Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Cotto: 'I will find a way to win'
By Miguel Cotto
Special to ESPN.com
Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto has nothing but history on his mind as he enters his June 7 showdown with middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), a titlist in three weight classes, will look to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a title in a fourth division when he faces Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) on Cotto’s home turf, at Madison Square Garden in New York (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET).
Looking reborn under new trainer Freddie Roach in his previous bout, Cotto, 33, will be making his 160-pound debut against the 39-year-old Martinez.
How will you use your power and movements to sow down Martinez? Chavez couldn't hit him for 11 rounds. How do you hit Martinez?
"I have followed every single direction that (trainer) Freddie (Roach) has given me. We have been working really hard to get into this fight in our best. Everybody knows the fighter that I am and what I'm capable to do in the ring. Chavez is Chavez but Miguel Cotto is Miguel Cotto.
"As everyone in boxing knows styles makes fights. I believe my style and my experience will be very important in this battle with Sergio Martinez. I am coming to fight the way I know how to do it and it has nothing to do with how other boxers fight certain opponets.
"In the preparation for this fight I have focus on what Freddie has ask me to do and I am prepare to go 12 hard rounds and to battle every minute of every round. I have always believed that you win fights round by round. I prepare to fight my fight and make adjustments as the fight goes along and I will be ready to go to war at any time.
"All boxers are different and we all approach the fights in different ways. This fight is very important to me and I have prepared the best way that I can. I will find a way to win and take the title back to Puerto Rico.
How important is it for you and Puerto Rican boxing that you win this title and become a four-division champion?
"Puerto Rico has been a hot-bed for boxing for a long time and has given the Island some of its most memorable moments in sports. The people there love their boxing and their boxing history from the first world champion in Sixto Escobar to the more than 50 champions that have come after him. The people of this tiny island have supported us without reservation.
"My beautiful Puerto Rico for a long time has been one of the greatest boxing nations in the sport. We have a big legacy from big fighters that were the inspiration of many generations. I have always wanted to write my own history with my own hands. I will never pretend to be better than anyone. I just want to be the one who accomplished a feat that other legends could not.
"Some of our best fighters are not only Puerto Rican greats but all time-greats of the sport. Carlos Ortiz, Wilfredo Gomez, Wilfredo Benitez and Felix “Tito” Trinidad and many others have made Puerto Rican boxing what it is today and I am only an extension of their greatness, so to have an opportunity to become the first four-time world champion in different divisions is very special to me.
"This feat would not only be a great achievement for me but for all Puerto Rican greats that have come before me and for the great fans that have supported me thru out my career and the many that love their boxing history and tradition in Puerto Rico.
"This is for all the fans boxing in my country, and to have the opportunity to do it in New York in Madison Square Garden my second home will make it even more special. June 7 will be a night to remember for Puerto Rican boxing."
Training with Freddie Roach must be a different experience for you. Can you describe why he's one of the best trainers in boxing?
"Freddie is a great person and a great trainer, who understands our sport. He was a fighter and has trained some of the best boxers in the world over the last 10 to 15 years. He is a true professional that knows how to get the best out of every fighter that he trains. He makes everyone better and his preparation for each fight is second to none.
"He has a complete vision and sense about what a fighter thinks. We have both developed a great relationship based in respect for each other. He knows me very well and knows what I may think in certain moments. It has been a great experience working together with him. Ever since day one I felt very much at home with him and understood what I need to do.
"He has a great team behind him that gives me great support as well. He is able to focus on boxing because he knows that he can trust his team to get me in the best condition possible, so that I can be the best fighter possible. It’s not only about him having the boxing knowledge, but is about knowing how to apply it to each individual boxer.
"He had a big win last October in Orlando, Florida against Delvin Rodriguez, and now on June 7 in New York we will have a huge victory, that both of us will celebrate. I have put my career in his hand because I know he will get the best out me and I will give him my best during training and in the ring."
Why fight Martinez now and not four years ago?
"Everything happens at the time it needs to happen. I do not push destiny. Boxers take different paths in their career and those roads don’t always come together. If someone would have told me that I would be fighting for a world championship at 160 pounds four years ago, I would have not thought possible. But here I am looking to make history -- becoming the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four different weight divisions.
"This is the kind of fight that always has been talked about and now is becoming a reality. I think it is a perfect timing to make it happen. We both have had our moments over our careers. I feel good and satisfied that it’s happening at this stage of my career. I feel totally renewed and with a fresh mind to come in and do my job on June 7.
"We as fighters always want to fight the best possible opponents and the best fights. We want the fans and media to be excited about the fights that we have. I now believe that this is a big fight and people want to see it. I'm not sure that was the case a few years back.
"I believe that I [was] given the fans the best fights that I can. I fought some of the best fighters at 140, 147 and 154 pounds and now here I am facing the best at 160. For me boxing has always been about challenges and competing and this one more fight proves that point.
"The fact that this fight is taking place now is just destiny, nothing to do with politics or avoidance. It's just the right time to do this fight and to enjoy two great fighters getting in the ring and showing who is the best.
"I am ready to make history and to prove once more that I am still one of the best fighters in the world."