Boxing: Miguel Cotto

Sergio vs. Cotto in April at MSG?

October, 30, 2013
Could we see Sergio Martinez, the Argentina-born hitter who holds the WBC middleweight crown, fight his next scrap in Madison Square Garden against Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto?

We will if the suits at MSG get their way.

On Wednesday, during a media presser to hype the Saturday card at MSG -- which is topped by a Gennady Golovkin WBA middleweight title defense against Curtis Stevens -- MSG executive Joel Fisher checked in and said hello to Martinez’s adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz. Lewkowicz handles a heavyweight, Magomed Abdusalamov (18-0 with 18 KOs), who tussles on the Saturday undercard, against Mike Perez (19-0 with 12 KOs).

It would be great to have the 51-2-2 Sergio fighting Cotto, 33, in a sold out Madison Square Garden, Fisher told Lewkowiz. Sampson nodded, yes, it would, but noted that Sergio is a wanted man. He drew 50,000 fans at a stadium in Argentina in his last outing, a 12-round unanimous decision win over Martin Murray on April 27. That’s great, Fischer answered, but there’s nothing like the vibe that is summoned when about 20,000 fight fans roar in MSG. Lewkowicz nodded in agreement.

Martinez, who turns 39 years old in February, beat Matthew Macklin in The Theater in March 2012. And Cotto (38-4), of course, sees MSG as a home base. He is 9-1 in MSG.

Lewkowicz told me in the best-case scenario, he’d like Martinez, getting back to full strength after suffering some injuries in the Murray bout, fighting in April, against Cotto. But Cotto has other suitors; promoter Golden Boy would like to snag him and pair him with Mexican heartthrob Canelo Alvarez, and that would mean Martinez would settle on a Plan B. Plan B would take place on June 7, when HBO has a date.

“There are two or three possibilities,” said Lewkowicz, who will be huddling and burning up the phone with Martinez' promoter, Lou DiBella, to nail down particulars, fairly soon.

Rodriguez likes Cotto to beat Sergio

October, 7, 2013
Delvin Rodriguez was mightily impressed with the oomph on Miguel Cotto's left hook on Saturday night in Orlando, Fla. The Danbury, Conn.-based boxer, who also works as an analyst for ESPN and will be heading to Las Vegas this week to work the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez show, told me that Cotto's power surprised him.

I asked Rodriguez, who was TKO'd in Round 3 by the Puerto Rican future Hall of Famer, what he foresees occurring if a rumored showdown between Cotto and middleweight champion Sergio Martinez were to take place.

"That's a great fight," Rodriguez said. "Cotto is really strong, very determined. He could do a lot of damage because Martinez fights with his hands down." The fighter/analyst said he could see Martinez using his movement to good effect early, but getting broken down as the rounds progress.

So who would have his hand raised at the end of the night?

"Cotto would beat Martinez, definitely, in a close fight," Rodriguez said.

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter.

Retirement not an option for Rodriguez

October, 6, 2013
Delvin Rodriguez was kind enough to take a couple minutes with me on Sunday early afternoon, which I appreciated as Saturday night had not been alright for fighting for him.

The 33-year-old Connecticut resident found himself up against a resurgent Miguel Cotto, a guy who fought in the same manner he used to when he had hair.

Under the tutorial watch of Freddie Roach, Cotto looked to land the left hook, heavy and often against Rodriguez in Orlando. In Round Three, two left hooks and a right finished Rodriguez (28-7-3), with the ref not bothering to count.

I asked Rodriguez, promoted by New Yorker Joe DeGuardia, how he was feeling the day after. "I'm alright, I'm OK," he said. "Just landed in New York."

He told me that indeed Cotto was a bit better than he expected, that his left hook when he had a bit of room to throw hurt was "very solid. I got a little too relaxed, I didn't expect the power to be as strong as it was. He caught me early, trying to warm up."

Retirement is not an option, he told me. "I'm a fighter," he said. "I really want to get back to what I used to do, instead of boxing, jumping around. Not fight in a dumb way, but I have power, enough to hurt anyone."

Today, he hurts, his chin and ego having been penetrated. But, he said, he would be cheered up soon enough. He was about to begin the drive to Connecticut, to see his wife, son and baby boy, who just turned one. They won't care about strategy and left hooks, they will be looking for hugs.

Follow Woods on Twitter.

Miguel Cotto demolishes Delvin Rodriguez

October, 6, 2013

Cynics -- and I dare say that is most of the folks who have been covering boxing for any length of time -- took it with two grains of salt when Miguel Cotto and new trainer Freddie Roach both said that they were working on bringing back the "old" Cotto, a left hook-happy hitter who sought and got KOs.

Darned if the trainer and boxer weren't on message, and Cotto, who turns 33 on Oct. 29, on Saturday night looked like a 10-years-younger version of himself who hadn't absorbed back-to-back losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout.


Who would you most want to see Miguel Cotto face in his next fight?


Discuss (Total votes: 14,095)

Granted, Cotto (38-4) took on just a solid journeyman in Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-3) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. But he made Rodriguez look like a C-grade boxer as he imposed his will and skills, and a rib-battering left hook on the Connecticut-based brawler. In Round 3, two left hooks and a right sent Rodriguez to the mat, and the ref didn't even need to count, calling for a TKO.

The Puerto Rican boxer's stock jumped considerably, and social media buzz on whom he might face next percolated quickly. Maybe a jump to 160, from 154, to fight middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, in favorite old stomping ground Madison Square Garden next spring? Maybe a P.R.-versus-Mexico rumble against Canelo Alvarez, who looked worse against Mayweather on Sept. 14 than Cotto did when he met "Money" in May 2012?

So I'll throw the question to you, readers: Whom do you want to see Cotto fight next?

Clottey wants to steal Mayweather's thunder

September, 11, 2013
A couple things come to mind when I think of Joshua Clottey.

First, he's a world-class fighter. The Ghana native holds wins over Diego Corrales (2007, UD10) and Zab Judah (2008, D9), and didn't disgrace himself against Antonio Margarito in 2006. He also hung with Manny Pacquiao in 2010.

Secondly, and more mysteriously, is the rarity with which he enters the ring. The ex-title challenger, who turns 36 on Oct. 6, fought once in 2009, and 2010, and 2011. He hasn't fought since Nov. 19, 2011, when he beat Calvin Green (TKO2) on a Top Rank card topped by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Peter Manfredo Jr. in Texas.

I chatted with Clottey (36-4 with 22 KOs), who lives in the Bronx, and asked him, point blank, where has he been?

"I'm still around!" he told me. Clottey said he's not been out of the gym, but had to settle some managerial issues. He said issues with finances weighed on him, and that he "lost concentration" going into the ring against Pacquiao, resulting in a subpar showing. "Now I'm fine," he said.

On Saturday night, he will be in Huntington, Long Island, fighting on a Joe DeGuardia/Star Boxing card, against 14-12-3 Dashon Johnson, a 25-year-old Californian who tests young guns on the way up regularly. Can Johnson upset a not-as-young-gun looking to re-climb back to the luxury-box level, where title shots at 154 might appear?

Clottey thinks not; he told me he's keen to stop Johnson and secure a title shot at 154 pounds, soon. Anyone in particular he's targeting?

"A rematch with Miguel Cotto, I'm always looking for that," he said. "I won the first fight and they didn't give it to me."

Chris Algieri tops the DeGaurdia card. Fans can watch the live fights and then stay to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez scrap on TV. Clottey said he knows full well some people will have their mind on Mayweather. "But I want to leave them thinking about me," he said. "That's what I'm going to do."

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter.

Yuri Foreman tops DiBella card

July, 23, 2013
Comebacking boxer Yuri Foreman and promoter Lou DiBella sat down before Foreman emerged from a two-year hiatus. They plotted out a course for the former junior middleweight champion.

Both agreed that the comeback shouldn't be a rushed affair, one or two rust-shedders, and then a trip back into the deep waters. Both agreed, it would be the wisest course for Foreman (30-2 with 8 Kos), who suffered a nasty knee injury in a title defense against Miguel Cotto in 2010 at Yankee Stadium, to take the comeback slowly and deliberately.

Foreman will glove up on Wednesday night in New York City at Roseland Ballroom on a show promoted by DiBella, along with entrepreneur 50 Cent.

The 32-year-old Park Slope, Brooklyn resident, who is nearing the completion of studies to become a rabbi, meets Jamaal Davis, a durable journeyman with a 14-9-1 mark.

