latin Fury pay-per-view by Top Rank. But at that point, Cotto may need a pure "comeback" opponent before they look into making something bigger, and Castillo -- who still has a bit of name value left -- would certainly qualify.