By Francisco Salazar
Remember when there those people who said Miguel Cotto was “finished” after his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Austin Trout in December of 2012?
Well, Miguel Cotto heard those comments as well.
Even after the loss to Trout, Cotto still built an impressive resume. The three-division world champion is still a shoe-in for the International Hall of Fame, but like any boxer, believes he is not done.
So a change of scenery and trainer is what he believed was in order. It has worked thus far, even if it is one fight.
Despite being on the downside of his career, Cotto will attempt to prove doubters wrong and that he is still an elite fighter if he is victorious on Saturday night.
Cotto will fight Sergio Martinez tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. The bout will headline a Top Rank/ DiBella Entertainment card and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay Per View.
Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) dismantled and eventually stopped Delvin Rodriguez in his last fight on October 5th in Orlando, FL. The bout snapped a two-bout losing streak and
It was a much needed win for the popular Puerto-Rican fighter.
Now he faces a tall order (literally) against Martinez. Cotto will be giving up three inches in height and six inches in reach to the Argentine world champion.
While he feels re-energized, Cotto believes the work he has done with trainer Freddie Roach not only saved his career, but will be the reason why he will be victorious over Martinez.
“I’m very confident in my preparations with Freddie Roach,” Miguel Cotto told Boxingscene.com in a recent telephone interview. “Working with him has been going very well and everything that we’ve done has made me feel comfortable and confident.”
And that is what is most important for the 33 year old Cotto. He has had numerous wars with some of the best fighters in the sport and the toll of those fights may be showing.
Like Martinez, Cotto will want to leave the sport on his own terms and not when people tell him or expect him to retire.
Then again, he does count on the legions of fans that chant his name, as it has been done at tonight’s venue: Madison Square Garden.
“There’s nothing like boxing fans that have come to support me over the years. They are the true fans that show up and cheer at my fight. I appreciate the support. It helps motivate me during fights.”
Cotto may have the deck stacked against him due to the size advantage Martinez has tonight and those who think his best days are behind him.
Cotto does not live to impress, but like Martinez, seek glory and respect in a sport where fighters become legends over night or over time.
Where Martinez may look for a knockout, something he has said in interviews leading to the fight, Cotto is confident he will get the job done tonight.
“There is no doubt I will win, whether it is by decision or knockout.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing