By Miguel Rivera
Roc Nation President Michael Yormark indicates that there is a high possibility that four division champion Miguel Cotto will face Japanese junior middleweight contender Yoshihiro Kamegai on June 24th. The fight could potentially take at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The next fight will be Cotto's last contractual obligation to Roc Nation Sports, who signed him to a three fight promotional deal in 2015.
Kamegai is ranked twelfth by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) at 154. The current champion is Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who is not expected to fight again at 154. Cotto is ranked first by the sanctioning body.
Kamegai (27-3-2, 23 KOs) is coming off two tough battles with Jesus Soto Karass. Their first match in April of 2016 in Los Angeles concluded in a split draw, while in the second contest Kamegai would go on to batter Soto Karass to force an eighth-round stoppage by referee Jack Reiss.
The Puerto Rican fighter (40-5, 33 KOs) has not fought since November 2015, when he suffered a twelve round decision loss to Canelo. His planned return in February was canceled after scheduled opponent James Kirkland withdrew with a fractured nose.
Cotto announced earlier this year that he plans to retire by the end of 2017. He wants to have at least two more fights before calling it a career, with the second outing to take place in the fall.
"Obviously, we were disappointed by that cancellation [in February]. It made a dent in our plans. But we are working tirelessly for Miguel to return to the ring as soon as possible. Our idea is to fight on June 24 and then a big one in the fall. We have two or three opponents we are looking at right now. We want to finish both scenarios within the next two or three weeks," Yormark told Carlos Gonzalez.
"We will not announce anything about the fall until after Miguel makes the June fight. We do not want to get ahead of ourselves. Besides, we have to see what route Miguel would like to take after that second fight. Only he will decide what he will do in 2018. [Kamegai is] a strong candidate [to fight Cotto]. The possibility [of that fight happening] is high."
"The first thing he wants to do is get back in the ring. Then try to make biggest fight possible. Miguel has always faced the best fighters and world titles are not important at this stage of his career. The first step will be in June and then the second in the final stretch of the year."