Whatever path he chooses, it seems to be a lock that Miguel Cotto is going to find himself in a very big fight the next time he set foot inside of the ring.
The reigning WBA junior middleweight champion of the world, Cotto is coming off of a TKO victory over Antonio Margarito in a grudge rematch that saw him land with precise blows throughout while busting up the Tijuana fighter’s right eye so severely that the fight was stopped a few seconds into the tenth round.
<— Slideshow: The danger of Timothy Bradley – a closer look at the Palms Springs fighter from his Top Rank signing, his recent bout with Joel Casamayor, and his dominating victories
And while Cotto had systematically dispatched former champions Ricardo Mayorga and Yuri Foreman prior to the Margarito sequel, leaving many with the impression that his career has been revived, not everyone is sold.
Joel Diaz, trainer to undefeated junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley, feels that Cotto’s recent struck has been just as much based on the level of competition he has faced compared to anything else. Of course Diaz has a peculiar interest in Cotto, seeing as though the Puerto Rican and Bradley are two of the top candidates having been rumored for a crack at Manny Pacquiao sometime this coming summer, along with Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson.
So while he may have a slight bias towards his fighter, the Southern California trainer’s words are worth note.
I recently caught up with Diaz to see where Team Bradley stood with all the latest rumors swirling in the Pacquiao sweepstakes. Diaz shared why fights for Pacquiao with the likes of Cotto, Peterson, and Marquez make less sense and offered up an explanation why Floyd Mayweather isn’t a likely name at this point either.
In his own words, this is what Diaz had to share…
Not expecting Pacquiao-Mayweather to happen anytime soon…
“I’m not really following up with most of the news that’s going on, because at the end of the day the promoters are the ones that finalize the deals. All I know is that, as far as I’m concerned and what I think, Mayweather and Pacquiao will not fight sometime soon. I think they’ll fight at the end of the year. To me, the way it seems, I think Mayweather’s going to fight someone else besides Pacquiao. And then, towards the end of the year, more likely they’re going to end up fighting each other. Team Bradley is on standby.”
The best possible offer…
“I think the best possible offer would be us fighting Manny Pacquiao sometime in April or May. It makes no sense bringing up Peterson. Don’t get me wrong, he really earned the spot up there after beating Khan. But Bradley beat Peterson.”
No point in Pacquiao-Marquez IV…
“What’s the point of having Pacquiao fight Marquez again? We’ve already seen them three times. They know each other well, and I know if they fight, it will be a similar fight like the third one.”
Another beating from Pacquiao if Cotto steps to the plate again…
“They mentioned Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. What’s the point of watching a fight like that again? He put a beating on Cotto. Cotto’s not getting younger. He’s slower than a couple years ago. All we’re going to see is another beating from Manny Pacquiao.”
Using common sense when discussing Tim Bradley…
“Common sense, if you want to prepare Manny Pacquiao for a fight with Floyd Mayweather, the candidate is Tim Bradley. Fast, undefeated, young fighter. Who knows, if we set up a good plan and we walk in that ring physically and mentally well-prepared, who knows, with a good plan, we can beat Manny Pacquiao. But who knows if Bradley can beat Pacquiao if we don’t get the chance. Timothy might not have the power to hurt Manny Pacquiao but he has the skills and the ability to maybe outbox him.”
Earning the spot…
“I don’t know what people want to see, I know they want to see the best fights out there. I just know that Timothy, with his performances, he has earned a spot just by the fact that he’s still undefeated, to be up there against the best fighters in the world.”
Not impressed by Cotto’s victory over Antonio Margarito…
“He beat Margarito, but they should have gave Margarito the benefit of the doubt to finish the fight. To be honest with you, that was Margarito’s best round and they stopped him in that round. But look, Margarito’s eye was pretty damaged, he was a slower fighter. It took a lot out of Margarito after he lost to Pacquiao. That win was okay.”
Why Cotto’s recent opposition has played a factor in his performances…
“Before that he fought Yuri Foreman. Yuri Foreman, good skill, no power whatsoever. And even though he won those three fights, the opposition that he’s faced is completely different. It’s not that he’s getting better, he’s getting older. It’s just the opposition he’s faced has made him look good. But as soon as he steps in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, who is very relentless and very intense, it’s very different.”
Waiting to see what happens…
“Timothy’s on call. He’s been staying in shape. I talk to him at least twice a week. He hasn’t been coming to the gym yet but he’s been doing his roadwork, he’s doing his conditioning training. But every time I speak to him, he’s just waiting for his manager to give him a call. And we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen with Pacquiao, Mayweather and all these names that are out there.”
Ringside with the Tecate Girls – Visit the slideshow for a look at the Tecate Girls on the scene in Las Vegas, entertaining at the fights, and in personal photo shoots
Photo journalist Chris Robinson – Behind the scenes in Las Vegas with the Mayweathers, Pacquiao, Donaire, Cotto, Marcos Maidana, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Brandon Rios and several other stars
A look inside the Wild Card – Step up inside of the famous gym with the likes of Pacquiao, Khan, Chavez Jr., Shawn Porter, Alex Ariza, Alfredo Angulo, Freddie Roach, and several other boxing luminaries
Intense sparring with Nonito Donaire – Go inside the camp of the ‘Filipino Flash’ as he goes heads up with Russian featherweight prospect Evgeny Gradovich at the Top Rank Gym in Vegas
Rico Ramos returns fire to Rigondeaux – Catch up with WBA junior feather champ Rico Ramos as he trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club for his bout with Rigondeaux
Reliving Pacquiao-Marquez III – A look back at the trilogy bout, including the opening pressers, Pacquiao’s Vegas arrival, ringisde shots, and a look at the post-fight presser
Behind the scenes at the Mayweather-Ortiz ‘Star Power’ event – Images of Mayweather’s fiance’ Shantel Jackson plus ringside shots of Floyd’s victory and a look at the pre and post-fight pressers
2011 in Pictures – Juan Manuel Marquez – The Mexico City star defies the odds yet again / Manny Pacquiao – The Filipino icon wins over Mosley, Marquez but leaves much to be desired / Nonito Donaire – The Filipino stars knocks out Montiel and hits the fight scene / Victor Ortiz – The young champion’s dramatic bouts with Berto, Mayweather
Nonito Donaire’s first day of camp in Vegas – Take a look at Donaire’s first day of camp in Las Vegas as he starts off sparring and dives right in
Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II: Cotto carves up Margarito for 10th round TKO – a ringside view of Cotto’s TKO over Margarito / Inside the Cotto-Margarito II weigh-in-Both men ripped and ready but Brandon Rios loses title on scales / Inside the final, tense Cotto-Margarito II presser/Inside Miguel Cotto’s media workout in New York /Antonio Margarito and Brandon Rios hit up New York
Images from the 49th annual WBC Convention in Las Vegas – Opening ceremonies with Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto, Roberto Duran, George Foreman, Saul Alvarez, Sugar Ray Leonard, and others / Bonus pics of Mike Tyson, Ricky Hatton, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the Mayweathers
Shocking upset as Peterson defeats Amir Khan – Rising star and former champion Amir Khan is upset by underdog Lamont Peterson. Check the slideshow for a ringside view of the action
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com andwww.Twitter.com/CRHarmony