by David P. Greisman
Madison Square Garden has been a second home for Miguel Cotto, a Puerto Rican fighter who has headlined in the famed New York City arena eight times and who will once again be in the main event there for his June 7 pay-per-view against Sergio Martinez.
It is highly likely that an overwhelming majority of the crowd will be there to support Cotto. Yet Martinez says he isn’t concerned about the three ringside boxing judges being swayed in his opponent’s favor.
“The judges are not going to have to do that much work on this evening, because this fight is definitely not going the distance,” Martinez said on a May 20 news conference call, according to a translator.
“I’m always 100 percent confident of winning by knockout in every fight,” he said later in the call. “But I haven’t felt like this since the Paul Williams rematch.”
Martinez, a former junior middleweight, has been at 160 pounds for more than four years. He captured the middleweight championship with a decision win over Kelly Pavlik and has defended it successfully six times, beginning with the second-round, one-punch knockout of Williams; followed by a stoppage win over Sergiy Dzinziruk, whom Martinez floored five times; and then the 11th-round wins over Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin. (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martin Murray lasted the distance in Martinez’s two most recent bouts.) Martinez is now 38-years-old and is 51-2-2 with 28 KOs.
Cotto, 33, is 38-4 with 31 KOs. He held world titles at 140, 147 and 154 and is now moving up another division. This bout is being held at a catch weight of 159 pounds.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tags: Sergio Martinez , Miguel Cotto , Cotto-Martinez , Cotto vs. Martinez