By Chris Robinson
During a recent conversation with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, we discussed the future of WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto. Left for dead by many after his 12th round TKO loss to Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009, the proud Puerto Rican is coming off of back to back stoppages over Yuri Foreman this past June and most recently against foul-mouthed Ricardo Mayorga last month at the MGM Grand.
Arum can once again see the bounce in Cotto's step and reaffirmed just how plentiful his plate could be as his career reaches its twilight.
"It was a very good performance," Arum said of the Mayorga TKO. "Miguel is coming back and his fight with Margarito down the road should be a real blockbuster. And it very well may be that down the line Cotto earns a rematch against Manny Pacquiao, if Pacquiao is able to get past Mosley and maybe Marquez. We'll see."
High aspirations indeed for Cotto as you can tell that revenge is on his mind. Outside of the punishing defeat to Pacquiao, it was Margarito who handed him an equally debilitating defeat in July of 2008, a fight in which he was in command early before fading and getting stopped in the 11th round by the Tijuana brawler. As my colleague Michael Marley reported, the rematch seems to be set for this September at the MGM Grand.
Of course Margarito's career took a massive hit when he was found to have tampered hand wraps prior to his following fight against Shane Mosley, a bout he would lose in devastating fashion via 9th round TKO. People speculated that Margarito very well may have been using illegal wraps in his previous fights, the Cotto bout included, and that only heightened Cotto's interest in a rematch.
Margarito was present at the post-fight press conference following the Cotto-Mayorga bout and was called to the dais by Arum. Margarito could been seen trying to congratulate Miguel and although Cotto was decent enough to shake his hand, he also gave him a menacing stare for a brief moment before looking away.
Those actions spoke volumes about the apparent disdain at the 30-year old champion has to his former conqueror and I asked Arum if he truly believes that Cotto has bitter feelings towards Margarito.
"I think he does, yeah. I think he really does," Arum said, cutting to the chase.
September is several months away but tension is already mounting.