Miguel Cotto will return soon after almost two years out of the ring, but if all goes well, there are much bigger plans in store.
The future hall of famer meets Yoshihiro Kamegai for a vacant junior middleweight title on August 26. If Cotto emerges victorious as expected, and without any injuries, the plan is for the four-division titleholder to fight on December 2 on HBO in New York, a source told RingTV.com.
One possibility: a middleweight clash against feared puncher David Lemieux on HBO.
Cotto wrested THE RING’s 160-pound championship from Sergio Martinez via stoppage in 2014, and then defended it with a TKO of Daniel Geale. The following year, Canelo Alvarez defeated Cotto via decision, and the Puerto Rican hasn’t been seen since.
A fight against Lemieux would pit one of the biggest names in boxing against one of its biggest punchers.
The Canadian is coming off a knockout-of-the-year candidate victory over Curtis Stevens on HBO in March, and then topped Marcos Reyes on the undercard of Canelo-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Lemieux (38-3, 33 knockouts) would certainly bring support from Montreal, which is about 350 miles from New York. Of course, Cotto already is a massive draw in the Big Apple, with its large contingent of Puerto Rican inhabitants.
Cotto (40-5, 33 knockouts) has competed in title fights 11 times in New York, mostly at Madison Square Garden, but also at Yankee Stadium. Some of his biggest victories came there, like his victories over Zab Judah, Martinez, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley.
At 36, Cotto said 2017 would be his final year in boxing. That was before his scheduled February bout with James Kirkland was cancelled, and before he reunited with Golden Boy Promotions (which also handles Lemieux).
But if this is it for Cotto, a fight against Lemieux would be one helluva sendoff.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger
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