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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Martinez, Cotto going on tour

By Dan Rafael

Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, former three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto and their teams are hitting the road for a four-city, two-hemisphere media tour to promote one of the year’s biggest fights.

Martinez and Cotto, who came to terms last week on their much-anticipated showdown, will meet June 7 (HBO PPV) at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight is on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York, where Puerto Rico’s Cotto is a major star.

The media tour will kick off March 10 in Puerto Rico, then move to New York on March 11 and Los Angeles on March 12. The fourth stop will be on a date to be determined in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Martinez’s home country.

The exact locations and times are not set yet. The Puerto Rico stop, however, will be open to the public. The Los Angeles stop will be for media only. Organizers said they hope to have the New York and Buenos Aires stops also open to the public.

Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), who has won titles at junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight, will try to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four weight classes. Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) does not plan to allow that to happen, telling, “I can't see this fight going the distance. Cotto will be punished June 7.

“I've been asking for this fight for many years, but Cotto was saying in the past that why would he fight me if fighting me didn't generate money? He was saying this after the second Antonio Margarito fight, and I did not forget his disrespectful tone when he was discussing not fighting me. Now Cotto wants to fight me because he and his team think that going through me is the easiest route to make history. What Cotto will find out June 7 is that he will be punished and will be made to eat his words. I promise you that Miguel Cotto will be retired after I beat him.”

Cotto’s attitude was not as harsh as Martinez’s.

“I feel very happy with this opportunity to fight again in my second home in New York in front of all the Puerto Ricans that have supported me all over my career,” Cotto said. “It will be a huge honor to accomplish the goal of becoming the first Puerto Rican to become a world champion in a fourth division. Throughout my career I have always said that I will fight the best names in this business and Sergio Martinez is the best challenge, and on June 7 at Madison Square Garden, history will be made.”