By Jake Donovan
The boxing industry continues to speculate over the possibility of a showdown between World middleweight king Miguel Cotto and former 154 lb. titlist Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The first step was taken by Alvarez, as he gave promoter Golden Boy Promotions the marching orders to take his star status back to HBO, where he returns for a December 6 headliner in Houston, Texas.
Alvarez’ likely opponent will be Joshua Clottey, with an announcement expected to come sometime in the next few days.
Clottey (38-4, 22KOs) gave Cotto fits in their welterweight clash in 2009, though in recent years has been harshly judged solely on his non-effort versus Manny Pacquiao more than four years ago. The former welterweight titlist enjoyed a career resurgence with a 12-roud beatdown of Anthony Mundine this past April, although few insiders give him much of a chance against Alvarez later this year.
Still, Alvarez has to take care of his next task at hand before looking towards the future, even if his side and Top Rank – with whom Cotto enjoys a steady business relationship – continue to openly discuss the thought of such a dream fight taking place next spring. Until everything officially shakes out, don’t count on Cotto to spend too much time mulling over the proposed superfight.
“A lot of people like to talk, about what they think is next,” Cotto (39-4, 32KOs) said to BoxingScene.com while at ringside in Orlando to support his fellow Boricuas, including unbeaten lightweight Felix Verdejo. “There is a lot of time to decide what’s next. We are going to wait and see what happens, and figure out the best opportunity for us.”
Cotto hasn’t fought since making history for Puerto Rico, becoming the first ever from the island to capture world titles in four weight classes. The record-breaking performance came in June, stunning the boxing world with a one-sided 9th round knockout of Sergio Martinez to capture the lineal middleweight championship, adding to his collection of belts won at super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight over the course of his 13-year pro career.
Plans were in place for the Puerto Rican superstar to return to the ring in December, but instead opted to sit out the rest of the year. The decision opened up the schedule to allow Alvarez to slide into HBO’s schedule, along with a planned December 13 tripleheader topped by Tim Bradley in a welterweight bout versus Diego Chaves.
Wedged in between, unbeaten middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin defends his portion of the title versus top contender Marco Antonio Rubio. Their bout headlines later this month in Carson, California.
Given all that’s on the schedule, it’s only right for Cotto to remain mum on the next steps in a career destined for the Hall of Fame.
“I’m just relaxing now,” Cotto said of the downtime, though keeping remarkably fit in the interim. “There’s a lot going on in the sport. When the time is right, we will decide what’s next.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox