Friday, December 9, 2011

Boxing Notebook: Cotto Rumors Continue; Super 6 Final; and More

By Rich Mancuso

Miguel Cotto returned home to Cagusas Puerto Rico and received accolades from his good friend and Mayor of the small town. The proclamation epitomized his courage, determination, and significance of his title defense, over Antonio Margarito this past Saturday in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

As Cotto continues to overcome an ending of a successful closing to the Margarito chapter, the rumors continue about his future. There is the speculation of not renewing a contract with Bob Arum and Top Rank, and going on his own towards promoting an upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The speculation about Cotto and Mayweather began at ringside and continued hours after his commanding win against Margarito. Rumors and reports were rampant with boxing media assembled in New York, and continued with intensity in Puerto Rico days before Cotto came home.

Top Rank continues this news blackout regarding any post fight news about Cotto. The company is focusing on end of the year fights, and plans for 2012 as it pertains to their primary champion, Manny Pacquiao. Arum, who celebrated his 80th birthday this week was taking a few days off and said, “It gets bigger and bigger. We are planning big shows.”

Are those shows in the Top Rank plans for Cotto? They certainly will be for Pacquiao in either March or April. Top Rank is coming off two successful HBO Pay-Per-View events with Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in November, and Cotto this past Saturday.

The Pacquiao ending was controversial and the Cotto conclusion was his redemption, though the WBA Junior Middleweight champion appeared to be at ease with Arum and Top Rank. In the meantime there continues to be talk that Cotto will oppose Floyd Mayweather Jr. on that well announced May 5th date. And the talk is that Arum is ready to propose a March or April 2011 date for a fourth fight with Pacquiao and Marquez.

Time will tell. In the meantime, Cotto is enjoying redemption, and considers the second fight win over Margarito as a highlight of his three-time title reign, Mayweather is not talking, and the Arum war of words about his former champion are on hiatus.

It has been almost two years of a journey that ShowTime envisioned as being a good innovation that would determine who was superior at 168. But the Super Six Super Middleweight Classic has been anything of spectacular that has been beset with most of the original six being pulled because of injury, or the favorites eliminated early.

ShowTime, though, may have been fortunate because two of the elite Carl Froch, and Andre Ward meet for the silver cup and unification of their titles a week from Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Ward, the WBA champion and last USA Olympic Boxing champion, and Froch, the WBC champion could be a lasting and great fight of 2011.

They had to wait because of an injury to Ward. It enraged Froch, who was prepared for battle two months ago. Will ShowTime discontinue this classic, or have we seen this last major venture of their departed head of boxing, Ken Hirschman who begins his new title as head of HBO Boxing on January 9th?

Ratings for the Classic have been respectable, though there were a few dates conflicting with HBO boxing events. That may have took some steam away from what first appeared to be a good concept, one that Hirschman sold to a conclave of promoters that were behind the classic because of the exposure and interest it provide their fighters.

Along the way, Jermaine Taylor had to step aside, and promoter Lou DiBella came up with the veteran Glen Johnson who would lose to Froch back in their semi-final final bout In June. A unanimous decision win over Arthur Abraham back in May got Ward to the final.

“It actually worked in my favor,” said Froch about the final that was pulled back. His trainer, Bop McCraken, was training fighters with the Britain Olympic Boxing team and Froch was headed to New York for final preparations without him. Ward got injured and it enabled Froch to get additional rest and for McCraken to regroup with his champion.

But Froch admits it was a disappointment. He anticipated getting the fight over and done, and did not want his many fans disappointed, even the contingent that were planning a trip to New York and Atlantic City. Those fans will be back next week, so will Froch who arrives in New York Monday for final week preparations and a meeting with the media…

The unfortunate aspect of Pawel Wolak announcing his retirement
this week is, he is one of the good guys of the sport. Last Saturday he lost a return bout to Delvin Rodriquez via unanimous decision on the Cotto-Margarito undercard at the Garden. His first fight with Rodriquez, on ESPN in April, is considered a Fight of The Year candidate…

Kidney stones are the latest culprit with the heavyweight division, a reason why WBA/IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko had to with drawl from his title defense next week against Jean-Marc Mormeck. Oh, don’t worry because this won’t be one of the highlight fights of 2012, neither was it going to be a good ending fight in 2011….

Rich Mancuso can be heard on “Keep it in the Ring” Every Sunday from 6-8 on

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