Before announcing a December 1 fight against Austin Trout yesterday, former three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto did have serious negotiations with Manny Pacquiao for a rematch, and for the second time this year, turned down the Filipino superstar due to weight issues.
Cotto, who now fights at 154 pounds, refused to come down to 150 to meet Pacquiao in a catchweight bout, BoxingScene.com reports. Earlier this year, Cotto also refused to fight lower than 154 pounds, and wound up in the ring with Floyd Mayweather, who agreed to fight at the full junior middleweight limit.
As Cotto's adviser Gaby Peñagarícano put it, Miguel Cotto simply does not need a Manny Pacquiao fight:
I think the most important thing is Miguel is in a position where he's willing to say 'no' to these big fights if the terms are not 100% acceptable to him. In other words, most of these opponents simply accept the big fights because there is a lot of money in them. Miguel is not in that position. He doesn't need the money. Contrary to most of the guys who will fight Manny, Miguel will not concede anything. He's in a position where he can comfortably not take the fight."
This is what we were talking about earlier in the comments of the fight announcement thread. As Kory Kitchen put it, it's like Henry Hill talking about Paulie from Goodfellas: "Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn't have to move for anybody."
Miguel Cotto is keenly aware that unlike most fighters in the sport, he has leverage. When no one has any leverage, having any essentially you means you have it all. Cotto can do whatever he wants. A Pacquiao fight, a Mayweather rematch, a Canelo fight -- those will all be there in 2013. And Trout's no pushover either. It's not like he took a lame fight. If anything, he's taking a really calculated risk.