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Miguel Cotto: Next fight not against Canelo Alvarez?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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In June, boxing sensation Miguel Cotto unleashed a literal beating, stopping Sergio Martinez in Round 10 via TKO. It was, perhaps, the best performance of Cotto's career as the challenger scored four knockdowns with three coming in the very first stanza.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

With the win, Cotto improved to 39-4, 32 KOs and became the first Puerto Rican boxer to win a world title in four divisions.

Of greater significance, Cotto won more than the WBC title; He became the real and legitimate lineal middleweight champion.

With the victory, the Puerto Rican follows in the footsteps of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, Jake LaMotta, Stanley Ketchel and the rest of the middleweight kings who were recognized as "champions" and not merely belt-holders.

So who will Cotto fight next?

Fans and media have speculated the new lineal middleweight champion would face Canelo Alvarez next; However, it appears Miguel may face Andy Lee (33-2, 23 KO) in a non PPV affair on December 13, according to boxing inisder Steve Kim.

After turning pro in 2006, Lee, a Manny Steward protégé, has fought on HBO several times and has beaten the likes of Brian Vera and Craig McEwan. And on the Cotto vs Martinez undercard earlier this summer, Lee, behind on the scorecards, uncorked a savage right hand to knockout a surging John Jackson who was seemingly looking to end matters himself.

Although some may assert the Jackson fight wasn't consequential enough to warrant Knockout of the Year, it will, at the very least, be mentioned as a pretty strong candidate.
A durable, 6'2" southpaw, the crowd-pleasing Lee would be a formidable challenge to any middleweight.

"Andy is old school. Most fighters today will only train meticulously if they're getting ready for a fight, but Andy is training all year round. He loves to fight," stated the late great Emanuel Steward in 2012.

"Andy can't wait to get in the ring and mix it up. He's not a safety first fighter. He always fights in a crowd pleasing style and it doesn't matter if it's in front of 20,000 or 2,000. He just loves to fight."

Why Andy Lee?

It makes sense.

Given pay-per-view buy rates are down this year, why not use this bout as a springboard to create more build-up for the big enchilada, Cotto vs Canelo? Moreover, given Canelo and Manny are scheduled to headline PPV events in November, fans may not be willing to forfeit more PPV cash in December, especially since the fight card falls less than two weeks from Christmas.

But regardless the reasoning, Andy Lee is not to be taken lightly.

"Lee likes to touch his opponents with the long jab and use it like a measuring stick, and then 'Boom'; he'll drill them with the powerful straight left hand down the middle," stated boxer trainer and expert analyst James Gogue.

"To most orthodox fighters, that straight left hand comes in at a very odd angle. Unless a right handed fighter has grown accustomed to seeing it regularly, it usually causes a lot of problems."

Cotto vs Lee?

If this bout comes to fruition, will Team Cotto regret its decision?


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