By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has heard circulating rumors in the industry regarding the possibility of former three division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30KOs) making his return to HBO.
For nearly his entire career, Cotto was promoted by Top Rank. After his promotional agreement ran out at the end of 2011, he elected to become a free agent. In 2012, Golden Boy Promotions co-promoted both of his fights, against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout. The fight against Trout, on December 1, was televised on Showtime.
A few weeks ago, it appeared that Cotto was being lined up to face former champion Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, on a tentative date of September 28th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Sources with knowledge of the situation have advised BoxingScene that Showtime rejected K9 Bundrage as Cotto's return opponent. There is now growing speculation that Cotto might return to HBO, at least for his next fight, and that maneuver might even rekindle a working relationship between Cotto and Top Rank.
A source with direct knowledge of the ongoing situation spoke with BoxingScene on the condition of anonymity.
"Miguel's decision, regarding which network is going to televise his next fight, has nothing to do with K9 Bundrage. There are plenty of possible opponents for Miguel Cotto. I can tell you one thing for sure, regardless of which direction he takes - Miguel Cotto will 100% remain a free agent and will not be contractually bound to any promoter or any network," the source told BoxingScene.com.
Cotto's decision to remain a free agent is a smart one. Regardless of the outcome on September 14th, Saul Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto would still be a big fight - especially if Cotto looks impressive in his next outing. Because of the competitive nature of last May's decision loss, Cotto would also remain in the mix to have a rematch with Mayweather in the future.
Both Canelo and Mayweather fight exclusively on Showtime. If Cotto returns to HBO, he would obviously put himself in a position where the door to fight Canelo or Mayweather is still wide open.