WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto has been searching for an opponent ever since he tested the patience of former junior-middleweight titlist Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Vying for a 2 May bout against the Puerto Rican fighter, Alvarez grew indignant and moved on to sign a deal to fight James Kirkland.
After Mayweather-Pacquiao had been made official, Alvarez was forced to move his fight up a week to 9 May. No one really knew why the fight didn’t happen at first, or people were just keeping hush. After rumors began circulating that Cotto was heading to Roc Nation; it all made sense, it was just another case of a talented fighter having promotional issues.
While this could be good news for Miguel Cotto down the road, the road is not looking so velvety at the moment for the three-division world champion. Cotto has been linked to a fight against 41-year old IBF junior-middleweight champion Cornelius Bundrage on 6 June, but now it appears that Bob Arum is going to try and find every way to fracture his prestige.
If fighting a faded fighter was bad enough, Arum, the founder and CEO of Top Rank, is reportedly attempting to make a fight happen between Bundrage and former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley. It would be a tough matchup for Bradley after fighting to a draw against Diego Chaves, but it would certainly be a very close match albeit I believe the fans would not be attracted.
If the Bundrage fight does not come to fruition, #1 WBC contender Jorge Sebastian Heiland (25-4-2, 13 KOs) might get his chance. Although Heiland is not of the highest caliber, we can all admit that this appears more intriguing than Cotto fighting someone who isn’t even a real middleweight, though Heiland is not a particularly well-known fighter and his most recent victory against an over-trained Matthew Macklin, was far from breathtaking.
No matter how you slice it, Miguel Cotto has a rough road ahead of him. It is going to be a onerous job to cajole fans into purchasing PPV for this fight. Heiland is simply not a big enough name to make Cotto-Heiland a winning combination and Bundrage is simply insipid. Although Cotto has a pretty solid following, I don’t think the fans will be twinkling at the end of either of these fights.
From an analyst’s perspective, Miguel Cotto’s move to Roc Nation has backfired in flying colors thus far. Keep in mind, Top Rank put Miguel Cotto back on the map as far as marketability and viewership. For example, when Cotto was with Showtime, the average person had no clue Cotto was fighting Austin Trout on 1 December 2012. If he could stop playing around and fight Gennady Golovkin as soon as possible, we may not have to worry about ‘Junito.’