By Lem Satterfield
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum still is undecided on where the Dec. 3 rematch between WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and ex-titlist Antonio Margarito of Mexico will take place -- New York's Madision Square Garden or the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Their clash is the return bout of a 2008 battle that ended with the now 33-year-old Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) handing the now 30-year-old Cotto (36-2, 29KOs) the first loss of his professional career with an 11th-round stoppage the MGM Grand.
"We're waiting for the proposal from the MGM, which should get here this afternoon," said Arum. "And we're also waiting for the proposal from the Garden, which should be here tomorrow [Thursday,] and then we'll make our decision."
A former two-time welterweight and one-time junior welterweight champion, Cotto has built a following at Madison Square Garden, where he often has fought in June on the eve of New York's City's annual Puerto Rican Day parade.
In addition, Cotto is 8-0, with three knockouts in general in his bouts fought in New York, including a mark of 6-0 at Madison Square Garden, with four of those contests having taken place on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Despite Cotto's popularity, particularly during June bouts in The Big Apple, Arum said that an early winter match up featuring the Puerto Rican star in New York could be too expensive.
"The problems with New York is the expenses with the hotel situation. In the beginning of December, the rates are through the cieling," said Arum, who promoted Cotto's unanimous decision victory over Shane Mosley at Madison Square Garden in November of 2007.
"The Garden is attempting to get us a really good hotel deal. Another problem is that the Garden, because of their union, is a very expensive building to operate in," said Arum. "But the Garden is working on that situation right now. In Las Vegas, it's much cheaper to put on a show."
Cotto's last New York bout was in June when he dethroned then-WBA king Yuri Foreman (28-2, eight KOs) with a ninth-round knockout before 20,727 in the first-ever boxing show at the new Yankee Stadium.
Cotto has the 6-0 mark at Madison Square Garden, including wins over current IBF junior welterweight king Zab Judah when they were welterweights, as well as those against former world titlists Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Paulie Malignaggi.
At the MGM Grand, Cotto is 5-2, with four KOs, ending with a 12th-round knockout of ex-world champion Ricardo Mayorga in his last fight in March.
But Cotto's two previous appearances at The MGM were stoppage losses against Margarito and eight division king and WBO welterweight belt-holder Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), the latter in the 12th-round in November of 2009.
Miguel Cotto's record at Madison Square Garden
Muhammad Abdullaev, W TKO 9, June 11, 2005
Paulie Malignaggi, W UD 12, June 10, 2006
Zab Judah, W TKO 11, June 9, 2007
Shane Mosley, W UD 12, Nov. 10, 2007
Michael Jennings, W TKO 5, Feb. 21, 2009
Joshua Clottey, W SD 12, June 13, 2009
Miguel Cotto's record at the MGM Grand
Justin Juuko, W TKO 5, June 22, 2002
Demetrio Ceballos, W TKO 7, Sept. 13, 2003
Victoriano Sosa, W TKO 4, Feb. 28, 2004
Lovmore N'dou, W UD 12, May 8, 2004
Antonio Margarito, L TKO 11, July 26, 2008
Manny Pacquiao, L TKO 12, Nov. 2009
Ricardo Mayorga, W TKO 12, March 12, 2011