To say that Miguel Cotto has had a tough time getting back into the ring would be a severe understatement.
For the better part of the past two years, Cotto has fallen well short of making his ring return following his loss to Saul Alvarez. While most of the fault is his own with his exorbitantly high demands, particularly his extremely high guarantee with Roc Nation Sports in the neighborhood of $18 million per fight, it is shocking that the closest Cotto has gotten back in the ring was an aborted bout with the damaged James Kirkland that fell apart last February.
Cotto is not wasting any time and actively pursuing an opponent for a June date and of all people to pick for his comeback fight, Cotto is once again trying to pursue a bout with former Lightweight champion Brandon Rios. Rios was once considered for a Cotto opponent sometime last year, but neither Rios nor HBO Boxing wanted to go ahead with the bout proposed at a catchweight between 147 and 154 pounds.
Rios was also pursuing a comeback of his own against hated rival Victor Ortiz but the talks between the two fell apart leaving Rios open for a new fight. While Rios hasn’t competed above the Welterweight limit, or competed at all for that matter following a stoppage loss to Timothy Bradley in 2015, it is left to be seen if Rios is more willing now to face off against Cotto than he once was.
Their bout would have an interesting dynamic should it come to pass. Rios’ close relationship with Cotto’s hated rival Antonio Margarito ensures a revenge-by-proxy subplot going into the fight while Cotto would have to show he still has what it takes to compete at a high level as he looks to exit the sport.
Of course, HBO needs to sign off on the fight and that’s easier said than done. A potential Plan B for Cotto seems to be an unknown, unheralded Yuki Nonanka who is ranked #8 by the WBO at Junior Middleweight in a fight that could instill him as a mandatory contender for Alvarez. With the way things have gone for Cotto, believe it when you see it.