Advertisement
Advertisement

Cut Miguel Cotto Some Slack on Alfonso Gomez

By Jake Donovan

For years we've demanded more big fights on a consistent basis. Boxing finally delivers, only for fans to demand more. Tune-ups and showcase bouts need not apply.

This can be the only excuse for boxing fans souring on the thought of a proposed April HBO doubleheader featuring Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito in separate bouts. The design of such a show is obviously to serve as a prelude to a Cotto-Margarito summer showdown, providing Margarito were to get past former linear welterweight champ Zab Judah and Cotto conquers Season One Contender fan favorite Alfonso Gomez.
 
It's the thought of a Cotto-Gomez bout that has fans cringing.

No, the bout isn't exactly a pick-'em matchup, but damn, isn't even a young, undefeated lion like Miguel Cotto entitled to a perceived soft touch every now and then?

Yes, fights against Floyd Mayweather or Paul Williams would be far more ideal, or even an all-Boricua showdown between Cotto and Kermit Cintron. But until those fighters make themselves available for such a fight, Cotto needs to keep busy. We're talking about a fighter who, in an era where two fights per year is considered staying active, still shows up 3-4 fights-per-year template.

His 2007 campaign was by far the most impressive of his seven year career, grinding out wins over a trio of Top 10 welterweight contenders (ranked at the time of the fight) in Oktay Urkal, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley, the latter two headlining separate HBO PPV events at Madison Square Garden. Throw in his December 2006 stoppage win over Carlos Quintana, and Cotto managed to squeeze in wins over four legitimate Top 10 contenders in less than 12 months.

Going from Champion to number 10 using BoxingScene's welterweight rankings, the following a breakdown of how the ranked fighters records against one another, as well as ranked contenders in other divisions. Wait until you see who owns the best record.

Champ: Floyd Mayweather 2-0 (W12 Zab Judah, #7, 147; W12 Oscar de la Hoya (#4, 154)

1) Miguel Cotto 4-0 (W12 Shane Mosley, #5, 147; TKO 10 Judah, #7, 147; W12 Paulie Malignaggi, #2, 140); TKO7 Ricardo Torres, #3, 140)
2) Paul Williams 1-0 (W12 Antonio Margarito, #4, 147)
3) Kermit Cintron 0-1 (L TKO5 Margarito, #4, 147)
4) Antonio Margarito 1-2, 1NC (L12 Williams, #1, 147; TKO5 Cintron, #3, 147; L10, ND1 Daniel Santos, #9, 154
5) Shane Mosley 3-5 (L12 (2x) Winky Wright, #3, 160;, L12 (2x) Vernon Forrest, #2, 154; W12 (2x) de la Hoya (#4, 154; L12 Cotto, #1,147; W12 Luis Collazo, #6, 147)
6) Luis Collazo 0-2 (L12 Mosley, #5, 147), L12 Ricky Hatton, CHAMP, 140)
7) Zab Judah 2-3 (L12 Mayweather, CHAMP, 147; L-TKO10 Cotto, #1, 147; TKO9, L12 Cory Spinks, #1, 154; W12 Junior Witter, #1, 140)
8) Andre Berto 0-0
9) Joshua Clottey 0-0
10) Isaac Hlatshwayo 1-1 (L12 Kendall Holt, #7, 140; W12 Nate Campbell, #4, 135)

Surprise, surprise. Keep in mind, Cotto's four wins over presently ranked contenders have all come within his last seven fights, covering a span of just 26 months. Urkal and Quintana were also ranked at the time they stepped in the ring with Cotto, which essentially gives Cotto just one tune-up over that stretch – his 8 th round stoppage over Gianluca Branco in March 2006.

Simply put, the kid is long overdue for a break.
 
But let's not completely dismiss Alfonso Gomez, who has made a career out of overcoming adversity and defying the odds, dating back to his upset win over Peter Manfredo in the inaugural episode of The Contender three years ago. Gomez remains a fringe contender at best, but has enjoyed far more post-Contender success than any of his fellow alumni, retiring Arturo Gatti last summer and ending his 2007 campaign with a thorough points win over welterweight trialhorse Ben Tackie last October on ESPN.

Those who insist that Cotto and his promoter, Bob Arum, are taking the April assignment in haste, no longer reserve the right to question the business end that has plagued the sport for far too long. Team Cotto targeted two fights – Mayweather (the one superfight boxing fans crave) and de la Hoya (the one other fight that puts Cotto in a much higher tax bracket). The former claims that the Puerto Rican isn't quite yet ready for him, while the latter forced him to play the waiting game while taking the holidays and then some to decide who gets to stand in the opposite corner on May 3.

Wouldn't you know that it could possibly be Mayweather once again?

Once Arum caught wind of the rumor, he decided to move on, as any sensible promoter would do. With HBO dates filling up quickly, he targets an April 26 date for Cotto.

Before you complain about Gomez, keep in mind his options. Paul Williams is locked in for a February 9 HBO Boxing After Dark headliner against Carlos Quintana (whom Cotto stopped in five rounds 13 months ago), with Andre Berto appearing on the undercard. Joshua Clottey , once rumored as a possible Cotto opponent for a March slot that has since been given to Don King, is now in line to face Kermit Cintron . Two birds, one stone. Looking around at the rest of the Top 10, Cotto's already fought Mosley and Judah, the latter whom is rumored to face Margarito as the co-feature to Cotto-Gomez.

