By Miguel Rivera
Nacho Beristain, trainer of Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs), is backing his fighter's position of demanding a contract weight of 147-pounds for a potential fight with fellow former four division world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs).
The fight has been rumored for several months as neither boxer has been active for a while. Cotto has been out of the ring since last November's decision loss to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. He was going to fight in June, but pushed back the date when his handlers were unable to secure a suitable opponent.
Marquez, who turns 43-years-old in August, has been away from in-ring action since May of 2014, when he won a twelve round decision over Mike Alvarado. Since that fight Marquez was dealing with a left ankle issue that prevented him from actively training. Several proposed return dates were pushed back due to the ankle.
Marquez wants to fight Cotto, but says the Puerto Rican star is demanding a catch-weight of 150-pounds. Marquez is open to doing the fight at 147-pounds, the welterweight limit.
Cotto was recently fighting in the middleweight division, but he was weighing in a few pounds below the 160-pound limit. For the bout with Canelo, the contract weight was 155-pounds.
Cotto's trainer, Freddie Roach, told BoxingScene.com a few months ago that he had serious doubts about Cotto's ability to get down to the welterweight limit.
"[Cotto] was talking about a fight at 150 pounds, but that's a lot of weight. We are analyzing the situation and look for what's best in this situation. We are going to rest this week, and then wait to see what's going to come next. If nothing, then I will probably retire," revealed Marquez to ESPN Deportes.
"We are looking at something important, something good. The priority was Cotto, but it can not be at that weight. We would be giving away too much of an advantage and we are not going to give away advantages. We want to make competitive fight."
Nacho anticipates that Cotto, even at 147-pounds, will have a sizable weight advantage because he's going to rehydrate close to the middleweight limit.
"I agree with Juan. I think it's good to do it at 147 pounds, but at the end of the day (Cotto) will weigh 147 pounds and go up to 157 pounds, but Juan has difficulties even making 147 pounds. He will always walks in at 142 or 143 pounds, and on the day of the fight, at most, he will weigh 148 pounds like he was with Manny Pacquiao," Beristain said.
"Although it would be interesting to see him in there with Cotto because he's a great fighter and Juan is too. It would be a good fight with [two fighters from a] high technical school. What a pity that Cotto does not want to go down to 147 pounds because it's a great fight."
Beristain says he is not going to allow his fighter to fall into the same situation as he did with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2009. The fight was agreed upon for 143-pounds, but Mayweather weighed in at 146 and had a good size advantage. Marquez, who at the time moved up from lightweight, was only 142 at the weighin.
"With Mayweather it was the same thing. It was too much weight and this time [with Cotto] it would be too much weight, because Juan is a natural 126-pounder, but he's grown and is very strong," said Beristain.