About a week ago, news circulated around the social media-sphere that retired former champions Miguel Cotto (41-6) and Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1) were throwing their hats back into prize fighting.
Many took this as two retired fighters, latching onto the ever-growing trend of these “novelty” fights that started again in 2020 with Mike Tyson facing Roy Jones.
If you were to mention Cotto vs Marquez to anyone early last year, they would have probably laughed. However, these days, those type of talks are happening daily. These retired fighters doing exhibitions are happening more and more. Some may not like it but for the fighters involved, they see the bag of money that accompanies such events.
Last year, while on lockdown, everyone was burning up the Netflix, Hulu, etc as there was literally nothing else to do. With that came the increased love for nostalgic movies and TV series. We saw shows like Kobra Kai post big numbers while in the video game world, Mortal Kombat placed 80s action stars like John Rambo and the Terminator as playable characters.
I mentioned all of this because we are in a weird time where there is a real appetite for nostalgia and fighters are trying to cash in.
I don’t blame them, it’s not as if boxing has a pension plan.
These fighters that were larger than life in the ring at times find themselves with limited revenue streams so these events help with that.
That doesn’t apply here since Miguel has Cotto Promotions while Marquez is not only an accountant but has a job over at ESPN. For these two men, it’s cashing in on the current trend but also finishing up something that never saw the light of day.
In between 2016 and 2017, (Click HERE for Woodsy's story in 2016) there were rumors flying around that the two were in heavy negotiations for a fight. At this time, both men were past their physical primes, but for the purists, it was their Mayweather vs Pacquiao, the idea of it and not the actual fight that played out. The main sticking point that kept getting leaked out to the media was the catch weight. Cotto wanted it near 150 while Marquez asked for it to be closer to 147. The talks ended up dying and we never got to see those two men in the ring.
Now we are currently sitting just over two months away and the curiosity is starting to build. The event is labeled as “Unfinished Business” and for them, it really is. The question is, are the fans going to tune into this one and support yet another exhibition?
When the June 12th date was announced, that immediately signaled to me that this would be an event that is going to receive a ton of attention. June 12th falls on the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend in NYC. For years, Miguel Cotto filled the Madison Square Garden with his fans on that weekend. Since then, no other Puerto Rican fighter has been able to grab the torch and run with it on that weekend.
There are rumors it may take place in Florida but if there is anyway this can land in NY, it will be one hot ticket.
There isn't a clear promoter for the event. Maybe the idea is to get someone to latch on soon once the buzz picks up. If I am a company like Triller, this is a prime opportunity to make an event in NY. It can showcase some Latin artists and make it the first real major event in the city since the start of the pandemic.
I know, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. However, sometimes you have to think big, even when those ideas may not be feasible at the moment.
The fight itself would show more than what Tyson and Jones did back in November. Miguel Cotto has remained in excellent shape and so has Juan Manuel Marquez. These guys didn’t allow retirement life to get the best of them. They are also passionate, proud men who take boxing very seriously, so I anticipate them giving it their best. If you’re wondering how serious, well, look no further as both men have reached out to their legendary trainers.
Cotto will be joining Freddie Roach soon while Marquez is with Nacho Beristain. The two Hall of Fame coaches had this to say leading up to the fight in June.
There is no question that this fight will attract the mainstream Latin media. The question is whether boxing media and purists will get behind the event as it gets closer? Due to these two polarizing figures being involved, I think this fight does really well.
Come June 12th, are you going to be tuned into Miguel Cotto vs Juan Manuel Marquez? Will the curiosity bug bite you and push you towards the select button on your remote? Only time will tell but if you ask me, more will be tuning in than what you would expect.