By Miguel Rivera
CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO - With the presence of two of Oscar de la Hoya's top executives from Golden Boy Promotions, the leading promoters in Puerto Rico at the moment, Miguel Cotto Promotions, announced on Monday at a press conference the resumption of its series of shows on ESPN - beginning with the program that is scheduled for March 24 at the Ponce Fair Complex, which will be starred by the unbeaten Jose 'Chiquiro' Martinez.
As part of this card, Martínez (20-0-1 and 13 KOs) will defend his title of the NABO, the regional organization affiliated to the World Boxing Organization (WBO), against Mexican contender Alejandro Santiago (15-2-3 and seven knockouts) - they fought to a draw on the same stage in December 2016.
"That's indicative of the type of fights we're interested in presenting here," said Robert Diaz, Golden Boy matchmaker, who attended the press conference held at the Courtyard Marriott in Isla Verde in conjunction with the president of the company, Eric Gómez. "Chiquiro is unbeaten and on the verge of fighting for a world title and still going to fight with someone who he already had a draw with."
In total, Diaz said the plans are to stage between four and five ESPN2 billboards with Miguel Cotto Promotions on the Island this year.
"What exists between Miguel Cotto's company and us is not just a business partnership," he said, "we are a family."
"We already have two finalized dates, which are March 24 and April 19 at the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum," he added.
In that second program, he said, veteran Puerto Rican middleweight of Puerto Rican descent, Gabriel Rosado, will be making his debut on the Island, as well as presenting an attractive encounter between Jose 'Wonder Boy' Lopez and Abner 'Pin' Cotto.
For his part, Gomez said that Golden Boy is also interested in "bringing a HBO card to Puerto Rico, which would be the first in many years."
As it was also said, there could be an event held at the end of the year, probably headlined by the WBA lightweight junior champion Alberto 'El Explosivo' Machado.
Machado, according to Diaz, will be making his first defense on HBO, but in the United States, probably against his mandatory challenger - Ghanaian Rafael Mensah.
At the conference was also Cotto himself, who said: "All we want is for boxing to continue to explode in Puerto Rico for the enjoyment of the people."
The Miguel Cotto Promotions has its first card of the year marked for February 3 at the Ismael Coliseum
Also on DIRECTV, Cotto plans to stage a card on April 7 at the José Miguel Agrelot - featuring the first defense of Angel 'Tito' Acosta, the WBO flyweight champion, against his mandatory challenger Ryuji Hara of Japan.