Middleweight division champion Miguel Cotto is delaying his return to the ring until 2015 due to scheduling conflicts with his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Cotto, who stopped former champion Sergio Martinez in the 10th round in a lopsided June 7 victory to win the belt, was expected to fight on December 13 at Madison Square Garden.
However, the decision to push back the fight came down to logistics with his trainer’s schedule. Roach is preparing his other marquee fighter, Manny Pacquiao, for his Nov. 22 bout against Chris Algieri in Macau, China. Pacquiao’s training camp will take place in the Philippines instead of in Los Angeles, where Roach normally trains his fighters.
Roach and Cotto discussed the possibility of having camp in the Philippines, but Cotto ultimately opted against that idea and will instead fight next year.
“We were trying to coordinate having [Roach] with him at all times during his camp for the planned December fight, but at the end, it was not possible due to his prior commitments with various fighters that will train in Asia during a good part of that period,” Gaby Penagaricano, Cotto’s adviser, told ESPN.com. “We looked at various scenarios, but at the end, Miguel decided to wait until next year. He has no problem at all not fighting this year and is very happy with his decision.”
Cotto is now expected to return to the canvas in February or March with no official date set. Madison Square Garden is reportedly still the preferred location for the fight, but Cotto’s camp will need to check with the Garden for available dates.
Cotto took to Twitter to confirm his decision to push back the fight:
“Fans I wanted to share with you all that my return to the ring will be in early 2015!!. Thank you for the amazing support. #WarCotto”
The decision to fight next year doesn’t have much of an impact on a potential opponent as Cotto’s camp still hasn’t indicated who he will square off against next.
The mega showdown that everyone is yearning for is against Mexican junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez is slated to fight later this year, but has shown a willingness to have fights just a few months apart.
While it’s not likely, there is hope that this fight could happen in 2015.
For a list of potential suitors for Cotto’s next fight, check out this list.