Las Vegas, Nev. ...It's official. Boxing superstar Floyd "Money" Mayweather will return to the ring, step up in weight and challenge three-division World Champion Miguel Cotto for his WBA Super Welterweight World title in what will be a gargantuan showdown between two future Hall of Famers who bring excitement and fierce competition every time they step into the ring. Mayweather vs. Cotto will take place on Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be televised live on pay-per-view.
Mayweather, a seven-time world champion in five weight classes, is excited to be facing the heavier, much-tested Cotto, who is the pride of Puerto Rico and has the experience, heart and determination to give pound for pound king Mayweather the toughest fight of his career.
"Miguel Cotto is a world class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing," said Mayweather, whose only other fight at super welterweight came in a World Boxing Council (WBC) world title win over Oscar de la Hoya in May 2007. "It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder. I have no doubt in my mind that my title belt collection will increase once again and Cotto's reign as champion will come to an end on May 5."
Cotto, coming off of the second defense of his title, a spectacular tenth-round technical knockout win over Antonio Margarito in December 2011, is ready to face Mayweather and believes he is Mayweather's most competitive career challenge to date.
"I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing," said Cotto who true to his warrior spirit that has distinguished his entire career has accepted this challenge to face the undefeated Mayweather. "I've never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. I have accepted everything to give the fans what they like...great and exciting fights. That is what the sport of boxing is all about; making the fights that the fans want and deserve to see. On May 5, stay tuned, because I will convincingly beat Floyd Mayweather."
In addition to agreeing to the terms of the bout which will take place on Cinco de Mayo, one of boxing's biggest weekends, both fighters have agreed to Olympic-style drug testing for the fight.
"Floyd always asks us to find the best available competition for him to fight and we have found that in Miguel Cotto," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO, Mayweather Promotions. "This is a very risky fight for Floyd as Miguel is a solid 154-pound champion who has already proven to have great boxing abilities and to be a very competent and strong puncher. This is a big test for Floyd, but as always I believe, he is the superior fighter with unmatched skills. This will make the difference and lead to another Mayweather victory the night of May 5."
"What we have here are two champions of amazing caliber set to meet in the ring on May 5 and give boxing and sports fan one of the most compelling match-ups in the sport's history," said Richard Schaefer, CEO, Golden Boy Promotions. "Floyd Mayweather has already achieved worldwide recognition as one of the best fighters ever and Miguel Cotto is one of the greatest fighters of this era. I commend both fighters for agreeing to the fight each other on one of the biggest weekends for boxing and also commend them for agreeing to participate in Olympic style drug testing, a precedent set by Floyd, which continues to uphold the integrity of the sport."
The undefeated Mayweather, (41-0, 25 KO's), a seven-time world champion in five weight divisions, remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating record pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring. During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions such as Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley. His last fight against then WBC Welterweight World Champion Victor Ortiz on September 17, 2011 not only showed his boxing skills, as he took the younger Ortiz to school in the first three rounds before knocking him out in the fourth stanza. He is also no stranger to appearing on the classic Mexican celebratory weekends such as Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day as his fight with Cotto will mark the fifth fight of his career to land on one of those weekends. Mayweather returns to face Cotto in an attempt to capture his eighth world championship.
Cotto (36-2, 29 KO's), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 while winning 16 of the 18 world championship bouts in which he has fought. Puerto Rico's most exciting fighter and one of its greatest of all time, Cotto held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Junior Welterweight crown from 2004-2006, successfully defending it six times before vacating it to capture the WBA Welterweight title at the end of 2006, a title he held for nearly as long. After losing the WBA title to Margarito in July 2008, Cotto won his second welterweight belt in February 2009, knocking out Michael Jennings in the fifth round to become the WBO Welterweight champion. He lost the title in his second defense in November 2009, but captured the WBA Super Welterweight title in June of 2010 at Yankee Stadium in New York by stopping then-undefeated defending champion Yuri Foreman. Cotto successfully defended that title by stopping Two-Division World Champion Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th round in March of 2011 and, in his last fight, finally avenged his loss to Margarito, once again retaining his title and giving him true peace of mind.