Sorry, fight fans. You've wanted the powers that be to do the right thing, the smart thing, the obvious thing, and pair Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather up. That could still happen, I'm guessing it will, but not in May or June.
It is confirmed that Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) will fight Miguel Cotto (from Puerto Rico; 36-2, 29 KOs; age 31) on May 5 in Las Vegas, at the MGM. The bout will be offered on pay-per-view. Welterweight champion Floyd, who turns 35 on Feb. 24, will try to wrest Cotto's WBA 154 pound title from him, before he has to report to jail on June 1 for a three months-or-less stint for fighting his ex girlfriend. Mayweather has been busy in recent days, as he's been actively donating money to various charitable causes, but not too busy to make this match with Cotto.
Cotto was rumored to be in talks for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao stopped Cotto in the twelfth round when they fought in November 2009, and one figures Mayweather will try to better Pacman by stopping Cotto earlier. It looks very much like the 54-3-2 Pacquiao will meet 28-0 Tim Bradley (age 28; from California) on June 9 in Las Vegas for his next bout, though his advisor Michael Koncz told me today that rumored event has not been confirmed. That matchup has drawn some scorn on message boards, as some fight fans don't care for the practice of Pacquiao fighting mostly foes who are under the same promotional umbrella as he, Bob Arum's Top Rank. But it can't be said that Bradley is a faded vet, as critics said of recent Pacquiao foes Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito. As far as pairings go, it feels like boxing fans won't feel gypped with the Mayweather-Cotto and Pacquiao-Bradley tussles.
"Miguel Cotto is a world class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing," said Mayweather, whose only other fight at junior middle came in a World Boxing Council (WBC) world title win over Oscar de la Hoya in May 2007. "It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder. I have no doubt in my mind that my title belt collection will increase once again and Cotto's reign as champion will come to an end on May 5."
"I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing," Cotto said. "I've never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. I have accepted everything to give the fans what they like...great and exciting fights. That is what the sport of boxing is all about; making the fights that the fans want and deserve to see. On May 5, stay tuned, because I will convincingly beat Floyd Mayweather."
NYFightBlog readers, weigh in. Do you think Cotto has a chance against Mayweather? I really don't ... But give us your two cents.