By Miguel Rivera
Although there were multiple discussions, the encounter between legends could not come together for fellow former four division world champions Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto.
There were serious negotiations last year, but the two boxers could not agree on a catch-weight to make it happen. Marquez was not willing to fight Cotto at anything above the welterweight limit of 147-pounds, while the Puerto Rican star was looking for something around 150 to 154-pounds.
Last Friday that contest went up in smoke, when Marquez - nearly 44 years old - announced his retirement from the sport.
Cotto himself is planning to retire at the end of the year.
He will first take on Yoshihior Kamegai on August 26th in an HBO televised main event from the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight world title will be at stake. If all goes well then Cotto intends to have one final return, possibly in early December, against a major name.
Cotto has stated in several recent interviews that December 31, 2017 will be his final day as a pro boxer.
Now that Marquez is no longer on the table for a career-ending fight, Cotto wished him well in retirement.
"Juan Manuel has always been a respectful fighter to us, just as we have reciprocated the same. We simply wish him a prosperous future, to have very good years with his family and enjoy himself as a person outside of boxing , enjoy his life and his family," said Cotto to ESPN Deportes.
2017 has marked the end of an era for a lot of boxing fans. Besides Marquez, last week saw former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko and two-division world champion Timothy Bradley announce their own retirements from boxing. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have his final career bout on August 26 when he faces Conor McGregor.
For the last decade, Marquez and Cotto were recognized as the two of the biggest and most talented fighters in boxing - and the biggest names in their respective countries.