The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today recently retired four-division world champion from Puerto Rico Miguel Cotto will make his first visit to Canastota to participate in 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend festivities set for June 7-10th.
“Miguel Cotto was one of the sport’s most popular fighters and was involved in so many high profile bouts of the modern era,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame is so excited about seeing Cotto in Canastota for the first time. Following his recent retirement from the sport in 2017, I know fans will be thrilled to see him in ‘Boxing’s Hometown’ to reflect on a stellar career.”
Fighting out of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Cotto turned pro in 2001 and captured world titles in four weight divisions - light welterweight (WBO), welterweight (WBA, WBO), light middleweight (WBA, WBO) and middleweight (WBC). He holds wins over such standouts as Randall Bailey, DeMarcus Corley, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Ricardo Mayorga and Sergio Martinez among others. In December 2017 Cotto announced his retirement from the sport with a record of 41-6 (33 KOs).
“I’m very excited to be at the International Boxing Hall of Fame and be part of a great weekend for boxing legends,” said Cotto.
Cotto has a special connection to one of the Hall’s most unique exhibits. In 2007 Madison Square Garden (MSG) retired the boxing ring it used for every fight since 1925, including the 1971 Ali-Frazier “Fight of the Century” and donated it to the Hall for permanent display. Cotto is the last world champion to defend his title in the ring when he scored an 11th round TKO over Zab Judah on June 9, 2007 to successfully defend his WBA welterweight belt.
“Cotto and MSG are forever linked together in boxing history and we cannot wait to have him step back into the ring when he is in Canastota,” said Brophy.
Many events in “Boxing’s Hometown” of Canastota throughout the four-day celebration are planned, including a 5K Race / Fun Run, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, VIP Cocktail Reception, Parade of Champions and the Official Induction Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds. The Hall of Fame Weekend evening events include Friday night’s Fight Night at Turning Stone and Saturday’s Banquet of Champions. Both events will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
The Class of 2018 includes boxers Vitali Klitschko, Erik Morales, Winky Wright and Sid Terris; ring announcer Johnny Addie, promoters Lorraine Chargin and Klaus-Peter Kohl and broadcasters Steve Albert and Jim Gray.
An impressive list of over 35 boxing greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities including Mike Tyson, Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Tarver and many more.
Lewis Ritson wants to make up for lost time when he makes the first defence of his British Lightweight title against Joe Murray in the latest installment of the JDNXTGEN series at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester tomorrow night (Sunday February 25), live on Sky Sports.
Ritson landed the crown with an impressive stoppage win over Robbie Barrett in Manchester in October and the talented 24 year old finally gets the chance to step into the ring as British champion in the same city against local fan favourite Murray.
Murray challenges for the British strap for the second time having faced Liam Walsh for the Super-Featherweight belt in 2015, and Newcastle man Ritson says he’s eager to get the ball rolling in his quest to claim the belt for keeps.
“I’m counting down and really itching to go now,” said Ritson, who scaled 9st 7lbs 9oz, lighter than Murray’s 9st 8lbs 4oz. “I really can’t wait to get in there and do the job.
“I’ve not really had any time off since the last fight, it’s been a bit stop and start thinking we might get out before Christmas but shows and opponents fall through, it’s boxing. I’ve remained professional and kept my head down.
“Joe might say it’s short notice, but we’re professional athletes. We should be in the gym and ready to go when required – It’s our job.
“The fight has been brewing since last year, Joe said I’d knock Robbie Barrett out, but then he would knock me out – I like that part of Joe. He’s passionate and it shows in his interviews. We’ll see tomorrow if he can back up his words but I don’t see it.
“My Dad (and trainer) assesses all my opponents. Joe does some things well, but there’s also avenues we can exploit. We’ll try and work that on our favour to get the first notch on the belt. My plan is to definitely win the belt outright. I want to get this out the way then maybe look at June and September. We’ve got to keep winning, I can’t let complacency creep in now I’ve signed a deal with Matchroom.
“I text Eddie if I get through this, I want the winner of Masher and Coyle. It would be a great fight and the chance to add another belt to my collection – I fancy Dodd to get the win in a bit of a war but first things first I have to keep my eye on Joe and get the job done Sunday night.”
A stacked bill of talent joins Ritson on the card, Jordan Gill meets Jason Cunningham in an eliminator for the British Featherweight title, Qais Ashfaq makes his debut under the Matchroom Boxing banner, Tasha Jonas continues her path to a World title shot and her Joe Gallagher gym mates Hosea Burton, Marcus Morrison and Sam Hyde tasting their first action of the year.
Tickets are on sale now priced £40 and £60 with VIP tickets at £100 from www.stuhbhub.co.uk
Eleven New England champions were crowned last night during the New England Tournament of Champions at historic Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Central New England snapped the Western New England's four-year reign in team scoring to capture the covered Bill Hoar Memorial Award as Most Outstanding Team.
The New England Tournament of Champions, also known as the All-New England's, is part of the 72nd annual New England Golden Gloves Championships.
Each individual N.E. champion qualified for Team New England, which will compete at the National Golden Gloves Championship, starting May 14, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Central N.E. had five individual winners, edging Western NE with four, North N.E. and Southern N.E. had champion one apiece.
"There were some great fights, hotly contested because there was so much on the line," N. E. Executive Director Bobby Russo said. "We closed the season in grand style with great matches and a loud, packed house that's been the Lowell tradition for 72 years. There were some disputed decisions and the crowd let everybody know how they felt after a few of the fights.
"We have a lot of talent on this year's Team New England. It's a strong team with some fighters who now have national experience like Angel Gonzalez, Felix Parilla, Liz Leddy, Miguel Teo and Fernely Felix, Jr. The other fighters look like they could do very well at the National Golden Gloves."
N.E. featherweight champion Felix Parilla (WNE), of North Haven, CT, was selected as the Thomas Costello Memorial Award winner as Most Outstanding Boxer.
The Rocky Marciano Memorial Award as the Most Outstanding Heavyweight Boxer was presented to Lowell, MA's Edmond Worley, who edged Randolph, MA's Edit McApman, 4-1, to clinch the team title for Central New England in the second to last bout of the night.
The unofficial Fight of the Night was a toss up between lightweights Jonathan DePina and Elijah Peixoto (DePina won 3-2) and middleweights Michael Fontanez and Victor Reynoso (Fontanez won 3-2).
In the most anticipated match of the evening, Mansfield, MA welterweight James Perella (SNE) defeated USA No. 5-rated and defending N.E. champion Josniel Castro (NNE), by way of a controversial 5-0 unanimous yet very closely contested decision that drew the wrath of the disapproving crown.
USA No. 7 rated light heavyweight Miguel Teo (CNE), of Marlboro, MA, took a unanimous 5-0 decision versus Rashane Doyle (SNE), of Boston.
In a N.E. super heavyweight rematch, Danbury, CT's Fernely Felix, Jr. (WNE) repeated by the same score las last year, 3-2, against Providence's Tim Hatfield (SNE), for his third straight N.E. title.
In women's competition, Portland, ME lightweight Liz Leddy (NNE) captured her seventh N.E. women's title, taking a unanimous 5-0 decision over Willow Crawford (CNE), of Manchester, NH, unanimous 5-0 decision, while USA No 10- rated Ashleigh Moore (CNE), representing Buzzards Bay, MA, won a unanimous 5-0 decision against Gorham, ME's Lindsay Kyanjohnian (NNE), who was runner-up for the second year in a row after she took top honors in 2016.
Proceeds from the Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Championship go towards sending the New England Golden Gloves champions to the National Golden Gloves Championship (starting May 14, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska), in addition to supporting local athletes and area gyms, the Boys & Girls Club, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, cancer funds, scholarships and many other great charitable causes.