Miguel Cotto "looked sensational" during Saturday's 10th-round technical knockout of Sergio Martinez for THE RING and WBC middleweight championships, according to Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, who would like to match Cotto against Canelo Alvarez should the young Mexican star get beyond a July 12 clash with Erislandy Lara at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 33-year-old Cotto (39-4, 31 knockouts) dropped the southpaw Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) three times in the first round and once more in the ninth before the 39-year-old Argentine's corner stopped the fight with the official time being recorded as six seconds into the 10th round.
Cotto had fought at junior middleweight since 2010, moving up to a middleweight catchweight of 159 pounds for the first time to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title in as many weight classes.
De La Hoya wants to see Cotto against the Mexican Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs), but first, the 23-year-old will have to defeat the savvy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs), a 31-year-old native of Cuba.
"I would love to work with Cotto Promotions on a possible Canelo-Cotto fight," De La Hoya told RingTV.com after Cotto-Martinez. "July 12 is very important toward possibly seeing the pugilistic rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico once again. It would be Salvador [Sanchez] vs. [Wilfredo] Gomez, [Julio Cesar] Chavez Sr. vs [Edwin] Rosario, [Oscar] De La Hoya vs. [Felix] Trinidad. Huge!"
Prior to facing Martinez, Cotto looked sharp and powerful stopping Delvin Rodriguez in an October victory to bounce back from consecutive unanimous decision losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in May and December 2012, respectively.
In November, Cotto turned down a deal worth in excess of $10 million to face Alvarez, according to then-Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who resigned from his post on June 2. So instead, Alvarez's next fight was a 10th-round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo in March that helped him to rebound from a majority decision loss to Mayweather last September.
Prior to facing Mayweather, Alvarez unanimously decisioned the previously unbeaten Trout, flooring him in the seventh round of their bout in April 2012 that drew nearly 40,000 to The Alamodome in San Antonio.
An Alvarez-Cotto bout could be a monster event given that Alvarez's loss to Mayweather grossed a record $150 million, and Cotto is widely considered the most lucrative pay-per-view attraction in boxing behind Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
"Cotto looked sensational at a higher weight class. He looked like a relentless attacking machine," said De La Hoya. "The whole world will now be watching Canelo vs. Lara live on Showtime Pay Per View on July 12 to see Canelo fight."
In Lara, Alvarez faces a man whose past two wins were a 10th-round knockout of Angulo, during which Lara was floored once each in the fourth and ninth rounds last June, and a unanimous decision over Trout, whom he dropped in the 11th round in December.