What’s Next For 147s

HBO’s triple-header on Saturday showcased top welterweight action in what has become boxings most dynamic division. The show ended the career of “the human highlight reel” Arturo Gatti, sent Walter Matthysse back to Argentina with a swollen jaw and launched Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron to top-contender status. Alfonso Gomez proved he was worthy of some second looks after the recent plunge from The Contender fighters and maybe Antonio Margarito will finally get the big money fight that has eluded him as he is now seen as beatable. The card entertained, but left bigger questions at it’s dramatic finish.  Who are these guys going to fight next? The name on most fighters minds after their bouts was Miguel Cotto, while some eluded to a future fight with Floyd Mayweather.  Gomez wants Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gatti wants to be a spectator.  Interestingly enough, Cintron, who won before the Williams-Margarito fight took place, mentioned neither man as a prospective opponent, nor did Ricky Hatton’s name come out of anyones mouth. If Cotto is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, that means he is perceived as the most beatable fighter.  Cintron has good reason to feel that way.  His power is at least equivalent if not superior to Ricardo Torres.  You may remember Torres as the unknown Columbian that rocked Cotto and sent him to the canvas in their September 2005 slugfest. Cotto is no Glass Joe, but if a fighter like Torres can hurt him, a more pedigreed type like Cintron should be able to turn his lights out if Cotto doesn’t keep his defense in mind. Williams selection of Cotto makes fight sense as well.  Taking a six-inch height advantage into a boxing match is a big advantage, especially when your opponent is known for his physicality and power like Cotto is. A Williams-Cotto bout would probably be the first time in Miguel’s career that his physical imposition would not serve him.  His strength would not mean all that much if he could not get inside to use it. While Mayweather may not be ready to take on one of these youngsters, a fight with Hatton does seem like a possibility.  Boxrec.com already has it scheduled for November 10, though no other print or online media outlet has echoed that. If Hatton does not fight Mayweather, he could serve as a prospective opponent for Margarito, Williams or Cintron.  The latter two, who left the Brit unmentioned in their post-fight dialogue, may fear flying or just flat out do not want to take on “The Hitman” in Manchester, England. Margarito, who may not have a choice given his recent defeat, would probably not mind crossing the pond for a shot at the biggest fight of his career, the biggest money of his career, and a title. But for now, my money is on Cotto-Cintron in Puerto Rico, Mayweather-Hatton in Las Vegas, Gomez-Chavez Jr. and Williams- best available, as the line does not form to the left for guys that want to fight him. “Sugar” Shane Mosley’s name was also dropped by Cintron, but at age 35, Mosley will probably only be searching for a big money fight.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.