Miguel Cotto

Mayweather vs. Cotto: What Happens to Boxing If Miguel Cotto Wins?

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 01:  Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto pose at a press conference to promote their upcoming fight on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on March 1, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Ralph LongoAnalyst IIIApril 8, 2012

Floyd Mayweather is currently sitting pretty as a comfortable favorite to defeat Miguel Cotto in their light middleweight championship bout in Las Vegas on May 5th.

Most people think Money Floyd will win in convincing fashion before reporting to Las Vegas county jail to serve a short stint on a domestic violence conviction.

However, while many are already looking ahead to a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao megafight at the end of the year, what would happen if Mayweather were to lose to the Puerto Rican champ?  

If Cotto is able to pull off the upset—and I think there's a good shot that he's able to—Mayweather's career and confidence will be shattered.

He'll undoubtedly lose the mystique and appeal if he were to lose the "0" on his record. He'd be crushed psychologically. The fight with Pacquiao will have to be scrapped, as there's no way Floyd would take the reduced money that Bob Arum would offer coming off a loss.

Floyd would probably either retire, or move back down to welterweight and fight someone like Paulie Malignaggi, or a similarly safe and non-heavy-handed opponent. We' probably won't see him in another megafight, as he wouldn't want to risk adding to the loss column. 

As for Cotto, he would probably seek a rematch with Pacquiao—a fight nobody would want to see. Cotto was beaten badly in their 2009 encounter, and the outcome would probably be the same. Still, a rematch would give Cotto the chance to defeat every opponent he'll have faced in his career, so it's likely he would pursue the rematch.

After the likely loss to Pacquiao, he'd either fight a rematch with Mayweather or retire.

In all honesty, however, the most likely scenario if Cotto wins is an immediate rematch with Floyd. I'm not sure if there's a rematch clause for this fight, but knowing Floyd and his team, there probably is.

So, at the end of the day, it is bad for boxing if Miguel Cotto defeats Floyd Mayweather on May 5th.

It hurts me to say it, but I almost have to root against the light middlweight champ in this one, despite the fact that Miguel is one of my favorite fighters of all times. If he wins, we probably won't see the fight the world wants to see, which would be a huge blow to the sport.

The best we can hope for is a competitive fight in which Cotto performs well enough so that he can land another major big-money fight, and that Floyd and Pacquiao can finally agree to terms and give us the fight that we all want to see.  

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