(Image courtesy of De La Calle Boxing)
Why was Martinez the optimal selection?
Miguel Cotto would love nothing more than to become the first Puerto Rican to win four world titles in as many weight classes and fighting Sergio Martinez, not Canelo, affords him that opportunity.
Secondly, if Cotto fought Canelo (at 154 lbs) first and lost, attaining an immediate title shot at middleweight (160 lbs) would be unreasonable if not unlikely. He will have lost three of his last four bouts, all at junior middleweight (154lb). The WBC would not likely sanction a Cotto vs Martinez title fight at 160 lbs. Moreover, a loss to Canelo would certainly dim public interest in Cotto vs Martinez.
However, if Cotto loses to Martinez, the lineal middleweight champion and a naturally bigger man, the former's stock as a light middleweight wouldn't drop nearly as much because Miguel will have lost outside of his comfort zone.
Win or lose against Martinez, Miguel will likely get the superfight with Canelo Alvarez so long as the latter is victorious in his next two bouts and Cotto is not embarrassed or completely dominated by the speedy, awkward Argentine.
Late last year, Golden Boy announced Canelo would fight three times in 2014 and on the following dates:
- March 8
- July 26
- November 22
Will we see Miguel Cotto vs Canelo Alvarez on November 22?
"After June we have six months, and at any time in those six months we can stage a fight with Canelo," Cotto told Alfredo Berrios via Boxingscene.
Cotto vs Canelo; Barring something dramatic, it's still very much in-play for 2014.