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Miguel Cotto denies rematch talk

Junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto has been one of the prominent potential opponents for Manny Pacquiao in the likely event that a deal between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not made.

However, Cotto denied a published report Saturday that he had agreed to a deal to face Pacquiao in a rematch.

"Do not pay attention to rumors," Cotto said in a statement. "I have not made any decision yet nor reached any deal regarding my next fight. At the appropriate time, I will directly be announcing my next fight. I am discussing and analyzing options with my team."

Attorney Gabriel Peñagarícano, Cotto's longtime adviser, told ESPN.com: "It is absolutely false. There is no preliminary deal, no intermediate deal and no final deal for Miguel's next fight. I don't know from where that came from. I have no clue."

Peñagarícano said he has talked to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum about the possibility of a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch but they have not gotten into any serious detail, much less actually come to an agreement.

"Other than knowing directly from (Top Rank's) Todd (duBoef) and Bob that if a deal between Pacquiao and Mayweather isn't made that they would want to sit down, we have not talked about it," Peñagarícano said. "Other than generalities we have not discussed the terms of a fight. We know that if the big fight (Pacquiao-Mayweather) does not happen that Top Rank will definitely consider as probably the best option Miguel as Pacquiao's next fight."

In the event Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is not made, Arum is planning Pacquiao's next fight for June 9 in Las Vegas.

"If that is what is going to happen date-wise there is no problem for us if we make a deal," Peñagarícano said.

All along, the four candidates Arum had named as possible Pacquiao opponents -- besides Mayweather -- were Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez (for a fourth fight) or matches with junior welterweight titleholders Timothy Bradley Jr. or Lamont Peterson.

Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) lost his welterweight title to Pacquiao via 12th-round knockout in an all-action fight in November 2009. Since then, Cotto has won three fights in a row.
He moved up in weight and stopped Yuri Foreman in the ninth round to win a 154-pound belt in June 2010.

Cotto has defended the title twice, a 12th-round knockout of former titlist Ricardo Mayorga in March and December's 10th-round knockout of Antonio Margarito to exact revenge in their rancor-filled grudge match.

Cotto's promotional agreement with Top Rank expired after the Margarito fight but Peñagarícano said Cotto would still work with the company under the right circumstances.

"There is no contractual relationship anymore with Top Rank, but we have a very good relationship with them," he said. "But all doors are open for Miguel. If the big fight doesn't happen, Pacquiao-Mayweather, it is obvious Mayweather would want to find an opponent, too, and Miguel Cotto would be on that list. So that door is certainly open, too."

Behind Pacquiao and Mayweather, Puerto Rico's Cotto, a three-division titleholder, is the third biggest pay-per-view attraction in boxing, which would make him an attractive opponent for Pacquiao or Mayweather if they do not fight each other.

"Floyd's handlers have to consider that if the big fight doesn't happen they have to consider the options, and Miguel would be an option," Peñagarícano said. "But right now, everything is generalities. But we know things will be moving quickly."

Top Rank and Pacquiao are expected to name an opponent in the next week or so. Mayweather plans to fight in Las Vegas on May 5, a date Pacquiao and Top Rank have refused to entertain.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.