By Jake Donovan

All systems are officially a go for Miguel Cotto’s 12-round fight with Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening. Both fighters made weight for their prizefight, which airs live on HBO (10:35PM ET/7:35PM PT).

Clottey came in at 147 lb on the nose. Cotto was one pound under the limit at 146 lb.

The bout began as a welterweight alphabet unification match when first put together earlier this spring. Those plans changed when the sanctioning body that previously claimed Clottey as their champion stripped the Ghanaian-born fighter for not first facing his mandatory challenger.

As a result, the show still goes on with just Cotto’s trinket at stake.

This will be the sixth time that Cotto (33-1, 27KO) headlines a card at Madison Square Garden, including his second straight of 2009. The pride of Caguas, Puerto Rico returned to the world’s most famous arena this past February, stopping overmatched Michael Jennings in the fifth round of a rehab fight to pick up the very title that’s at stake this weekend.

The win was his first since suffering an 11th round stoppage against Antonio Margarito last summer, the lone blemish on an otherwise pristine ring ledger to date.

Margarito holds the distinction of handing both fighters their last loss. Clottey (35-2, 20KO) dropped a hard-fought 12-round decision against the Mexican welterweight in December 2006. He has since won five straight entering this fight, including a cut-shortened decision win over Zab Judah last August, one week after Cotto’s aforementioned losing effort.

Arthur Mercante Jr. serves as the third man for the affair.

The show’s main event will be the lone bout to air live on HBO, but two other bouts of note appear on the non-televised undercard. Ivan Calderon of Guaynabo, P.R. defends his lineal junior flyweight crown against Rodel Mayol of the Philippines.

Calderon weighed in at 106-¼ lb, while Mayol was slightly heavier at 106-½ lb.

For Calderon (32-0, 6KO), it’s the fourth defense of the junior flyweight crown he wrested from Hugo Cazares two years ago. The win came after a lengthy alphabet title reign at strawweight, all of which accounts for his often being regarded as perhaps the best pure boxer in the game today.

Mayol (25-3, 19KO) takes his third crack at a major title, having previously come up short in highly entertaining battles with Eagle Kyowa (L-UD12 in May 2006) and Archie Solis (L-TKO8 in August 2007). He enters this fight having won two straight against non-descript competition. Perhaps more telling is his 3-3 mark over his last six fights.

Despite being neglected by HBO, Calderon-Mayol will still air live internationally on several affiliate feeds, including DirecTV in Calderon’s native Puerto Rico.

The undercard also features one of the sport’s most promising newcomers. Matvey Korobov, a member of the 2008 Russian Olympic boxing squad, fights for the sixth time since turning pro last November. He faces Fresno (CA) journeyman Loren Myers in a scheduled four-round middleweight bout.

Korobov (5-0, 5KO) checked in at 162 lb.; Myers (7-4, 2KO) was two pounds lighter at 160.

A win on Saturday night paves the way for Korobov to make a televised appearance on Top Rank’s independent pay-per-view card in Atlantic City just two weeks later.

Saturday’s show is presented by Top Rank, Inc.

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Boxingscene.com and an award-winning member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact Jake at JakeNDaBox@gmail.com.