People are lining up to fight Miguel Cotto. (John Gurzinski / AFP/Getty…)
The attorney for former WBA super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto said there is high interest by those angling for his next fight, and three major promoters confirm they are interested in the free agent's next bout.
"The phone's ringing off the hook," Cotto attorney Gaby Penagaricano said.
Cotto (37-3) was outscored by unanimous decision Saturday night by unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Yet, Mayweather said it was arguably his most difficult fight to date, and the new champion was left swollen and impressed.
Cotto now is in the running to next fight either middleweight champions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or Sergio Martinez as well as WBC super-welterweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Alvarez's promoter, Richard Schaefer, made it clear the front-runner for Alvarez's next fight is James Kirkland, a hard-punching Texan. Schaefer said Alvarez will headline a pay-per-view bout Sept. 15 at MGM Grand. Kirkland is recovering from a right shoulder injury, and if the healing is slow, Cotto is an obvious choice, Schaefer said.
Meanwhile, Chavez has a June 16 WBC middleweight title defense against Irishman Andy Lee at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
Chavez promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said he would explore a date for Chavez with Cotto, a former Top Rank fighter.
But Martinez, a current middleweight champion, will also make a run at Cotto, especially if Chavez wins the June 16 fight, Martinez promoter Lou DiBella said.
While first making it clear that Martinez's top choice is Mayweather -- and that he'd even be willing to move to a catch-weight of 151 or 152 pounds to get that fight in the fall -- DiBella is braced for a scenario where Chavez remains leery of Martinez and Cotto becomes the opponent.
"I want the best fight I can get for Sergio," DiBella said. "While Sergio really wants Chavez's WBC belt, I'm not sure Chavez will really fight Sergio if he beats Andy Lee. I do think Andy Lee would fight Sergio if he wins [June 16].
"So Cotto, certainly in showing he's fit, strong and putting on a spirited fight against Mayweather -- maybe he can fight Sergio," DiBella said.
DiBella said he will wait until after the June 16 Chavez-Lee fight to schedule Martinez's next bout.
Chavez promoter Bob Arum said it's premature to entertain who Chavez would fight should he defeat Lee, especially while Arum both prepares for Manny Pacquiao's June 9 bout against Timothy Bradley and tries to finalize a Juan Manuel Marquez fight July 14 at Cowboys Stadium.
Arum said he has until Wednesday to find an opponent for Marquez, and it'll either be former lightweight champion Brandon Rios or Mexico legend Erik Morales. Arum said Zab Judah priced himself out of the junior-welterweight fight.
Meanwhile, Arum struck back at Mayweather for pointing to the promoter who's effectively stopping a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight from happening.
"You're dealing with somebody who says exactly what he wants to say at any given time, and nothing he says is set in stone," Arum said. "It's a sense of entitlement: Repeat the lie until people believe it."
Arum said Mayweather is flawed in arguing Pacquiao has denied to commit to fully invasive drug testing in advance of a Mayweather fight. Also, Arum said Pacquiao does deserve a 50-50 split with Mayweather.
"He's not even carrying on a real dialogue, it's almost demeaning," Arum said. "He guaranteed himself that $32 million [for Saturday's fight] that you guys call a record. It's conceivable he'll get that money, but that guarantee check may not even be cashed. And Manny has made $30 million in fights before, too."
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Miguel Cotto has many suitors for next bout