By Rick Reeno
Floyd Mayweather Jr. lashed out at the suggestion that he ducked a fight with Miguel Cotto in 2005, when both of them were rising junior welterweights under Top Rank's promotional banner. According to Mayweather, he requested a fight with Cotto in 2005, and then Top Rank responded by matching him with a "test opponent" to get a better idea on how a Cotto fight would potentially play out in the ring. The opponent, Henry Bruseles, was dominated and stopped in eight rounds.
"We asked for the fight. They said we'll use Bruseles [as a test]. Go back and look, he had the same identical style, came from the same stable. They said 'this is a tester, let us see how the fight would play out.' They did [the Bruseles fight] and said 'no that's not going to happen' [to a Cotto fight]," Mayweather said.
Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, chimed in, claiming Top Rank President Todd duBoef was always against the fight. - "[Cotto] was always Todd's own personal pet project. Coming up through the ranks, they would never, never put Cotto anywhere near Floyd."