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Cotto v. Marquez in NY?

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By Michael Woods

Freddie Roach hit NYC Thursday to bang the drums for the third Manny Pacquiao/Tim Bradley bout, and he told NYFIGHTS he’d like to come back for another bite of the Big Apple with his other marquee client, Miguel Cotto.

“I’m trying to get Amir Khan* for Cotto’s next fight, in June, at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center,” “Dedham” Freddie told me. “Or Juan Manuel Marquez, I think that would be a great fight. HBO is on board but Marquez might have a tune up fight first, wrecking my plan.”

Roach, who will hop from Jean Pascal’s corner in Montreal Jan 30, to start camp with Congressman Pacquiao in the Phillippines, said that Cotto advisor Gaby Penagaricano furnished a list of six possibles to him.

Me, Michael Woods, is on that list, Roach joked, as was BJ Saunders, Kell Brook and Liam Smith, three Brits.

I asked Penagaricano for some deets and he told me it is too early for that.

Cotto, Freddie said, has much left in the tank, and while he would like a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, he is warming to a Puerto Rico vs Mexico, legend vs legend matchup. “But Marquez wants a tune up first…and I think that’s probably a smart thing.”

My take: Yes and no. Marquez is 42, last fought in May 2014, and is now more prone to injury. A “tune up” can be a come-down, and could result in a shocker defeat which could bring the Mexican to the end of his fighting line. He might be better served by blowing off the rust shedder.

*=Khan just put out a statement in an attempt to clarify his take on a Khan vs. Pacquiao fight isn’t happening. Here it is:
BOLTON (22 January) – Amir Khan would like to address the recent comments given by Manny Pacquiao as to why a fight between them never transpired.

Importantly, Amir would like to make clear that he holds Manny as a fighter in the highest regard but his comments about “middle men” preventing the fight from happening are wholly inaccurate and false.

Amir Khan said: “I have read recent comments by Manny Pacquiao stating that the reason a fight between us never happened was because of ‘middle men’ in my team – this is totally inaccurate and false.

“The only people negotiating on my behalf, as with all my fights, were my father Shah, uncle Taz and lawyer Robert Davis. They dealt directly with Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum and adviser Michael Koncz.

“An initial meeting took place last September between Bob Arum and my uncle and lawyer in London. This was at the direct request of Bob Arum. The negotiations went well to the extent that a ‘Heads of Terms’ was signed and sent from my lawyer to Bob Arum.

“My team was told by Bob Arum that it was a choice between either Terence Crawford or myself and dates in April were being explored with the fight to take place in Las Vegas or Qatar.

“Since September of last year my team had been in direct contact with Pacquiao’s team, spoke with them and met them face-to-face, so to state that middle men prevented the fight from happening is not true at all.

“Rather, having seen comments from Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach saying that HBO were not interested in the fight – yet are seemingly happy to broadcast a third fight between Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley – makes clear the contradictions and the fact his team knew a fight between us would be a very dangerous one for him and best avoided.

“Freddie, who has trained us both, knows how our sparring sessions used to go and with me having filled out more now as a welterweight, getting bigger and stronger, makes a fight with Bradley – who Pacquiao in most opinions has beaten twice – a much easier option.

“I want to make the best fights for the fans and it was neither my team nor a lack of desire from my end which prevented a fight with Pacquiao from happening – that rests squarely on Team Pacquiao.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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