Friday, March 20, 2015

The Curious Case Of Miguel Cotto

It's easy for fans not to like Miguel Cotto at the moment. Indeed, the guy can come across as sullen, detached, and even a bit snotty. Whether these impressions are true or false, however, is honestly beyond me. For all I know, the lineal middleweight champion of the world is the warmest, sweetest guy on earth.

Like everyone else, I've only got reports to go on - reports and a single experience last year when I covered the press conference for Cotto's upcoming bout with Sergio Martinez.  Cotto rushed off after the festivities that day while Martinez stayed around and answered questions. Since I don't know Cotto's reason for ducking out, though, I can't accuse him of being intentionally less than accessible. 

Still, a guy who seemingly has no interest in facing the formidable Gennady Golovkin while he's standing accused of stonewalling a bout with true warrior Saul Alvarez is going to need to do some PR work. Or not. For it seems like Cotto is one of those guys who just doesn't give a damn what people think about him. That being said, I think Cotto has earned his right to be viewed objectively.

For here's a guy who's faced everyone - that's everyone - in his path until the extreme present. Floyd Mayweather? Check. Manny Pacqauio? Check. Austin Trout? Check. Shane Mosley? Check. Antonio Margarito? Make that two checks.  Cotto's record has simply been a laundry list of boxing's major players. In other words, I'm going to cut him some slack for not getting in the ring with yet another major player, at least for the moment, I am.

My patience won't be infinite, however.

The guy IS the middleweight champion of the world, after all, even if he isn't really a middleweight. He's going to have to defend that title against legitimate competition, or he's simply going to have to give it away. The World Boxing Council said as much itself.

Unfortunately, Cotto's going to look somewhat diminished if he hands back that illustrious green belt without a major defense. Fairly or not, it will seem like the man fled rather than fought. That will hurt Cotto's reputation, at least in the short term, unless he somehow manages to take on the winner of the Manny-Floyd throwdown.

 Either way, with a brand spanking new contract with Roc Nation Sports signed, Cotto may suddenly start to feel the need to impress.

Oh, who am I kidding? This is Cotto we're talking about.

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