By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – With rumors swirling regarding his opponent’s problems getting down to 159 pounds, Miguel Cotto isn’t the least bit worried about stepping on the scale Friday afternoon.
For the first time since the three-division champion turned pro in Febrary 2001, he hasn’t had to focus much during training camp on making weight. The 33-year-old Cotto has never boxed above the junior middleweight of 154 pounds, which made cutting weight for his middleweight debut Saturday night at Madison Square Garden relatively easy for the 5-foot-7 boxer.
“For the first time in my career, I’m really not concerned about the weight,” Cotto said. “I’ll weigh what I weigh when I get up there Friday and the next day whatever I feel comfortable with. I don’t think that really has any bearing on anything.”
Cotto also dismissed Martinez’s handlers for complaining about the contract weight for their WBC middleweight title fight being one pound beneath the usual limit of 160. Lou DiBella, Martinez’s promoter, has said it’s “a little silly” to have had to agree to a catch weight of 159 pounds to finalize contracts for this HBO Pay-Per-View main event ($64.95 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Puerto Rico’s Cotto reminded Martinez and his team that he was forced to weigh in at 145 pounds, two below the limit, for his WBO welterweight title defense against Manny Pacquiao in November 2009 because he was the “B” side of that promotion and made that concession to secure a huge payday. The Filipino southpaw stopped Cotto in the 12th round of that fight and Cotto contends that losing those two additional pounds drained him more than usual.
“I fought for my 147-pound title instead at 145,” Cotto said. “He’s here to fight, no matter what.”
Argentina’s Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) and Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) are expected to reach the scales at about 3:10 p.m. ET in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The weigh-in can be viewed live at toprank.tv, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.