Hey, Mayweather. It's time for a real fight: Cotto
Four months. It took four whole months for me to break my first New Year's resolution, but I am about to do it. I'm going to write about
As one of the changes I made to better myself in the new year, I vowed to make Mayweather a taboo topic, with the lone caveat being he could become one if he, you know, actually did something worth talking about. Let's be clear: the criteria do not include playing in a celebrity basketball game at the NBA's All-Star weekend, toying with a jump to mixed martial arts or a 10-minute, waste-of-$55 appearance in a wrestling ring.
None of those things are relevant. Personally, I think Floyd's fight with
What would be career defining would be beating
On Saturday night in Atlantic City, Cotto clearly distinguished himself as the cream of the welterweight crop. His five-round dismantling of
Next up for Cotto will probably be
So for arguments sake, let's assume Cotto-Cintron happens this summer, probably in late July in New York. And let's assume Cotto, who has steadily improved since making the jump from junior welterweight in 2006, defeats Margarito. A megafight with Mayweather would seem to be the natural next step, right?
Only if you are thinking logically.
Mayweather's not interested in big fights. He is interested in big money, however, which his why his recent opponents include the popular De La Hoya and Hatton, two fighters who pose no discernable risk to Mayweather, but who bring with them a hefty payday. Mayweather is fond of saying he is going to retire from boxing before boxing retires him, but which of Mayweather's opponents has the potential to do that?
Is Floyd ducking the elite fighters? History would say yes. With six world championships in five weight classes, unmatched hand-and-foot speed at virtually any class, Mayweather, without question, is the sport's most gifted boxer. But he's never been tested.
Fighting Cotto would be different. Cotto brings power (26 of his 32 wins have come by KO), toughness and an undefeated record. Should the fight be held in a Puerto Rican stronghold like New York City, Cotto would also carry tremendous box office appeal.
But with Cotto comes risk. The risk that Mayweather could get knocked out. The risk that a decisive beating would blemish his reputation. The risk that after five years on top, Mayweather could be seen as being in decline.
Should he accept that risk and face Cotto, Mayweather will have convinced me he is truly the best of his era. But should he pass or find another 30-something to pound on, he becomes nothing more than a well-paid mercenary. Try living with that rep.