By Jake Donovan
The boxing world continues to revel in the throwback performance offered by Miguel Cotto in his middleweight championship winning effort over Sergio Martinez. The Puerto Rican superstar capped an incredible evening on June 7 at Madison Square Garden, his home away from home and where he’s sold more tickets than any other fighter in the 21st century.
With the win, Cotto became the first fighter in the history of Puerto Rico to win titles in four weight classes, and also the island’s first to claim the World lineal middleweight crown. In addition to claiming true championship status, Cotto also acquired the World Boxing Council (WBC) title, a win that garnered overwhelming praise from those in the Mexico City-based sanctioning body.
“Cotto’s performance was one of the most dominating in recent years,” insists WBC President Mauricio Sulaiaman. “We are honored to have such a great champion from Puerto Rico.”
Through four weight classes, Saturday’s win was Cotto’s first with the world version of the WBC title at stake, despite having fought at the championship level since 2004. He had previously served as the sanctioning body’s international titlist during his early years rising through the 140 lb. ranks.
Still, Cotto (39-4, 32KO) remained a true ambassador of the sport, one that included a close relationship with the Sulaiman family through the WBC’s annual conventions and other events.
“After many years of Miguel’s close friendship with my father, Don Jose Sulaiman, it will be my honor to crown Miguel champion,” the younger Sulaiman vowed. “I will be in Puerto Rico this month to make a big presentation of his championship belt.”
Cotto’s next fight is being targeted for either Dec. 6 or Dec. 13. The event may or may not include the middleweight title at stake. Cotto weighed 155 lb. for the fight, his first at middleweight after having previously served as champion at super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox