Will Cotto Defend The Crown Against a True Middleweight?

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Miguel Cotto made history on June 7th becoming the first Puerto Rican fighter to win 4 titles in 4 different weight classes. He took the lineal crown right from the Middleweight stalwart Sergio Martinez in tremendous fashion, battering him for 9 rounds in a bout which he knocked down Martinez 4 times. The question after remained, would Cotto remain at Middleweight?

To the naked eye, Miguel Cotto was a small Jr. Middleweight and a tiny Middleweight as evident by his 155 lb frame the day of the weigh in would say, 5 lbs under the 160 lb. limit. Standing at 5 foot 7 inches, Miguel Cotto would be at a size disadvantage to probably all of the current top 10 Middleweights.

To most historians and purists, the lineal Middleweight championship is one of the few titles that still matters in the sport. However, the instant path that Cotto is looking to follow has nothing to do with fighting the Middleweight contenders, let alone the guy that is probably the best and most feared Middleweight, Gennady Golovkin.

As the new broke of an underperforming Cotto-Martinez Pay-Per-View numbers being released to ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael of the fight only selling 350,000 buys, Top Rank’s Bob Arum said he would like to make a match between Miguel Cotto and Tim Bradley for December.

I love that fight. Cotto and Bradley are both the cliché throwback fighters who have fought anyone and everyone. Stylistically, it could also make for a fun fight as Bradley’s last 3 fights have all been entertaining and Miguel Cotto never falls short on entertainment value. But where is this fight taking place and is it for the Middleweight title?

That’s the part of the fight I don’t like. I don’t think the fight will be contested at the 160 lb limit. I do think the title will be on the line, quite possibly at a catch weight at 155 lbs. Tim Bradley is a great fighter but has never fought a pro fight above 147 lbs and would be receiving a chance to win the middleweight title. Again, love the fight, but I won’t like the stipulations if it happens.

Should Cotto win that bout, which is no easy task, then that almost certainly lines him up with a showdown with Canelo Alvarez, should he get by Erislandy Lara in what is the second biggest fight to make in the sport. I love that fight as well and think it will deliver much like the Bradley fight. But Canelo, who is making a name for himself taking on all comers, will again have never beaten a legitimate Middleweight and challenging for the crown of the division.

The Middleweight crown could be defended for a year without actually being at stake against a true middleweight, which might come to a shame to the purists. Cotto at this level can likely beat or be competitive with any middleweight not named Gennady Golovkin. But in terms of the business, it makes sense for Cotto to take the route he’s going because Canelo is a brand name, while Bradley has been on the B side of three pay-per-views.

Golovkin gets left out even though he is building himself into his own brand, even headlining a bout in the big building at Madison Square Garden where Miguel Cotto calls home. Maybe if Golovkin does well enough and HBO makes it worth Cotto’s while as his trainer Freddie Roach has stated, then the number 1 middleweight contender gets a crack at the Miguel Cotto’s crown.