One day ago, I postulated that few bouts make more sense than a Mayweather-Cotto rematch. Miguel Cotto fits the bill in every way possible: proven pay-per-view star, huge fan base and all-action style. It all makes so much sense, in fact, that I predicted that should Cotto prevail against Sergio Martinez and take the middleweight crown, a Mayweather rematch was all but assured.
Suddenly, several hours later, the long shot has become the sure shot with Cotto administering an almost sadistic beat-down of Martinez, becoming the only four-division Puerto Rican champion in boxing history.
Most impressive was the way in which he dispatched the Argentinean. Coming off two consecutive losses to Austin Trout and Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Jr., few people expected Cotto to be able to muster an effort potent enough to dethrone the middleweight champ (who hadn't lost a fight since 2009).
Fortunately for boxing fans (and in the words of veteran journalist Larry Merchant), the Sweet Science is "the theater of the unexpected." Cotto blew the lid off of every expectation and in the process positioned himself for his biggest payday ever, breaking Martinez down en route to a ninth-round TKO. Every conceivable promotional angle is able to be exploited as the Puerto Rican's star has never burned brighter.
Among the fight's potential selling points:
- Cotto holds the lineal middleweight crown, the only weight division that Floyd Mayweather, a natural 147-pounder, conceivably has yet to conquer.
- Cotto looks better than ever, erasing the stain of his two previous losses with a superstar trainer in tow, one who just so happens to train a certain star Filipino pupil that many feel that Floyd has avoided.
- The new middleweight champ is admittedly near the end of his career; what better way to avenge a previous loss to Mayweather than by becoming the first to defeat the universally-regarded best fighter on the planet, then ride off into a surefire Hall of Fame sunset?
- The previous ridiculous 1.5 million pay-per-view buys generated by Mayweather-Cotto I would be dwarfed by the potential sales that a white-hot Cotto-Mayweather scrap would bring.
No fight in and around the middleweight division makes more sense than Mayweather-Cotto II. Hopefully the powers that be can get out of their own way and give the fans what they truly want for a change. Then again, wishful thinking is only that in boxing, sport's longest running soap opera. Hopefully, this time, our cynicism is finally misplaced.