By Michele Emrick
Miguel Cotto made some news over the weekend with several big announcements regarding his immediate future.
On his official Twitter account, the former world champion let it be known that his next fight will take place on HBO. Following on the heels of that move, Cotto will also be returning to Top Rank Promotions. Additionally, he also will be training under Freddie Roach.
“I will be back in the ring on Oct 5th on @hboboxing with @trboxing and @freddieroach in my corner.” – Miguel Cotto
The announcement from Cotto certainly puts an end to the speculation that he may be the next opponent for Saul Alvarez, no matter how the young fighter does in his upcoming bout with Floyd Mayweather in September.
Miguel Cotto has lost back-to-back bouts against Mayweather and Austin Trout, and going back to Top Rank and HBO severely limits his future options. Most of the big names in the junior middleweight division are signed to Golden Boy Promotions, and the two promotions have a difficult working relationship to say the least.
With Alfredo Angulo, Cornelius Bundrage, Erislandy Lara, Ishe Smith and Austin Trout all being seemingly off the table now, other than Vanes Martirosyan, the options for a high profile fight seem limited.
Despite the lack of big names out there, Miguel Cotto will have several quality fighters to choose from who are not tied up in rival promotions. And at 32, with a lot of fights under his belt, he may only have a few fights left in him before his career is over.
The one name out there most often linked to Cotto for his return has been Carlos Molina. Molina was supposed to fight Ishe Smith in July, but that fight had to be cancelled when Smith suffered a cut during training. Although Molina doesn’t have star power, or a big following, he is definitely a tough out who always brings it his all.
Another name making the rounds has been Delvin Rodriguez. A long time fringe contender, Rodriguez certainly brings little in the way of intrigue.
A real interesting option for Cotto down the line could be James Kirkland, who was recently granted his release from Golden Boy. Kirkland would offer legitimate competition for Cotto and make for a compelling bout. Martiosyan, along with Kirkland, would keep Cotto busy for awhile, and by the time those fights happen, other viable opponents are likely to emerge.
“With this in mind,” Cotto wrote via Twitter. “I will keep working hard for the best benefits for me my family and my company. [I] Will give more details ahead.”
While the return to HBO and Top Rank was obviously what Cotto felt was best for his career from a financial standpoint, the move to Freddie Roach is what he is banking on to change in-ring results.
Although he has been on the scene for years, Cotto definitely has some flaws in his game that have negatively affected him. With the help of Roach, he hopes to clean up those defects. Roach has always been an offensively minded trainer, and that may be well suited for the Puerto Rican. A few adjustments may add some years to his career.
However, even if he does step up his game, returning to Top Rank may limit the few big paydays he has left in his career. It is definitely a big chance to take this late in the game.