WBC 160lb champion Cotto had been locked in talks for a battle with Mexican superstar Canelo on May 2nd of this year, although failed to meet an agreement deadline set by De La Hoya to put his belt on the line for the first time.
Whispers had already begun that Cotto is a back-up for Floyd Mayweather’s next bout hence the delay in signing a contract to face Canelo, and that the Puerto Rican would step in for a rematch with the pound for pound king if the Manny Pacquiao fight doesn’t happen.
It will be a massive disappointment to all in boxing that the mouth-watering Cotto-Canelo clash is now off the table, but to lose Mayweather-Pacquiao as well would be another hammer blow to those who love and follow the sport. If Mayweather chooses not to put pen to paper and meet Pacquaio in May, and the Cotto fight then comes to the fore, that could then give Briton Amir Khan a lifeline in his bid to seal a huge PPV offering on the back of impressive performances at 147.
A fight with former training partner Pacquiao may just be enough to stave off another outpouring of disappointment if a bout with Mayweather once again falls apart, whilst Canelo himself may fancy his chances of landing the ‘Pacman’ for himself.
You’d have to push Khan as the favourite though due to Pacquiao’s post-Chris Algieri fight announcement that he could move back down to 140lbs for his next outing, meaning moving up to 154 for an encounter with Canelo is unlikely.
As it stands, hope still remains that Mayweather will decide that Pacquiao is the way forward for all concerned before Top Rank promoter Bob Arum finally loses patience and pulls the plug on the eagerly-anticipated super-fight.