Cotto v Brook off the summer menu as both seek alternative foes

Esther Lin / Chris Farina

Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto will not be facing IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on June 18 and looks set to delay his return until the fall.

The four-weight world title holder, who lost the WBC middleweight crown to Canelo Alvarez at the back end of 2015, had been linked to a massive clash at 154 pounds opposite Brook after a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez broke down. That fight has been put on the backburner though as Cotto contemplates his next outing.

Reports that Brook turned down an offer from Cotto’s team have been denied by the Briton’s promoter Eddie Hearn as ‘The Special One’ eyes a massive test on the back of three weak title defenses.

The likes of Jessie Vargas, Robert Guerrero, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Timothy Bradley and Danny Garcia are all thought to be good enough challenges for Brook as time ticks away on a possible summer contest.

On the other hand, Cotto could well await the winner of the IBF clash between Jermall Charlo and Austin Trout in a bid to capture yet another version of the world title. A fight with WBA ‘super’ champion Erislandy Lara also remains a possibility for ‘Junito’ later this year.

Another British fighter, Liam Smith is also out of the reckoning as the Merseysider prepares for a homecoming at the Echo Arena as Cotto prepares for what is an unwelcomed and lengthy gap between fights at the twilight stage of his career.