By Phil D. Jay
Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30KOs) is focusing on becoming a world champion for the fifth time on December 1 when the Puerto Rican fighting legend tackles WBA title holder Austin Trout for his old belt at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The 31 year-old, who gave Floyd Mayweather something to think about in his last fight in May, was rumoured to be close to a rematch with Manny Pacquiao for the date, but told WBN that reports the fight was in deep negotiation were wide of the mark.
“It wasn't that close as everybody thinks. They made a proposal that we did not agree [with],” Cotto clarified to World Boxing News.
When asked if the two could still meet in the near future, he added: “Of course, I have always been open to the big names and challenges in my career. I am open to fighting Manny in 2013 if we can agree on terms.”
New Mexico’s Trout, 26, now stands in the rugged former champion’s way as he bids to claim yet another world belt and Cotto explained that the American fighter’s unblemished record was a major factor in choosing his next opponent.
“Trout is an undefeated super welterweight champion and it is a challenge for me to become a world champion again,” stated Cotto. “He is a solid champion.”
Cotto also revealed that reports he was mulling over a move up to 160lbs had substance and WBO middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam did make a brief appearance on his shortlist.
“We considered it as I am willing to become the first Puerto Rican champion in four divisions. But for now though our focus is Trout and I will sit down with my trainer and analyze his style and will train only for him.”
Pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. was also linked to a rematch with Cotto on his release from a two-month prison stint and ‘Junito’ is more than willing to sign up for a return with ‘Money’ after an entertaining twelve-rounder earlier this year.
“If we can agree on terms why not?” questioned Cotto before commenting on whether rivals Mayweather and Pacquiao will ever agree to face each other after years of broken negotiations and demands.
“They only have to sit down and make the fight happen if they really want to, he added.”
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net