Former four-division champion and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto still remains one of boxing’s biggest names even though he hasn’t stepped foot in a boxing ring in nearly two years. Cotto is hoping to call an end to his legendary career by the end of 2017, having to hopefully fight two or three more times before calling it a career, but Cotto’s grand finale has misfired from the start and struggling to correct itself.
Originally, Cotto was scheduled to face James Kirkland on February 25th in a fight that was heavily derided by fans and media alike from the onset. Kirkland, like Cotto, has been inactive for nearly two years and was seen as a damaged goods opponent for Cotto to bounce back against. Last month, Kirkland was injured during training camp and the fight was off, leaving Cotto without a dance partner until April or June.
While the 36-year-old, past his prime and inactive former champion should have to be batting away potential foes with a stick, Cotto is not exactly looking to go out in a blaze of glory to end his career. In a sense, Cotto seems to be repeating history as he spent most of 2016 trying to get in the ring with a soft touch before moving forward with his master plan: A final showdown with the semi-retired Juan Manuel Marquez.
Cotto/Marquez fell apart multiple times last year with each fighter struggling to come to terms with the other. Not surprisingly, Cotto’s unwillingness to meet Marquez at Welterweight killed the fight as Cotto seems insistent on taking the fight at 150 pounds. All the while, Cotto saw other fights fall apart due to disinterest from HBO and opponents alike.
With Kirkland (thankfully) out of the fold, Cotto is once again trying to find a soft touch for his soft landing, but talks have once against renewed with Marquez. Marquez, who is in his early 40s and has had nagging injuries since his last fight over two years ago, has gone on the record saying that he would only come back for a fight with Cotto and has had conversations with Top Rank about the possibility of making the fight happen.
Whether or not Cotto and Marquez are willing to forgo their original hopes of separate tune-ups ahead of a clash between the remnants of the last era is something that might have to happen in order for their fight to take place.
Otherwise, Cotto and Marquez will continue to sit on the sidelines until the novelty of their fight passes them by and retirement finds them one way or another.