"Davis is a mild step up for Yuri," DiBella told NYFightblog. "Yuri and his wife just had a baby, so he had some time off. He's looked better in his second fight [in April] than in his first [in January]. His health is holding up, his stamina is there. After a long layoff, you expect to see rust. He's less rusty, and I hope to see a little more action, and him more in the flow, with good rhythm."

How far is Foreman from a title crack in a division which leaves room for a name ex-champ looking to make another mark?

"I think he'll have one more comeback fight before we take a major step," DiBella said. The fight with Davis is set for eight rounds or less. A ten rounder against someone a bit better than Davis would make sense if Foreman passes his Wednesday test, the promoter said.

Follow Woods on Twitter.

"I don't want Yuri to get a big fight just to get paid," he said. "I want him to win it, or have an opportunity to win it. His injury was really severe, and he showed tremendous courage against Cotto. He deserves a proper comeback, and to be as close as possible to where he once was, when he gets the shot."

Delvin Rodriguez closing on Cotto fight

July, 17, 2013
The opportunity of his fighting life is nearly in place for Dominican-born junior middleweight Delvin Rodriguez. The Connecticut hitter (28-6-3, 16 KOs) has an agreement in place to fight comebacking Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs), the 32-year-old Puerto Rican ace who is on a two-fight losing streak and in dire need of a win to re-inject buzz into a Hall of Fame-level career.

Rodriguez's manager, AJ Galante, told NYFightblog that Team Rodriguez, which includes promoter Joe DeGuardia, has "an agreement in principal" for a Cotto-Rodriguez fight. The fight would likely unfold on Oct. 5 in Florida and be shown on HBO.

"We are finalizing the documents," Galante said. "It's not done yet, but I'd be surprised if it's not official by the weekend."

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter.

Takeaways from Saturday's Barclays card

June, 23, 2013
The postfight media conference ended after 2 a.m., so it was a marathon session at Barclays Center on Saturday night, with the card starting at 4:30 p.m. Here are the main things still kicking around my head the day after.

1. Paulie's not done
This morning, I woke up and pondered the main event, and my first thought was: Malignaggi showed them again. The kid was gonna get demolished, it was gonna be ugly, this was a bridge too far and Broner was going to hammer the Brooklyn-bred hitter in nasty fashion. Didn't happen that way, did it? The fight was a moral victory for the 32-year-old and left me admiring his ring generalship all the more. It's no use to indulge in an "if" session and ponder what he could do with a bit more pop; instead it's more constructive to marvel at what Malignaggi does despite having the least pop of just about any (now former) titleholder out there. There is zero room for regret for Malignaggi, who "lost" by split decision. People in the know understand that, in many ways, he won on Saturday.

2. Broner's real good, but ...
Malignaggi did expose Broner a bit, it could be argued. If this kid is the next big thing, the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jr., should he perhaps have put it to Malignaggi the way Miguel Cotto did, the way Ricky Hatton did, the way Amir Khan did? I don't want to drift towards excessive negativism, but I do think that Broner would be well served to punch more. Throwing only some 500-plus punches in a 12-round bout isn't the sort of volume you'd like to see from "the heir." Imagine if he had opened up on the throttle more? And why didn't he? If you know a man can't dent your chin, why not take some more chances, press him and gun hard for the stoppage?

3. Banks holiday
Long after the heavyweight semifinal between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell had ended, I found myself fixating on the scrap and looking to solve a mystery bouncing around my brain: What the heck was going on with Banks? He had some moments early and buzzed Mitchell, who is a fairly buzzable type ... and then coasted. The crowd at Barclays let both men have it for the long stretches of staring, and you couldn't blame them. It's understandable why Mitchell fought in that manner; Banks had stopped him in Round 2 in November. So he's still figuring out how to mix offense and defense. But wouldn't it have made sense for Banks to blitz Mitchell, give him a flashback to their first contest? I tweeted on Saturday that I was looking forward to hearing Banks' alibi, and I still am. I am left to wonder: Does he want to be a fighter, or is his heart not in it?

4. I'm down with Browne
After every one of his appearances, I sense buzz surrounding Staten Island's Marcus Browne. Some folks think he has the most upside from any member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic class. He has snarly intent, pop in both hands, a charming personality and willingness to use it. Count me among those who are most eager to see where his total package takes him.

