By Rick Reeno
Gabriel Peñagarícano, the legal adviser to former three division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30KOs), discussed last week's court judgment which directed Miguel to pay nearly $2 million dollars to his uncle and former trainer Evangelista Cotto.
Back in 2009, prior to Cotto's scheduled fight with Joshua Clottey, Miguel was involved in a physical altercation with Evangelista at their training camp in Caguas, Puerto Rico. It started as a verbal dispute, but quickly became physical when Evangelista struck Miguel.
Cotto would fire his uncle from his training duties, which prompted Evangelista to trash Miguel's entire apartment.
After the two of them parted ways, Evangelista filed a lawsuit in Caguas - claiming that he was owed money from Miguel's fights, and also claiming physical injuries from their highly publicized confrontation. The trainer was demanding $7 million dollars, but only received a portion of the claimed sum.
Last Thursday, the court issued an order which awarded Evangelista $1.9 million dollars.
"My office has not received the actual judgment. From what I've seen in the press, it was issued on Thursday and notified to the parties. As of [Friday] it was not in my office mail, so I imagine that I'm getting it on Monday," Peñagarícano said.
"However, from what I have seen, and read, [it was] a judgment for $1.9 million - which is a substantial reduction in Evangelista's original claim of $7 million dollars. So right there the judge rejected a very big chunk of the claim. I have not seen the exact breakdown of the judgment , the 1.9, but I am sure that after I receive the judgment and discuss it with my client - I am sure that I will appeal."
Miguel does have a counter-claim for all of the post-altercation damages.
"There is a counter-suit for all of the damage that ensured after the altercation, damages caused by the plaintiff in Miguel's apartment. I have not seen the judgment so I don't know the outcome to the counter-claim," Peñagarícano said.
Cotto returns on December 1 in New York's Madison Square Garden. In a Showtime televised main event, he challenges WBA "regular" junior middleweight champion Austin Trout.