By Mark Vester
As reported earlier, WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and his uncle/trainer Evangelista Cotto were involved in a physical altercation on Wednesday afternoon, around 3:15PM, at the Bairoa Gym in Caguas, Puerto Rico. A verbal battle over a training plan that was presented by Cotto - quickly turned into a physical battle when Miguel fired Evangelista as they traded heated words. Evangelista would then attack Miguel - and the fighter fought back.
More details have poured in, including some comments from Miguel. According to El Nuevo Dia , Miguel Cotto Sr. tried to separate his son and son when the fists started flying but he was unable to do so and had to get help from other fighters who were training in the gym. Evangelista was telling Miguel "I'm the boss" as the two were arguing over the new training plan for the June 13 bout with Joshua Clottey at New York's Madison Square Garden. Miguel's plan including a training period in Florida, which Evangelista was very against.
The two appeared to call a truce in the gym but later in the day they would clash again, outside of the gym. The second incident was more violent than the first. Evangelista launched a cement block at Miguel, missing the fighter and smashing the passenger window of his 2009 jaguar. There are reports that Miguel and Evangelista would come to blows for a second time at that point. Police were called to the scene and so far nobody has been arrested.
Evangelista went to the hospital as a result of the brawl and plans to stay the night. Miguel suffered a cut on his nose.
"During the afternoon, there was an incident with my uncle Evangelista. This is a very personal matter and a family matter and therefore I would like to have some space and respect for my privacy to deal with the situation," Miguel said.
"From this day forward, Evangelista Cotto will not be a part of my corner, but everyone knows that I will continue to work tirelessly for my next fight in June, when I will defend, with success, and a lot of pride, my title for all of the Puerto Ricans."
Miguel and his uncle have had issues for at least three years. Before last July's loss to Antonio Margarito, Miguel and his uncle were barely on speaking terms. They said afterwards that everything was patched up but the latest incident may have broken their working relationship for good.
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