5. Four's a charm
He might be the least technically polished of any man to get four world title cracks, but you must hand it to Sakio Bika. He is an example of what one can do with stamina, strength, a superb chin and perseverance. Bika picked up the vacant WBC super middle title with a win over the game Marco Antonio Periban, finally snagging an elusive belt. His form can be borderline atrocious, but he still functions at a high level. Now, can his status as a titlist help make a case that the term "world champion" has been watered down to a ludicrous level? Sure. But that's a matter of acknowledging that the system is deeply flawed, and he shouldn't bear the brunt of our ire at the state of the game. Good for Bika...

Readers, what did you learn from the Saturday Brooklyn card?

Brinson upsets Melendez on Cotto card

June, 8, 2013
No one in their right mind thinks the life of a fighter is an easy one. But if Miguel Cotto didn't know it before, he now knows the life of the promoter isn't a parade of pleasure either.

On Friday night at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y., Cotto fighter Jorge Melendez was upset in the main event by Nick Brinson.

Brinson, from Rochester, N.Y., took the middleweight bout on a scant one-week notice. He apparently had been staying physically and mentally ready; Brinson's fate was never in doubt, as he won by scores of 99-90, 98-91 and 96-92.

The fourth round was a true thriller. Brinson (15-1-2; winner of six in a row) sent Melendez (26-3-1) down with a right-left hook combo, and then a bit later Melendez returned the favor, sending the victor down with his own left hook. The fight arguably could have been stopped right there, but the ref stepped in and gave a bleary Brinson a mandatory eight-count, as he was getting blasted on the ropes after a tight hook clipped his chin. He had to stay alive for about 13 seconds to make the end of the round, and the fact that he did was a minor miracle, as his legs were shaky and his brain was clearly still buzzed.

Brinson complained of rabbit punches, especially in round 9, and the crew of Showtime's "ShoBox" thought a disqualification should have been considered. They beefed after the bell, and Melendez tried to head-butt the victor as they squawked at each other.

The stats story showed that Brinson landed 100 more punches than Melendez, who is nicknamed "Destroyer."

Cotto's night could have been worse; his prospect Jeffrey Fontanez (12-1) could have been on the short end of the decision against Jose Rodriguez (19-11) in a lightweight scrap. Rodriguez sent Fontanez down with a right hand to end round 7. Many had it closer than the two judges who saw it 77-74 and 78-73, while one judge had Rodriguez ahead, 76-75.

Rosado would be a good Cotto foe

June, 5, 2013
Miguel Cotto needs a dance partner for his next fight. Who will take a twirl with the Puerto Rican future Hall of Famer, who is wearing his promoter hat and overseeing a show at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. on Friday night?

How about Gabriel Rosado, the Philly based rumbler with a so-so win-loss record but a fellow who fight fans know will test anyone and give the fans their money's worth? I asked Russell Peltz, who promotes him, if that could be a makeable fight.

"Rosado has been trying to put together him and Austin Trout on the internet," Peltz told me. "Is that a good style matchup for Gabriel [Rosado]? I like the weight class, 154. I don't like the style. I'd like to see him fight Miguel Cotto."

We've heard that the 32-year-old Cotto could be gloving up with Cornelius Bundrage, but the whispered word on the street is that Showtime might not be keen on Bundrage as a Cotto foe, so maybe Rosado (21-7) does have a shot.

"It would be easier to make if he had his hand raised in Las Vegas," said Peltz, referencing Rosado's disappointing split-decision loss in 10 rounds against J'Leon Love, who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather. "A choice for the fight fan, between Rosdao or Bundrage? C'mon."

Fans, what do you think? Cotto could use an opponent who is a half step under the caliber of his last foe, Trout, who he lost to last December in a unanimous decision after 12 rounds. I think Rosado fits that bill. But Rosado has lost two straight, to Gennady Golovkin, and then lost to Love. Does that remove him from the running in this fantasy matchmaking exercise? And by the way, Cotto is on a two-fight slide himself.

Weigh in!
Miguel CottoAl Bello/Getty ImagesFor Miguel Cotto, who has been one of boxing's biggest cash cows since 2006, the end appears near.
Miguel Cotto has been a consistent revenue driver for the sport of boxing since at least 2006.

He could be counted on to pack Madison Square Garden every year, in concert with the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, and he could bring a few hundred thousand PPV buyers to the table as a "B side" when gloving up against the Mayweathers and Pacquiaos.

