Steward: Cotto Rematch is a Tough Fight For Pacquiao

By Chris Robinson

Fresh on the heels of his 10th round TKO over Antonio Margarito this past weekend in Madison Square Garden, Miguel Cotto took to the press in his native Puerto Rico.

While Cotto’s triumph over his Tijuana foil in their grudge rematch was a comprehensive and impressive display, one can’t help but to wonder what the future hold for the 31-year old champion. Speaking to Esteban Pagan, Cotto was sure to state his desires towards a second encounter with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, expressing full confidence in his abilities to defeat the Filipino icon in a possible rematch..
Pacquiao handed Cotto his second career defeat in November of 2009 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, dropping him in rounds three and four and eventually forcing referee Kenny Bayless to call the action in the twelfth round of a one-sided fight. Cotto has since rebounded in fine fashion, moving up the junior middleweight class to defeat Yuri Foreman for the WBA crown he now holds and Ricardo Mayorga for a 12th round knockout before his drubbing of Margarito on Saturday night.
A rematch with Pacquiao is certainly intriguing at this point, given Cotto’s resurrection and Pacquiao’s recent struggle with Juan Manuel Marquez last month. Respected trainer Emanuel Steward had the pleasure of working with Cotto for his bouts with Foreman and Mayorga and feels that a follow-up pairing between the two fighters could play out extremely different than the first bout.
I caught up with Steward to get his take on Cotto’s victory over Margarito, his thoughts on seeing the fight end because of massive swelling on Margarito’s right eye, whether Cotto would be tempted to leave Bob Arum’s Top Rank for a run with Golden Boy Promotions, and more.
This is what Steward had to say…

Impressed by Cotto’s efficient display…
“I was very, very impressed with Miguel. I thought there were two different styles of fights that he could have used to win the fight and that was one of them. I thought he did a good job but I was kind of relieved when the fight ended though, because he started to get very winded and it was looking like it was going to be a tough struggle the next few rounds.”

Seeing the fight end because of the severity of Margarito’s swollen right eye…
“It was going to be very tough but nevertheless, he did what he had to do. It’s a tough style when you have a guy like Margarito putting pressure on you. I thought Miguel was in great shape and I was kind of glad to see it end.”

Where Antonio Margarito goes from here…
“I don’t know. That’s kind of rough. All his major fights he’s lost, all his significant fights. And with the eye injury and those surgeries, the future doesn’t look too good for him. I’ll be honest I haven’t even thought too much about him. I hate to be making comments like that but I haven’t even thought about it.”
Why Cotto’s future looks bright…
“I think Miguel’s future looks very good. I think he’s had three good victories of some recognizable names and in those fights he’s almost lost no rounds. So, between Foreman and Mayorga and this fight, he looked very good. The future looks very good for Miguel.”

Whether Cotto may be enticed to leave Top Rank for Golden Boy Promotions…
“I really don’t know. I really haven’t talked to anybody on that. Bob [Arum] is the only person he’s spoken to and Bob has said he isn’t going anywhere. I can’t really comment on that but regardless, Miguel is going to get big fights still. Bob has some good fighters up there.”

What the victory means to Cotto emotionally…
“I think he’s very happy with what happened with the fight. And he wasn’t necessarily going for a knockout, I think he was just satisfied to get a good win. He was very determined just to win the fight and it wasn’t like he just had to knock him out. Sometimes I see guys coming out saying ‘I have to knock him out’ but that was not Miguel’s mindset. I think he’s very happy with himself.”

Cotto’s chances against Manny Pacquiao in a rematch…
“I think it would be a rough fight. Now that he’s boxing better and not keeping his head down so much, especially now that he’s not having to kill himself to make weight, if they fought at the proper weight, about 150 or more, I think he has a good chance. It would be a tough fight for Manny.”

[Reader's note: For images from the recent Cotto-Margarito rematch please visit Miguel Cotto extracts revenge, stops Margarito in 10 ]

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected] and

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by nv__ on 12-08-2011

[QUOTE=twosweethooks;11530217]Forever, Tonys only hope against Cotto was the last 5 rounds. He "HAD" to put unbelievable pressure on Cotto in those rounds more than the first 7 or Cotto would dance to victory. Even Steward the flip flopper said Cotto…

Comment by sdcluser on 12-08-2011

Style makes fight. I see repeat of the first match at WW. Cotto does not have a good straight right.

Comment by DAN916 on 12-08-2011

[QUOTE=PACsmash;11530337]wth??? without those 2 KD's the fight would have still been the same LOL!! cotto survive because he got on his bike and peddle backwards. dont act like cotto was giving it to pac but he only lost because of…

Comment by jvsnypes on 12-08-2011

Its hard to say. The style he just beat Margarito with would not work against Manny. Cotto would have to sit down on his punches more and get Manny's respect the way Marquez did. But Manny is off the juice…

Comment by JOM'S on 12-08-2011

IMHO although the first fight was a dominating victory for PAC i thought it was not easy and a tough fight as Pac was also banged up and even have cauliflower ear .... anyway if they fight again, it will…

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