Lem Satterfield

Miguel Cotto reportedly weighing offers to face Martinez, Alvarez

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Those who are chiefly involved with fight negotiations for Miguel Cotto have not confirmed a widely-reported $15 million offer for the three-division titleholder to face RING/WBC 160-pound champ Sergio Martinez on June 7 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Cotto, who has fought at junior middleweight since 2010, looked sharp and powerful stopping fringe contender Delvin Rodriguez in the third round in October, and was offered a deal worth in excess of $10 million by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer to face junior middleweight standout Canelo Alvarez.

Alvarez was dethroned by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as RING and WBC 154-pound champion in September, and is scheduled to fight on March 8, July 26 and Nov. 22 of 2014.

Cotto, who fought Mayweather and Austin Trout last year while working with Golden Boy Promotions, is “a free agent,” according to his legal advisor, Gaby Penagaricano, even as he aligned with Golden Boy rival Top Rank for his fight with Rodriguez. Penagaricano could not be reached for an immediate comment.

“We’ll sit down with everybody and look at opponents, numbers, money. Obviously, Miguel is in a very good place to be after such a great win,” said Penagaricano, during an interview with RingTV.com in October. “So he has all of those options on the table. So it’s a good position to be in, and we’re going to look at it responsibly and look at each option and do whatever is best for Miguel.”

Cotto was in Macau last month with Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, where he was ringside for welterweight Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision victory over Brandon Rios.

But Arum said he had no knowledge of a $15 million offer to Cotto, adding that his stepson, Top Rank President, Todd duBoef, is handling the Cotto-Martinez negotiations.

“The only guy that can confirm or deny that is Todd, because I was with Cotto in Macau, but I particularly avoided talking about anything regarding this,” said Arum, adding that duBoef is out of the country and can not be reached.

“With Cotto, we just had a great social interaction. So Todd’s handling it. I don’t know where this information is coming from. All that I know is that $15 million is a lot of money, and Todd, if he was to offer $15 million, would have talked to me about it.”

Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, and the fighters’ advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz, expressed similar sentiment regarding the $15 million offer.

“I’m not commenting on anything that wasn’t said to me directly. I met with Todd weeks ago, but I haven’t spoken to him recently. I have no updates, whatsoever,” said DiBella.

“I haven’t talked to anybody on their side in weeks. But if they want the fight, they’re not going to have a hard time making a deal with me. But Cotto’s weighing his options.”

Although Cotto and Alvarez are each said to be considering bouts against Martinez, an Alvarez-Cotto bout would be huge given that Alvarez’s majority decision loss to Mayweathero grossed a record $150 million, and Cotto is widely considered the most lucrative pay-per-view attraction in boxing behind Mayweather and Pacquiao.

Prior to facing Mayweather, Alvarez unanimously decisioned the previously unbeaten Trout in April, drawing nearly 40,000 to The Alamodome in San Antonio. The Mexican star is one of the biggest draws in U.S. boxing, along with Cotto, who pulls in loyal Puerto Rican fans on the East Coast.

Schaefer has listed other options for Cotto, including a rematch with Mayweather, a shot at IBF 154-pound titleholder Carlos Molina or perhaps a rise into the 160-pound division for a bout against unbeaten WBO beltholder Peter Quillin. There is also the winner of a Dec. 7 bout between Trout and fellow left-hander Erislandy Lara, Schaefer said.

Over the course of his last three fights in March and September of last year and April of this year,  Martinez had to rise from the canvas during an 11th-round stoppage of Matthew Macklin as well as each of his past two unanimous decision victories over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martin Murray.

After the Chavez fight, during which he regained the WBC’s belt, Martinez received eight stitches to repair a cut over his left eye, two staples in his head, and suffered from both a broken left hand and torn ligaments in his right knee, the latter of which required surgery to repair.

Martinez required a second surgery after having damaged the knee injury, later determined to be a torn right meniscus, during his triumph over Murray.

Lewkowicz said that Martinez is awaiting the opinion of his doctors before making a decision on whether or not to return in March or later in the year. Lewkowicz said Martinez could receive an update as early as next week.

 

 

Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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