Talks of Possible Showdown Between Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez

Fightland Blog

By Nick Wong

Photo by Thais Llorca/EPA

Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto may next appear in the ring with future hall-of-famer Juan Manuel Marquez. Trainers Freddie Roach and Nacho Beristain have both recently chimed in to the media that their two principle charges may be interested in facing one another.

"I was thinking of opponents for Miguel Cotto down the line and I think Marquez would be a perfect opponent," Roach told Boxingscene. "That would be a great fight. When a Puerto Rican and a Mexican get together it's always great."

Days later the same platform reported via FOX Deportes that Marquez trainer Nacho Beristain had similar thoughts.

"I do not rule out [this version of Marquez] being capable of fighting against Cotto. If [Marquez] returns to the ring, I don't think it is unreasonable to do it with an opponent of that level. It would be a good fight, given their styles."

If there’s anyone out there like me, the first oddity that comes to mind is how a guy who was barely a welterweight could challenge the former middleweight champion of the world. According to Roach, the contest would be met somewhere in the middle, likely in a division that Cotto has not competed in for years.

“That would probably be at 147lbs, I think we can still make that weight. I don’t think Miguel will go any lower than that. 147 to 150lbs would be good.”

Photo by Mario Guzmán/EPA

The last time Cotto fought at welterweight was in 2009 when he lost to Manny Pacquiao. Though there was a 145lb catchweight stipulation, Cotto did not physically look well during the fight, and appeared far more comfortable at the 154lb division of super-welterweight and later a class north at middleweight. Marquez, on the other hand, has the opposite problem. His highest recorded weight was in his loss against Timothy Bradley, tipping the scales at 144.5 at weigh-in. Furthermore, Marquez is 42-years-old and hasn’t fought in 18 months. Beristain, however, doesn’t see this as an issue.

"I have not spoken with Juan Manuel for three months, but I know him and he's never had any problems with inactivity. He can still return straight to training.”

In terms of boxing significance, the match wouldn’t mean much. Neither fighter is really ranked in the welterweight division, nor does the size differentiation spell for a good match. Marquez will either fighting an opponent too big, or Cotto will be fighting at a weight too low. Both scenarios won’t feature the best version of at least one of the fighters. It’s almost as if they just took two of the top names in boxing, disregarded all the problematic realities, and jammed them together.

Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez are two of my favorite fighters in boxing. Cotto has endured the short end of the negotiating stick on numerous occasions, yet never complained and went into his bouts with a fighting attitude. Marquez is probably one of the greatest ring technicians I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing live. If the Miguel Cotto that campaigned at 140lbs could somehow face off against the Marquez of a few years ago, that would have been a dream match. Putting them together at their current weights and ring wear would be the opposite of that. 


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