In what is anticipated to be the next big boxing megafight, middleweight champion Miguel Cotto will face Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez sometime later this year, most likely on Thanksgiving weekend or the Saturday before the November holiday, according to reports in the boxing press on Wednesday.
The Cotto vs. Alvarez megafight has been eagerly sought after by boxing fans for months. Reps for the Puerto Rican icon and his Mexican rival were deep in negotiations earlier this year for a fight that would have taken place on May 2 — putting the fight head-to-head against the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view which turned out to be the richest fight of all time.
But the Cotto vs. Alvarez talks suddenly ended in January, and at the time, speculation among some boxing experts was that Mayweather — who had not yet finalized negotiations with Pacquiao — would choose to fight Cotto on May 2 instead.
Mayweather already fought and defeated Miguel Cotto once, winning by unanimous decision in May of 2012. Canelo can also count himself among Mayweather’s vanquished opponents, losing a majority decision in September of 2013.
But now promoters representing the 34-year-old Cotto and the 24-year-old Alvarez have resumed negotiations, and according to Wednesday’s reports, the camps are considering either November 21 or November 28 as the date for the fight, which would be broadcast as an HBO Pay-Per-View event.
Locations in New York City, Las Vegas, and Texas are under consideration for the fight, though experts say that New York’s Madison Square Garden appears to be the frontrunner to stage the fight.
But another middleweight champion, the feared Kazakhstan-born knockout specialist Gennady Golovkin, may be waiting in the wings to fight the winner — even though Cotto has appeared extremely reluctant to risk becoming another victim in Golovkin’s knockout streak which currently stand at 20 straight KOs.
“Cotto looked amazing in his last bout and ‘Canelo’ looked really accurate in his,” said World Boxing Association President Mauricio Sulaiman this week. “It could be a great event, with Golovkin then fighting the winner next year.”
Sulaiman’s WBA recognizes Golovkin as its middleweight champion, while the rival World Boxing Council recognizes Cotto as its middleweight champion and Golovkin as “interim” champion.
But Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach said earlier this month that Cotto would not fight Golovkin because the Kazakh fighter has not yet built a fan base in the United States big enough to support a lucrative pay-per-view event.
Whether Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would be willing to fight Golovkin if he is able to defeat Miguel Cotto, however, is not yet known.
[Images: Mike Ehrmann/Josh Hedges/Getty Images]