Top Reasons for a Pacquiao vs. Cotto Rematch:
In the week following Miguel Cotto’s sport-shaking knockout of Sergio Martinez, most of the buzz for his next fight has gone straight to a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. A clear second is a showdown with #2 junior middleweight contender Canelo Alvarez (strangely bypassing top-ranked Erislandy Lara). Manny Pacquiao is a distant third on the “Miguel Cotto’s next opponent buzz list,” but why is that? Pacquaio would also be a rematch for Cotto, and that rematch would be as much of a mega-fight and perhaps even as lucrative for Cotto as another clash with Mayweather.
Here is a list of all the factors that play into a Pacquiao vs. Cotto rematch, including the top reasons to make the fight, along with the one major issue which must be overcome.
1. No Promotional Difficulties: Both Pacquiao and Cotto are promoted by Top Rank and fight on HBO. Although many in the boxing community are sick of Bob Arum’s habit of drawing up entirely in-house fight cards, I doubt anyone would complain about this particular match-up and there are no political hurdles to speak of. Pacquiao vs. Cotto II is easy to make at every level.
2. Pacquaio Gets Clear Shot At New Title: If a rematch with Cotto gives Mayweather a shot at a middleweight crown that doesn’t involve a dangerous fight with the likes of Gennady Golovkin, it does the same thing for Manny Pacquiao. More to the point, if Pacquaio won the rematch he would become a nine-division champion, further extending his already absurd record.
3. Cotto Should Do Better This Time: Playing into the notion that Mayweather vs. Cotto II is the fight to make is that Cotto did alright against Mayweather the first time around. Perhaps in the wake of Marcos Maidana stretching Mayweather to the limit, so the logic goes, Mayweather has lost a step and Cotto looks better than ever. So perhaps Miguel Cotto would have a better shot this time around.
That same logic applies doubly against Manny Pacquiao, despite Pacman handing Junito a TKO 12 in 2009. If Mayweather is supposed to have lost a step because Maidana pushed him so hard, then what does that say about Pacquiao after getting kayoed by Juan Manuel Marquez? Moreover, Cotto was just past one year removed from his brutal beat-down by Anontonio Margarito when he fought Pacquiao, and many thought him still somewhat damaged at the time. Assuming Cotto was still recuperating from the infamous Margacheato fight, he is certainly back to 100% now.
My own opinion is that when asking who Cotto might improve against in a rematch — Pacquiao or Mayweather — the answer is clearly Pacquiao.
4. Manny Pacquiao’s Next Opponent Is Not Settled: When Pacquiao took on Timothy Bradley for the second time, and Juan Manuel Marquez was lined up against Mike Alvarado, the winners of the fight were supposedly locked into a fall fight. With Pacquiao and Marquez each winning, as expected, fans were waiting for a fifth fight between the rivals to be finalized. Yet, as recently as two weeks ago, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was quoted as saying he wanted Pacquiao to fight Danny Garcia next, while rumors have swirled around everyone from Ruslan Provodnikov to his latest conqueror, Chris Algieri, and that more than anything illustrates that Marquez vs. Pacquiao V is not as much of a done deal as it seems in the popular imagination.
With those four great reasons to make a Pacquiao vs. Cotto rematch, there’s one major obstacle standing in the way…
Both Are Trained By Freddie Roach: If there is any serious snag for Pacquaio vs. Cotto II, it is that both men have the same trainer. Most likely that means Roach would refuse to work in either camp for the fight, and that seems to be difficult, if not implausible, scenario. Cotto has been quite vocal in his high regard for Roach, and rightfully credits he and his team for much of his revival. Meanwhile, Pacquiao and Roach are as much trainer-fighter as father-son, and are inseparable.
When I think of which rematch looks more likely for Cotto — Mayweather or Pacquaio — part of my calculation is that Mayweather has problems with making a Cotto rematch as well, perhaps even bigger ones. Mayweather is a Showtime guy, not HBO, and he went with Richard Shaefer in the recent Golden Boy split. As it turns out, Shaefer was the main actor in the Cold War between Top Rank and Golden Boy, because now that he is gone all the talk from the two promotional giants is about patching things up and doing some shows together. Which problem do you think is more intractable — staging a fight without Freddie Roach in either corner, or getting past promotional and TV conflicts?