But he's 32, has lost his past two bouts, and fans who have appreciated his willingness to butt heads with the best -- and generally be a low-maintenance sort who simply shows up, gives his all, then rinses and repeats -- are cognizant of the possibility that the end is near. Yes, one of the sport's most consistent performers and cash cows can see the finish line, and it isn't far off.

He's given signals, ramping up his promotional business. But Cotto, who is putting on a fight card June 7 in Verona, N.Y., insists that boxing is still present in every vein and that he's still a top-tier player.

Word on the grapevine is that he's going to come back to the ring in late September, against Cornelius Bundrage at Barclays Center. I asked him to confirm that rumor.

"I don't know yet. It's speculation," Cotto told NYFightblog.

Cotto is never one to indulge in a lengthy soliloquy about his hopes, dreams and plans. So I delved deeper with his best buddy, Bryan Perez, who helps run Miguel Cotto Promotions.

Perez said no foe or specific timetable has been set for Cotto's in-ring return. "We're working on some different options, and in the next couple weeks there will be an official announcement," Perez said. "Miguel will be in the ring by the end of 2013."

Perez wouldn't hazard a guess on how many fights Cotto has left in him. "He will tell us when he wants to stop fighting," he said. "He feels healthy, still has the hunger, and still wants to be a world champion. He's the boss."

Would it be fair to say that Cotto will first see how it plays out in negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican phenom, as they might square off on Sept. 14?

"No, Miguel Cotto doesn't need to wait on anybody," Perez said. "He's his own promoter."

And speaking as Bryan Perez the fan, would you like to see a Cotto-Canelo fight?

"A Cotto-Canelo fight is a great fight for boxing," he said. "It is a possibility, yeah."
It's anyone's best guess how much Miguel Cotto has left in the tank. Is he nearing E? On E? Or operating on fumes, and set to sputter out?

Cotto, age 32, lost his last outing, against Austin Trout last December (UD12) and his outing before that, against Floyd Mayweather (UD12) in May 2012. No shame in that, frankly; Mayweather you know as the top performer of his era and Trout is in pound-for-pound Top 20 territory. But really, the next one could be the last one for the 37-4 Cotto, a future Hall of Famer who turns 33 in October.

Showing some of the clear-mindedness that served him so well in the ring, the hitter has set the table for himself for the next phase of his life. He has ample holdings in businesses and real estate in Puerto Rico, and has for the last couple years been putting together a promotional company, Miguel Cotto Promotions, which seeks to collect the next generation of Puerto Rican pugilistic standouts.

One of Cotto's charges, junior middleweight Jorge Melendez, looks to take another step up the ladder to prominence when he headlines at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y., on June 7. Showtime will televise his scrap, against Lanardo Tyner (30-8-2 with 19 KOs; turns 38 in August; winner of five straight after a four fight losing streak).

I checked in with Cotto, asking about Melendez, the card, how he is digging being a promoter, and also his fighting future.

So, is Melendez the stud in the Cotto stable, I asked.

"He's one of the best," Cotto told me. "We know he's tough, and we trust that he'll show everybody strong he is on June 7. He is a hard puncher, but also smart."

Melendez does have a showy KO percentage, boasting a 26-2-1 record, with 25 KOs. He has lost to a pair of skilled journeymen, Clarence Taylor and Doel Carrasquillo, but has reeled off 13 straight KOs since his latest loss, to Carrasquillo, two years ago.

Cotto said he's liking the promotional side. The hitter spent most of his career under the Top Rank umbrella, so he was able to soak up tips from the best in the business, Bob Arum. Cotto Promotions aims to run between ten and 14 shows a year, in various locales, he said. "This is our first opportunity in New York, so it will be our best effort to show our best," he said.

He noted that Cotto prospects Jeffrey Fontanez (11-0 super feather; age 20) and Jonathan Vidal (17-0 bantamweight) are also on the Turning Point card and are promising boxers.

Check back for more from Cotto, as NYFightblog looks to find out when he will next fight, and against whom.

Should Miguel Cotto retire?

December, 3, 2012
Miguel CottoEd Mulholland/US Presswire
About 40 minutes after he had been handled by Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden, Miguel Cotto addressed the media in a postfight media conference. His face looked like it had been run over by a tractor with poison-ivy studded tires.

