Miguel Cotto plans to follow the lead of Juan Manuel Marquez into retirement by the end of 2017. The problem is that the Puerto Rican may opt to do it earlier since his last fight was supposed to be against “Dinamita.”

To recall, the camps of both Cotto and Marquez were negotiating for a fight last year. Both could not agree on the catch-weight, and the talks eventually bogged down. For Marquez, it may have very well been his final fight. He last fought in May 2014, winning via unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado to snag the WBO international welterweight title.

Cotto could retire after Kamegai fight

Apparently, Cotto was still hoping to get something done against Marquez.

The 36-year-old is scheduled to face Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26 for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.

Assuming Cotto comes out as the winner, it remains to be seen if the original plan to retire on December 31, 2017 will stick. The boxing icon is looking to face a big name fighter next, the swan song of his career. If his team fails to find a worthy opponent, there is a chance that Cotto will quietly announce his retirement.

Cotto wishes Marquez well

Unlike other fighters, Cotto has not lambasted Marquez for opting to retire. Instead, he wished “Dinamita” well and let him know how much he respected the Mexican boxing champion.

Both have faced popular names, with Manny Pacquiao at the top of their list. Cotto lost to the Filipino boxer via technical knockout in 2009, while Marquez fought the boxer/senator four times.

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The last one was the sweetest for Marquez, knocking out Pacquiao in the sixth round.

Right now, Cotto will worry about Kamegai before deciding on his next move. With most expecting him to win, names like Adrian Peterson, Terence Crawford, or even Amir Khan will likely crop up. No names have been suggested as of this writing.

On the other hand, a loss to Kamegai could push Cotto to retire immediately after the fight. With many boxers of Cotto and Marquez’s era calling an end to their careers, a potential loss to the Japanese boxer may eventually be the last straw for the Puerto Rican’s career.

Cotto has had 45 fights that include 33 knockout victories and 5 losses. He last fought Canelo Alvarez in November 2015 where he lost via unanimous decision. Being out of the boxing ring for more than a year, it will be interesting if “Junito” will be sharp enough to wrest the WBO junior middleweight belt.