Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez will become the latest in a growing trend of ring legends appearing on the boxing exhibition circuit.
Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that the pair of former four-division titlists are due to meet in an exhibition bout on June 12 from a location to be determined. Details on the event have yet to be confirmed other than that an announcement from both parties is expected in the coming days.
News of the development was first reported by El Nuevo Dia. The revelation comes days after the recently announced comeback plans of Hall of Fame former six-division titlist Oscar de la Hoya, who—fittingly—promoted both boxers at separate points in their respective careers.
Cotto (41-6, 33KOs) has not fought since a 12-round points loss to Sadam Ali in Dec. 2017, conceding his WBO junior middleweight title in the process. The 40-year-old boxer from Caguas, Puerto Rico—who won titles at junior welterweight, welterweight (twice), junior middleweight (twice) and middleweight (lineal)—was eligible to appear on the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) voting ballot for the first time last year, though failing to generate enough votes to gain enshrinement.
In his time away from the ring, Cotto and his team have further advanced Promociones Miguel Cotto as the leading promotional outfit in Puerto Rico. The company is fresh off of presenting three shows on NBC Sports Network’s Ring City USA series, boasting several notable prospects and championship-level talent.
A full-throttle comeback was never really in store for Cotto, though he is on board with participating on this level.
Marquez (56-7-1, 40KOs) also came up short in his final major title fight, although ending his legendary career on a high note. The former featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight titlist last appeared in the ring in a 12-round decision win over Mike Alvarado in May 2014. The now 47-year-old from Mexico City made his way to the IBHOF ballot in 2019, as he was voted in during his first year of eligibility.
COVID restrictions have delayed his official enshrinement, as Marquez will be part of a massive three-year group to be formally inducted in June 2022.
Marquez served as high among the best boxers in the world for years, even well into the twilight of his incredible career. The supremely talented boxer-puncher remains best remembered for his four-fight set with fellow ring legend Manny Pacquiao, including his iconic 6th round knockout in their final meeting in Dec. 2012 which remains one of the best fights of the 21st century.
Having claimed belts in four weight divisions, Marquez came up just short in a bid to win the welterweight crown following a 12-round loss to Timothy Bradley in Oct. 2013. The setback came 10 months after finally getting the best of Pacquiao after having suffered two losses and a draw amidst a series where many argue he could just as easily be no worse than 3-1 in their four fights taking place in three separate weight divisions.
Cotto made history for Puerto Rico, becoming the island’s only-ever male boxer to win titles in four weight divisions. That feat was accomplished in June 2014, scoring a 10th round stoppage of Sergio Martinez to win the lineal middleweight championship.
Cotto and Marquez join de la Hoya on a lengthy list of past greats who have either returned to the ring within the past year or plan to do so in the months ahead. Mike Tyson and Roy Jones popularized the trend with their high-profile Pay-Per-View exhibition last November, landing in the Top 10 of best-selling PPV events in combat sports history.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox