By Miguel Rivera
Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain, who was the career long trainer of former division champion Juan Manuel Marquez, regrets that his boxer never fought Miguel Cotto.
Cotto, also a former four division world champion, will retire on Saturday night in the aftermath of his final career fight against Sadam Ali - taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
After the fight with Ali, win or lose, Cotto has vowed to never fight again.
Nacho, who trained numerous Mexican champions in the last 30 years, was involved in the discussions that lingered on for nearly two years for a potential clash between Marquez and Cotto.
They were talking about that fight for most of 2016 and even during 2017 - until Marquez, who hadn't fought since May 2014, announced his retirement from the sport.
Marquez and Cotto were never able to get on the same page with respect to the contract weight. The Mexican boxer was determined to make the fight at the welterweight limit of 147 and Cotto was firm on not going any lower than 150-pounds.
"[Cotto] was about to measure himself against Juan Manuel Márquez, but it was never achieved. I would have liked to be in that fight, it would have been a big fight and I really like to work in big fights," Nacho told ESPN Deportes.
Nacho is currently in New York City, because he's the head trainer of undefeated World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas, who makes his second defense of his title against Colombian Oscar Negrete in the HBO televised co-featured attraction to Cotto vs. Ali.
Nacho revealed that Cotto - despite being a Puerto Rican icon - has a lot of fans in Mexico.
"Cotto, from two years ago began to become a rare phenomenon, a Mexican boxing idol. Many people spoke very well of him, after he won the fight against Canelo Alvarez and [the judges] gave it to Canelo. He's an idol in Mexican boxing, I'm going to miss him, as I miss all the great boxers, he's an excellent boxer, with a very refined style," Nacho said.