Miguel Cotto’s newfound desire to fight Manny Pacquiao again is the latest in a long line of questionable decisions made by people who took one too many hits to the head from the Filipino superstar.
A four-time world champion, Cotto has all of the accolades necessary to be deemed a respectable fighter by the masses. With only two losses, 28 wins by knockout and a record of being more than a one-weight titleholder -- of the four championships, three were in different divisions -- Cotto is clearly among the upper echelons of current boxers.
Despite this undeniable fact, however, the poor guy is developing a propensity for not knowing his limitations. Here is what Cotto’s trainer, Manny Steward, had to say regarding his fighter’s plans to avenge the second of only two career defeats against Pacquiao in the foreseeable future:
"Cotto's going to fight Margarito, then a rematch with Manny Pacquiao, or maybe a fight with Saul Alvarez," Steward told RingTV.com.
Theoretically, the logic behind planning to retire after fighting Pacquiao is clear. Everyone from Ricky Hatton to Oscar De La Hoya fought the Filipino champion pre-retirement, took their brutal hits en route to big paydays, and called it a career. That’s fine. But none of those guys had already been beaten senseless by Pacquiao prior to that. All of them went into the fight with the mindset that they could win, regardless of what anyone believed.
Cotto, on the flip side, knows fighting Pacquiao is a lost cause. The seed of doubt planted via that 12th round technical knockout that Cotto was on the losing end of back in 2009 did more than double the Puerto Rican’s career loss total, it showed him that he wasn’t in Pacquiao’s league. This wasn’t the Antonio Margarito situation where he was facing a cheat who one-upped him with loaded gloves, this was falling -- and falling handily -- to a better man.
Since that point, Pacquiao has seemingly only gotten faster and stronger. He’s not even close to being on the down slope of his career yet.
Anyone who wants to see a fight between Pacquiao a guy running away from him in the ring because he knows he has zero shot should look no further than that mess of bout between Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. Mosley may have gotten the last big payout that he wanted, but it came at a cost – his legacy in the eyes of the fans.
Cotto can play the “I just want to avenge my second loss and then retire” card all he wants, but boxing aficionados have seen this dance with Pacquiao before. We know better, now.
If Cotto thinks he can weasel his way into fans’ pockets by sustaining another beating from Pacquiao and then retiring to heal his wounds, he has another thing coming.