That leaves Luis Collazo and Isaac Hlatshwayo, neither of whom have done much of anything in the recent past, and from a styles perspective don't figure to bring the same entertainment value (if even competitive action) a Cotto-Gomez fight would surely produce.

After you sit down and think on it for a while, a Miguel Cotto-Alfonso Gomez isn't that bad of a fight. It keeps Cotto busy, something sorely missing among today's best fighters. It will appear on HBO and not PPV, an important step in continuing to build Cotto's fan base.

Best of all, it certainly beats the alternative – Cotto sitting around, waiting for fights that most likely never materialize.  

So cut Miguel Cotto some slack. Either the big fights will come, or Cotto will continue to make big fights on his own, regardless of who's in the other corner.

Isn't that boxing the way it ought to be?

Jake Donovan is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and presently serves on the Tennessee Boxing Advisory Board. His column runs every Tuesday on BoxingScene.com. Please feel free to submit any comments or questions to Jake at [email protected]

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Diego Morales on 01-14-2008

[QUOTE=Migs;3041861]I keep hearing this from people but I can't understand how Gomez would bring Cotto anymore exposure than he already has. He fought Shane Mosley for chrissakes. I know the general consensus here is not that Gomez is bigger than…

Comment by Migs on 01-14-2008

[QUOTE=Diego Morales;3041851]If Cotto/Margarito happend tomorrow it wouldn't land the winner a shot at DLH or Mayweather anyways, I see it as Arum trying to get Cotto the same exposure by fighting someone a little less risky!!!! [B]Gomez is a reality…

Comment by Diego Morales on 01-14-2008

[QUOTE=deevel79;3041758]I totaly agree with the bold! This is a waste of time for both fighters.[/QUOTE] If Cotto/Margarito happend tomorrow it wouldn't land the winner a shot at DLH or Mayweather anyways, I see it as Arum trying to get Cotto…

Comment by deevel79 on 01-14-2008

[QUOTE=raycorey;3039051]I have no problem with this fight but if this was PBF this site would have crash down with dumb threads but its okay to make excuse for Cotto? [B]Why Cant Cotto fight margarito straight away without another tune up?…

Comment by mrrupo on 01-14-2008

[QUOTE=TopDawg;3040367]Please, Gomez is highly overrated since he beat a JW blowup and shot Gatti. Cotto will destroy this guy. Cotto just had a tune-up less than a year ago, no need to take another one so soon.[/QUOTE] floyd beat a…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (56)
Top Headlines Canelo Smiles: I Ran From Golovkin? He's Fought NOBODY! Santa Cruz vs. Russell Much Better Fight; Both Want Selby Next Frank Warren: Frampton Left 122 With Rigondeaux Clash Marquez Has No Regrets Over Cotto Position, Retirement Near Adonis Stevenson With Vicious Knockout of Williams in Four Adonis Stevenson vs. Thomas Williams: LIVE BScene Scorecard Ruslan Provodnikov Meets With Promoter, Return is Anticipated Eleider Alvarez Beats Robbie Berridge, On Course For Stevenson Frampton’s Promoter: Santa Cruz is Carl’s Toughest Fight Yet Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Potentially in Early 2017 Adonis Stevenson vs. Thomas Williams - CompuBox Review Photos/Weights: Luis Nery vs. David Sanchez in Tijuana Photos/Weights: Antonio Orozco vs. Lopez, Joseph Diaz vs. Proa Carl Frampton After the Scales: This Was Easy and I Feel Great SHO VP: Wilder vs. Joshua in Late 2017, Could Be Pay-Per-View Photos: Mikey Garcia vs. Rojas Malignaggi-Bracero Battle Ready Photos: Frampton, Santa Cruz Ready For War at Barclays Center Video: Frampton Fans in Force at Weighin For Leo Santa Cruz Antonio Gutierrez vs. Jorge Melendez, LA Fight Club on 9/2 Juan Carlos Camacho Jr. Goes Pro With Miguel Cotto Thomas Williams: TKO Loss To Gabriel Campillo Doesn’t Define Me Chisora Unlikely To Land Whyte, Trying To Get Helenius Rematch Weights From Brooklyn: Santa Cruz 125.4, Frampton 125 Frampton To Santa Cruz: I'll Be The Bigger Man on Fight Night Adrien Broner's Request For Early Release From Jail is Denied Tyson Fury To Take On UKAD Over Drug Test Results Adonis Stevenson-Thomas Williams: Pre-Fight Report Card Lara's Manager on The Possibility of Facing Gennady Golovkin Roach: Me and Pacquiao Remain in Boxing To Get Mayweather Verdejo's Manager Says Flanagan Clash Possible For November Frank Warren on Crawford: Best American in a Long Time Amir Khan: I'd Need 6 Months of MMA Training For McGregor MGM Liverpool Launches, Will Promote October Show Leo Santa Cruz Motivated To Make Frampton Taste First Defeat Dennis Ceylan vs. Ryan Walsh For Euro Crown on October 15 Marquez's Coach: Estrada, Ramirez Best in Mexico - NOT Canelo Nacho Praises Marquez For Rejecting Cotto's Weight Demand Christian Hammer vs. Timur Stark Set For September 17 Wilcox dominant, Miljas impresses at Toronto boxing show Hatton: Gennady Golovkin's Size Will Be Too Much For Brook
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement