Martinez now deserves the Best and Cotto Needs redemption Against Margarito • Latino Sports


Martinez now deserves the Best and Cotto Needs redemption Against Margarito



NEW YORK – Sergio Martinez should be secured a spot as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and Miguel Cotto his redemption fight with Antonio Margarito. Then, maybe, if the two get their way fight fans can see a collision course with Cotto and Martinez.

This much is certain after the results of Saturday night. Fight fans got a treat either way, and despite a conflict of two championships contested on the same night there are some interesting situations that will warrant attention. And it does surround Martinez and Cotto.

Martinez successfully defended his WBC “emeritus” middleweight title with a eighth round TKO over the previous undefeated WBO Junior Middleweight champion Sergiy Dzinziruk  at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. It was a commanding win and the message was sent. Martinez is the legitimate middleweight champion and deserves to fight the best.

“Mayweather, Cotto,” I want the best were the comments from Martinez at his post- fight press conference. And on the other side of the country, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Cotto paid minimal attention to Margarito who crashed the party. All along, as people in the Cotto camp have been saying, his next target was to get a redemption fight with Margarito if indeed he prevailed against Ricardo Mayorga.

Bob Arum still has a commodity with Cotto, and Lou DiBella has possibly the best pound-for-pound fighter with Martinez. And with the proposed Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight still in the balance, both DiBella and Arum have to look ahead.  But first, DiBella has to convince Arum that his fighter and Cotto are on the agenda.

“That’s not up to me, it’s up to Arum,” said DiBella.  “Maybe Cotto is man enough to ask Bob Arum to make the fight,” he said. In the meantime, a source at Top Rank on Monday, when asked to comment on DiBella’s remarks, said “We are looking at Cotto and Margarito for a date in July either in New Jersey or Vegas.” No surprise there as everything went to plan for another Cotto-Margarito fight.

Cotto has always put that devastating loss to Margarito in the past. At least that was what he has stated, but those close to him also comment that the redemption fight meant more than the welterweight championship he retained Saturday evening with a 12th round stoppage over Margarito.

But the stage has been set for the inevitable reunion. Mayorga was gone and forgotten, and Margarito, also an Arum promoted fighter entered the room. As enticing as an immediate Cotto-Martinez fight is, so is Cotto and Margarito exchanging punches again.

Boxing fans are thrilled with return bouts that have theatre and interest and this one offers redemption for Cotto, and then maybe one more big fight with Martinez remains.  “I came to enjoy the fight, but if the opportunity comes up to fight Cotto that’s what I’m here for,” commented Margarito making noise about a challenge.

The end came at 1:43 of the eighth round for Martinez when referee Arthur Mercante Jr. put a stop to the contest. Martinez put Dzinzirul down a third time in the round, one of five knockdowns he had in the fight, proving more that the middleweight can punch with authority. 

There was no more talk about a lucky first round punch that Martinez threw which knocked out Paul Williams in November. Being the best is an obsession for Martinez, so is the desire to get Cotto in the ring. “I want the best rivalries in front of me.” said Martinez.

But the rivalry now that seems to be more realistic is Cotto facing Margarito. And for Martinez, maybe the inevitable comes sooner. A fight against Pacquiao to determine once and for all who is indeed the best pound-for-pound fighter unless Shane Mosley spoils that plan in Vegas on May 7th.

ORTIZ TO TAKE ON BERTO:  Undefeated Super Welterweight champion Andre Berto defends his title against Victor Ortiz at Foxwoods to be televised on HBO April 16th.  But there is more to this fight than what is at stake. There is now a real promotional feud going on in the sport and it could get ugly.

Berto against Ortiz is a compelling and interesting fight that could lead Berto to a showdown with Cotto.  DiBella called out Arum again on Wednesday when the fight was announced in New York City.  “It seems Arum is putting his fighters against each other,” citing reference to Cotto possibly facing Antonio Margarito again in July.  Margarito is also promoted by Arum.

But the real story is how Ortiz, promoted by Arum rival “Golden Boy” and Oscar de La Hoya, Lou DiBella, and HBO are suddenly trying to showcase Arum. The three have formed this alliance, especially HBO, after Arum took his two champions Manny Pacquiao and Cotto away from HBO Pay-Per-View to Showtime and their Pay-Per-View telecasts.

Sources say Arum and Don King worked well together, after a five year hiatus from each other with the Cotto-Mayorga fight that had a good buy rate.  Added to this possible promotional feud is King being in the company with Floyd Mayweather Jr, last week in Las Vegas.

That is leading to speculation, and from all reports, that King and Arum will pull off the highly anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Mayweather fight that was canned last year when Mayweather used “Golden Boy” CEO Richard Shaffer as a negotiator to put the fight together,

And that is when the animosity hit a pinnacle because Shaffer insisted Mayweather wanted Pacquiao to undergo Olympic type drug testing before and after the fight. Arum wanted the fight to take place, Pacquiao was resisting, and it went back and forth before Arum pulled the plug.

But there is more. Because on Wednesday, de La Hoya announced that his company has acquired the contract of bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire. The problem, Donaire is under contract with Arum and Top Rank.  Arum said late Wednesday he will take this latest issue with de La Hoya and “Golden Boy” to litigation.

So the fight may be headed to the court room and not in the ring. Stay tuned because this is shaping up to be an interesting boxing season, more so because some of the promine
nt promoters in the sport are trading punches out of the ring.

e-mail Rich Mancuso:  [email protected]





e-mail Rich Mancuso:  [email protected]  







About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.