By Eric Thomas: The June 5th bout between former WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO’s) and the current World Boxing Association junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) is reportedly doing well in terms of ticket sales for the bout which will be taking place at Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, New York. According to Philboxing.com, 30,000 tickets have already been sold and Top Rank, who promotes both Cotto and Foreman, is going to have 10,000 more tickets put on sale so that Cotto and Foreman fans can purchase them.
This is somewhat surprising, because Cotto is coming off a 12th round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao and has been stopped in two out of his last four fights. Foreman, 29, isn’t that popular of a fighter. However, both Cotto and Foreman have a strong following in the New York area and this could help explain the interest in this fight. Cotto can’t afford to get beaten again. He needs this win to stay among the elite in the division and also keep him in line for a possible 2nd fight against Manny Pacquiao.
It’s not exactly an appealing thought to see Cotto fight Pacquiao again, since the first fight was completely one-sided with Pacquiao battering Cotto all night long. But there are not many other options for Arum if he’s unable to match Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Arum wants to put Pacquiao in with one of his own Top Rank fighters, but unfortunately he doesn’t have any other notable stars at or near the welterweight division. So it could end up being Cotto that’s put in with Pacquiao again for what could be the final fight of Pacquiao’s career.
Cotto has struggled of late, losing to Antonio Margarito, taking enormous punishment in barely beating Joshua Clottey, and then getting beaten up and stopped by Pacquiao last year. It was hoped that Cotto would go after some of the other top welterweights in order to get some wins under his belt. However, he’s moving up in weight to the junior middleweight division for this one bout to try and take Foreman’s WBA title and thus have the title as bait for Pacquiao to go after his 8th world title.
Boxing fans would likely care little about this title, but this would give a second Cotto-Pacquiao bout a small selling point. Foreman, 29, dominated then WBA junior middleweight champion Daniel Santos last November, beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision to take his title. That was by far the best win of Foreman’s career. A lot of boxing fans are picking Cotto to beat Foreman because of his better power and superior offense. However, Cotto is a small welterweight and will be giving away a lot of size and reach to Foreman and could have problems with his natural strength and better movement.
Foreman isn’t likely to fold easily like some of Cotto’s opponents have and just by staying in the fight, Foreman is going to have an excellent chance of cutting up Cotto and battering him. Another loss for Cotto could spell the end of his career. He really can’t afford to get beaten again at this point and with Pacquiao retiring, there will be one less star fighter for him to fight. Arum could potentially match Cotto with Mayweather in the future, but that would require Cotto to be able to beat some fighters to redeem himself after a loss to Foreman. It’s hard to see Mayweather wanting to fight Cotto if he gets drilled to pieces again next week.