By Rick Reeno
Former three division champion Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31KOs) is questioning the confidence level of WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28KOs).
Cotto will challenge Martinez on June 7th in the main event of an HBO Pay-Per-View card from New York's Madison Square Garden.
Martinez had chased after Cotto for years. Earlier this year, Cotto began to show serious interest in facing Martinez.
The reason for the change of heart? Martinez believes his nagging injuries, the long layoff, and the struggling win over Martin Murray from last April - were significant influences in Cotto's decision to fight him.
Martinez suffered injuries in his September 2012 decision win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Those injuries were further aggravated during the Murray fight. The most serious injury of the bunch was the damage to Martinez's right knee, which required surgery and a lengthy rehab period. Even now, Martinez has stayed away from doing any running in camp, because he's paranoid of reinjuring the knee.
"I actually believe that my injuries, and because of the things that have happened to me [in my recent fights], is the reason why Miguel Cotto wants to fight me now. Cotto thinks now is the opportunity and this is why he's fighting me," Martinez told BoxingScene.com.
According to Cotto, the champion is simply having doubts. Cotto says Martinez was the best opportunity at the moment, and the idea of making history in Puerto Rico was a very big motivation in making the fight.
"For this fight, Martinez doesn't believe in himself, [doesn't believe in] his skills, [doesn't believe] that he can heal his injuries. He picked the wrong fight. Martinez is a great boxer and he earned everything he got. We are going to work the best we can and win on June 7th. He was the best name at this moment for my career," Cotto said.
"The main attraction for me is to be the first Puerto Rican to be a world champion in four different divisions. That means a lot to me. Working with [trainer] Freddie [Roach], who already worked against Martinez with Chavez Jr., I know that he has the right strategy for beating him."