By Keith Idec
Miguel Cotto joked that he feels 16, not 36.
His family feels different about nearly a 16-year pro career that has included numerous brutal bouts. His wife and four children think Cotto has given more than enough of himself in boxing rings.
They would prefer it if the Puerto Rican icon, the island’s first four-division world champion, ended his Hall-of-Fame career to concentrate on his promotional company and other interests.
“My family wants me to retire, but I believe and I think that I still have some boxing still in me,” Cotto said during the most recent episode of the “Talk Box With Michael Woods” podcast, sponsored by Everlast. “And I want to do this until I feel that it’s enough for me, when I feel satisfied with my career. And I believe in 2017 I’m going to talk to my family seriously, and let’s see what happens. … We’re going to figure out what is going to happen with my career.”
Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will end a 15-month layoff when he faces heavy-handed James Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), of Austin, Texas, in a 12-round, 153-pound bout February 25 in Frisco, Texas. Their HBO Pay-Per-View main event, Cotto’s first fight since losing a unanimous decision to Canelo Alvarez 13 months ago in Las Vegas, officially was announced Monday during a press conference at The Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility and the site of their fight.
Cotto doesn’t expect the Kirkland clash to be his last fight, but he hasn’t ruled out 2017 marking his last year as an active boxer. The former Olympian made his pro debut in February 2001, a few months after representing Puerto Rico at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
“We are talking with Roc Nation about an extension for 2017,” said Cotto, whose three-fight deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports expires after he faces Kirkland. “And then after December 31st, 2017, I’m going to sit with my crew and talk about what we can do. If I’m satisfied with everything that passes in 2017, this is going to be my last year.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.