Cotto-Trout set for MSG Dec. 1

Miguel Cotto is unbeaten in nine fights in NYC since turning professional in 2001. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Cotto looks to extend the streak against Austin Trout, a slick and smart foe, at Madison Square Garden. The former four-time and three-division world champion wants to add to his belt collection Trout's WBA super welterweight crown.

"I am really excited to come back to my second home," said Cotto during a Monday afternoon press conference, held at El Musio del Barrio, the East Harlem Latino cultural center, which was open to the public. "Fighting at The Garden is always special for me and a true pleasure. There is something unique in the atmosphere and it means a lot to me every time I fight there because the energy of the fans gives me extra motivation. Austin Trout will be a challenge for me, but I will win my fifth world championship on December 1." Cotto, age 31, has a 37-3 record. He gave a solid account of himself in his last fight, on May 5 against Floyd Mayweather, a UD12 loss.

Trout, a 27-year-old lefty from New Mexico, doesn't seem over-burdened with expectations or pressure, not yet anyway. "Miguel Cotto needs no introduction," he said at the presser. "He's a true champion and one of the best fighters of the last 10 years, but I'm the present and future of the sport and this is just the showcase I need to prove to the world that I'm one of the best, pound-for-pound. I can't wait to fight in such a legendary place like Madison Square Garden; it's every fighter's dream."

We wonder if the 25-0 (14 KOs) Trout has the pop to dissuade Cotto's assaults, which figure to be persistent. Showtime will televise the scrap.