The 32-year-old Cotto, who previously had gone 7-0 at MSG, saw his streak end Saturday night. Some said, based on his showing and his inability to handle the mobile and sturdy lefty Trout -- who is, by the way, a severely skilled pugilist whose talents and game plan emerged to the extent Saturday that some pundits will insert him in their pound-for-pound top-20 lists -- that it's time for Cotto to walk away.

A pro since 2001, Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) has now lost two straight. Granted, those two losses came against unbeaten fighters Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Cotto has money in the bank and, according to a source, owns a bunch of gas stations in Puerto Rico, so we can presume that he likely has enough funds to retire on. He looked flat from the get-go at MSG, to my eye, and although I'm pretty certain he can handle the B-plus boxers of the world, I'm afraid he's too worn down to get it done against the top tier. He didn't sound like a man ready to exit the stage, though, after Saturday's fight. Unlike Ricky Hatton, who between the ring and the dressing room and the postfight media blitz decided to retire a week earlier, Cotto sounded like a man unwilling to concede. He protested that the scores -- 119-109, 117-110, 117-110 -- were too much in Trout's favor, and promised to mull his future in the coming weeks.

I asked Paul Malignaggi, who fought Cotto in 2006 and was ringside working Saturday's fight for Showtime, if he thinks Cotto should leave the sphere. "It's a personal decision," said Paulie, who just turned 32. "It's clear he loves his family very much, so he's going to have to take some time and think if it's worth it to be away from his family for such long periods of time if the reward won't be what it used to be. He's earned the right to make the decision himself, though, and that should be respected."

Indeed ... although fight fans and pundits aren't all simply being intrusive know-it-alls when they lobby for a boxer to retire. Much of the time, they respect the entertainment and joy that fighter has given them, and simply want him to exit the game without absorbing punishment that could impact him later. Cotto ate a not-trivial amount of clean, hard shots in losses to Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather and Trout. People who care about him will ask why he should risk more head trauma if he's financially secure. I heard many Cotto rooters on the way out of MSG on Saturday night declare that they think it's time for their fighter to walk away for good.

Readers, do you think Cotto should retire? Give us your take in the comments section.

Trout pulls off unanimous upset vs. Cotto

December, 2, 2012
Austin Trout told us he'd have to knock out Miguel Cotto to ensure a win in the main event on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Turns out he just needed to box smartly and use his mobility and superior athleticism to get the better of Cotto, now 7-1 at MSG.

The judges, all credit to them, didn't let Cotto's status in New York influence them; they scored it 119-109, 117-111, 117-111 for Trout, a New Mexico boxer who defended his WBA 154-pound crown.

A gig with Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican phenom, might have gone down the tubes for Cotto. He looked all of his 32 years, and we will wonder how much of that was due to Trout's solid game plan.

"Fighting a guy like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true for a guy like me," Trout said.

He said he had to show Cotto he was the bigger guy. He said he knew the rounds were close, but he believed he won them.

Trout landed 238 of 779 punches compared to 183 of 628 for Cotto.

Trout: 'I'm more New York than Cotto'

November, 30, 2012

Much has been made of Miguel Cotto's home court advantage over Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden. Cotto is 8-0 at the Garden and has said he sees the crowd, most of whom will be there to see him do his thing, as almost a second trainer and ace motivational coach.

Trout, though, takes issue with the "the Garden is Cotto's home" meme.

"I'm more New York than Cotto!" Trout told me. I asked him to explain. He told me his mom was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. His grandmother lives in Brooklyn still, and her dad lives in Harlem. "I also have mad cousins and aunts in New York," he said.

The WBA junior middleweight champ Trout also played another card, informing me that he is part Panamanian. "I'm (MLB Hall of Famer) Rod Carew's third cousin," he informed me. I joked that Cotto might not like it if some Roberto Duran-style Panamanian comes out in the ring at MSG.

The crowd, of course, would not mind at all. I expect Trout to box smartly using his reach and his southpaw stance to full affect. I don't expect to see much of that Trout-as-Duran sort of style.

See for yourself at MSG tomorrow -- first fight starts at 5:15 p.m. or so -- or on Showtime. The Main Event is scheduled for an 11 p.m. start. Follow NYFightBlog all night long, as well, that goes without saying.

Follow me on Twitter here!/Woodsy1069.