Arum: Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito Rematches Both Possible for Miguel Cotto

Nick TylwalkCorrespondent IJune 6, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 05:  Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico celebrates his win over Yuri Foreman during the WBA world super welterweight title fight on June 5, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Cotto wins by TKO in the ninth round.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

NEW YORK - Miguel Cotto is known for being an excellent boxer, not a quotable one, so it was no surprise that in the wake of his ninth-round TKO victory over Yuri Foreman, he deferred to his promoter when it came time to speculate on who he may face next.

Fortunately, Bob Arum was happy to throw a handful of names out as long as one was patient enough to stick around for the entire post-match press conference.

The two biggest ones are the men who handed Cotto his only two career defeats: Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito.

Yes, that would be the same Pacquiao who battered Cotto over 12 lopsided rounds last November. The motivation on Pacquiao's side would be to capture Cotto's newly won 154-pound title, adding yet another weight class to his hit list.

Whether the viewing public could be sold on the rematch, even after Cotto's seeming return to form this weekend, is another matter. But Arum is serious about it, mentioning that he spoke briefly about it with one of Manny's advisers in the ring right after Cotto-Foreman.

The Margarito situation is trickier, as he still hasn't been licensed to fight in most U.S. states following his suspension in the hand wrap controversy before his January 2009 loss to Shane Mosley.

Asked if that would be a sticking point, Arum made his feelings perfectly clear.

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"I don't because I know what the facts are," Arum said. "The inspector said Antonio Margarito did not know what was prepared for him."

He also had some harsh words for media reports that claimed the hand wraps were loaded with plaster of Paris.

"The finding from the California science lab did not say it was plaster of Paris," Arum said. "That's just a bunch of hooey that's circulating around the Internet."

The largest moving piece in this puzzle is the status of Floyd Mayweather. Arum said he didn't believe Floyd was being sincere when he stated in a recent YouTube video that he was considering taking another leave from boxing.

Pacquiao's primary objective is to nail down a bout with his main rival for boxing's mythical pound-for-pound championship. If he can't, though, he figures to turn the top of Top Rank into a triangle.

"Margarito or a rematch with Cotto, either one is a possibility [for Pacquiao]," Arum said. "But if the Mayweather fight is made, then the point is moot."

A few other potential Cotto foes popped up late Saturday night:

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

This one came straight from the mouth of Arum himself, following up on some brief comments from trainer Freddie Roach.

"Freddie has another fighter at 160 who will be competing at 154 in his next fight who could be a possible opponent for Miguel: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.," Arum said.

The sound of eyebrows raising in reaction to that comment is because despite Chavez's gaudy 41-0-1 record, most observers consider him to have only a fraction of the talent of his legendary father. So far he's been mostly the product of excellent matchmaking and marketing.

Still, Roach's training is about as valuable a commodity as there is in today's boxing world, and Arum insists Chavez would be a legitimate challenger.

"Freddie says JCC is coming along like a house on fire," he said.

Sergio Martinez

The middleweight champ could very well still take fights at 154. Just don't expect any of them to be against Cotto, at least for now.

"Sergio Martinez does not figure in a pay-per-view match with Cotto or Antonio Margarito because he's not a pay-per-view fighter yet," Arum said. "HBO probably would not come up with the money to put Sergio Martinez in with a major attraction on the other side. Cotto is a major attraction."

That sounds like a pretty categorical denial. Sorry Sergio.

Vanes Martirosyan

Add this one to the wishful thinking folder, in this case for Martirosyan himself. After defeating Joe Greene in Saturday's co-feature, the 28-0 super welterweight declared himself prepared for the biggest challenges available.

"I think I'm ready for all the great champions," Martirosyan said. "I think I can make them feel my power, and I think I can get them out of there."

He's also cornered by Roach and promoted by Top Rank, which helps. But using the same logic applied to Martinez, Martirosyan doesn't figure to have much chance of landing Cotto.

Absent was talk of people like Paul Williams and Alfredo Angulo. And welterweight Andre Berto, who was also at the fight, spent some time on Twitter this weekend saying he should get the next crack at Cotto.

Regardless, Cotto gave himself some opportunities, including two big chances for revenge, with his performance this weekend. He'll just have to wait along with the rest of the boxing world for the Mayweather-Pacquiao dominoes to fall before he knows which one he'll get.

Nick Tylwalk is the editor and co-founder of BoxingWatchers.com . Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or the site's feed @boxing_watchers .


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