20/20 Hindsight: Does Narrow Cotto Win Plus Mayweather Injury = Pacquiao-Cotto?

I've said it before, but it bears repeating after what went down this weekend: boxing is a funny sport sometimes.

Miguel Cotto doesn't look great, but he guts out a split decision against a very game Joshua Clottey. Floyd Mayweather hurts himself training and has to push back his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, possibly until September.

And the end result is Cotto getting the biggest fight and payday of his career against pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao this fall?

Michael Marley says yes (big ups to Tim Starks at The Queensberry Rules for that one). And whether he's correct or not, the pieces really did fall into place.

Though the boxing world is waiting for Pacquiao-Mayweather, that's obviously out until 2010 - unless Floyd simply tells JMM to take a hike, but that doesn't seem likely.

A decisive win by Cotto may have made him the most likely candidate to face Pac-Man next. But his squeaker probably helped him even more.

As Max Kellerman stated during the post-fight on HBO, it's Cotto's mix of courage and vulnerability that make him so compelling. In four of his last six fights (sorry Michael Jennings and Alfonso Gomez), it's almost like he won or lost in the most difficult way possible.

He came out on top against a quicker, more accurate foe on Saturday, overcoming a nasty cut over his left eye in the process. Yet it's not hard to imagine Pacquiao sitting out there thinking to himself, "Yeah, I can beat this guy."

Other boxers probably think so too. Andre Berto hit up his Twitter feed watching the replay and said he'd beat Cotto to the punch every time.

Good enough to win titles and amass lots of fans, but not quite formidable enough to scare people into ducking him. That's the package that Cotto brings to the table, and it's got him in line for a big prize.

There will be weight and money issues to be worked out, for sure. The location of the fight will also be intriguing, as Manny is pretty much a Las Vegas exclusive at this point, while Cotto draws his followers from the East Coast.

You have to think that having Bob Arum promote both men will help smooth some of those bumps out, and fans will travel to see what is the biggest fight that can be made next to Manny-Floyd.

Yeah, boxing is funny, and Cotto may be laughing all the way to the bank come November.

Posted by The Franchise

No comments: