By Keith Idec
Promoter Lou DiBella finds it “silly” and “annoying” that the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto middleweight title fight will be contested at a maximum catch weight of 159 pounds.
Nevertheless, their contracts call for Martinez and Cotto to weigh no more than 159 pounds, one beneath the middleweight limit, for their highly anticipated June 7 showdown for Martinez’s WBC middleweight title at Madison Square Garden (HBO Pay-Per-View). The 33-year-old Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) began his pro career 13 years ago as a junior welterweight, three weight classes below middleweight, and has never fought at a weight higher than the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds.
“It is 159 or less and that was one of those concessions that we had to make,” DiBella, Martinez’s promoter, said a conference call Tuesday. “In my mind, a catch weight that’s a pound off is a bit silly. It’s for the middleweight title and I think should be at 160 pounds. But frankly, Sergio’s never really weighed in at 160 before. So I don’t think it’s a big issue for him to weigh in at 159. That’s one of those concessions that clearly we found annoying during the course of the negotiations.”
The 39-year-old Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), who began his 16-year pro career as a welterweight, has never weighed in at more than 159½ pounds for any of his eight middleweight fights since December 2009.
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.