When a boxer of a certain age has been out of action long enough, you start to assume he is retired. Then again, boxers almost never walk away while they still think they can compete at a high level and draw a big crowd.
So nobody should be surprised that Miguel Cotto is plotting a comeback in February 2017, after taking off all of 2016. In June 2014, he savaged Sergio Martinez, to capture the lineal middleweight crown. He breezed by former champion Daniel Geale in June 2015. I thought he lost cleanly to Canelo Alvarez when they faced off in November 2015, but he did much better than I expected him to do against the much bigger and younger opponent. It is unfortunate that Cotto petulantly insisted that he had won the fight–he most certainly did not. But it was a competitive bout.
Now 36, he is not out of line to believe he can still compete at the world-class level. It is only natural he should covet a rematch with Canelo.
And Cotto remains the biggest active Puerto Rican boxing star in the sport. That makes him a major box office draw by default. In the history of boxing, no rivalry has been better than Mexico vs. Puerto Rico. And few Mexican-Puerto Rican matchups have been bigger than the first clash between Alvarez and Cotto.
The rematch could be nearly as big. I have seen plenty of Cotto fans arguing online that he deserved to win. It is an insult to reality to insist such a thing, but boxing fans are nothing if not passionate.
Cotto is a well-rounded fighter. He can apply pressure and is a skilled counter puncher. It will not be hard for him to locate a name opponent for early in 2017 who he is capable of knocking out with relative ease.
Once that happens, the drums will start beating for Alvarez-Cotto II. The larger majority of fans would prefer to see Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin. But Golden Boy has shown little interest in that. Cotto will provide them an ideal Option B.