Ricardo Mayorga Could Challenge Miguel Cotto
Former world champion Ricardo Mayorga of Managua, Nicaragua, has emerged as a potential challenger to WBA junior middleweight (154) titlist Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico on March 12, this, along with New Jersey's Pawel Wolak, and, unbeaten Armenian-born prospect Vanes Martirosyan, of Glendale, Calif., Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, told FanHouse on Monday.
Apparently out of the running are Rigoburto Alvarez (26-2, 19 knockouts), of Mexico, and, IBF junior middleweight king Cornelius Bundrage (30-4, 18 KOs), of Detroit.
"We're looking at three opponents now. Pawel Wolak, Vanes Martirosyan and Ricardo Mayorga," said Arum. "It will be whomever we can make the best deal with. The fight will be on pay per view in Las Vegas at the MGM."
The 30-year-old Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) is coming off of June's ninth-round knockout victory over Yuri Foreman (28-1, eight KOs), whom he dethroned for his current crown in the first-ever professional fight to be staged at the new Yankee Stadium in New York.
A former WBA and WBC welterweight (147 pounds) and WBC junior middleweight king, Mayorga (29-7-1, 22 KOs) scored Friday night's ninth-round knockout over Michael Walker (19-6-2, 12 KOs), of Chicago, the latter of whom lost for the fifth straight time, being stopped for the third consecutive fight.
"I showed tonight that I can still fight," said the 37-year-old Mayorga. "[Michael] Walker thought he had something for me, but the outcome was never in doubt. El Matador is back."
In his previous fight before Walker, Mayorga was stopped in the 12th round of a September, 2008 bout by five-time titlist and former three-division champ, Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs).
Mayorga dethroned previously unbeaten Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis by fifth-round knockout for the WBA welterweight crown in March of 2002, unified the belts with a January, 2003, third-round stoppage of previously unbeaten WBC king Vernon Forrest, and won his return bout with Forrest by majority decision in July of 2003.
Forrest entered his first bout against Mayorga at 35-0 with 26 knockouts, having scored consecutive decisions over the previously unbeaten Mosley, who had twice defeated Oscar De La Hoya.
Dethroned as champion following a majority decision loss to IBF king Cory Spinks in December of 2003, Mayorga rose to middleweight and eventually was stopped in the eighth round by Felix Trinidad in October of 2004 prior to earning the WBC's vacant junior middleweight belt with an August, 2005, unanimous decision over Michele Piccirillo
In succession, Mayorga then lost his belt by eighth-round knockout to De La Hoya in May of 2006, decisioned former world titlist Fernando Vargas in November of 2007, and lost to Mosley.
The 29-year-old Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs) is coming off of a Dec. 4, seventh-round stoppage of Jose Pinzon (18-2-1, 12 KOs), and the 24-year-old Martirosyan (28-0, 17 KOs) is coming off of June's unanimous 10-round decision over southpaw Joe Green (22-1, 14 KOs) that took place on the Cotto-Foreman under card at the Yankee Stadium.
The 32-year-old Alvarez has won three straight, two of them by knockout, since, himself, being stopped in the ninth round of January's loss to Marco Antonio Rubio.
The 37-year-old Bundrage dethroned Spinks (37-6, 11 KOs) by fifth-round knockout in August, but apparently was ruled out due to the fact that Manny Steward, Cotto's trainer, is also Bundridge's manager.