Miguel Cotto

``The harder I train every day on the track and in the gym, the more trust I gain in myself.``
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BOXER: MIGUEL COTTO

DIVISION: JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT

DATE OF BIRTH: OCTOBER 29, 1980

HEIGHT: 5’7’’

STANCE: ORTHODOX

BORN: PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

LIVES: CAGUAS, PUERTO RICO

RECORD: 40-5 (33 KOs)

Storied boxer Miguel Cotto is the first native of Puerto Rico to become world champion in four different weight classes. He is the former WBO junior welterweight world champion, the former WBA welterweight world champion, the former WBO welterweight world champion and the former WBA super welterweight world champion. He also represented Puerto Rico in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

 

Cotto has had 22 world championship fights, compiling a record of 18-4 with 15 knockouts in those bouts. In Puerto Rico, he is hailed as a national hero and the successor of Felix Trinidad as the island’s most revered boxer. He is one of the biggest gate attractions in boxing and one of the largest pay-per-view draws among active fighters. He holds the record for the most tickets sold by a boxer at Madison Square Garden with over 120,000 tickets sold for his nine fights (in which he has a record of 8-1) at “The Mecca Of Boxing” which is more than even Muhammad Ali who fought in the building eight times. Trained by legendary Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Cotto has fought some of the biggest names in the sport including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Cotto owns his own boxing promotional company in Puerto Rico, Miguel Cotto Promotions, and presides over his charity La Fundación El Ángel de Miguel Cotto, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting childhood obesity.

 

Cotto, the proud son of National Guardsman Miguel Cotto Sr., began boxing in an effort to get in shape as an overweight eleven-year-old boy at the Bairoa Gym in his hometown of Caguas. By the time he turned professional at the age of 20 in 2001, Cotto was considered one of the best amateur fighters in the history of Puerto Rico, amassing an amateur record of 102-23. He was the Puerto Rican National Amateur Champion at 132 lbs. from 1997-1999 and amateur champion at 140 lbs. in 2000. He was named to Puerto Rico’s 2000 Olympic team, was a gold medalist in the 2000 American Olympic Qualifier III, a gold medalist in the 2000 Central American and Caribbean Games and gold medalist in the 1997 Amateur Pan American Championships.

 

Cotto’s professional debut occurred in Austin, Texas on February 23, 2001 against Jason Doucet. Cotto knocked Doucet down twice and earned a technical knockout victory in the first round. Over the next two years Cotto proceeded to vanquish every opponent he faced, including a ten-round unanimous decision victory over John Brown at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and a seventh round technical knockout victory over Ubaldo Hernandez before a hometown crowd in Caguas. On February 1, 2003, once again at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Cotto, then with a record of 13-0, won a hard-fought eleventh round technical knockout victory over Cesar Bazan to capture the vacant WBC international super lightweight title.

 

Cotto went on to defend his title five times, and on November 11, 2004 before a crowd of 12,200 at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he won the vacant WBO junior welterweight world championship. Cotto faced Kelson Pinto (20-0), dominating the previously undefeated Brazilian, staggering him in the first round with a powerful left hook. Cotto proceeded to score a knockdown in the next round with a right hand-left hook combination. Pinto’s corner threw in the towel in the sixth round. For the Puerto Rican native, the victory was sweet revenge against an opponent who had beaten him twice as an amateur.

 

From 2004 to 2006, Cotto went on to defend his title six times, defeating all challengers including Randall Bailey (28-4), Demarcus Corley (29-3-1), Muhammad Abullaev (15-1), Ricardo Torres (28-0), Gianluca Branco (36-1-1) and Paulie Malignaggi (21-0). The Malignaggi fight drew a crowd of 14,356 at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 10, 2006.

 

That same year saw Cotto make a jump in weight class. On December 2, 2006, he won the vacant WBA welterweight world championship against the previously undefeated southpaw Carlos Quintana (23-0) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Cotto impressed, rocking Quintana with a left hook in the fifth round and scoring a knockdown moments later with a left hook to the body. Quintana got up, but was knocked down again after a flurry of punches that caused the referee to stop the fight at the end of the fifth round. Cotto continued his undefeated ways into 2008, defending his title against challenges from Oktay Urkal (38-3), Zab Judah (34-4), Shane Mosley (44-4) and Alfonso Gomez (18-3-2).

 

On July 28, 2008, Cotto, then with a record of 32-0, suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of former IBF and WBO Welterweight World Champion Antonio Margarito (36-5). In an epic, seesaw battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Cotto built a lead on the scorecards in the early rounds. Margarito pressed on, however, continuing to drive Cotto into the ropes, eventually scoring two knockdowns in the eleventh round that caused the referee to stop the fight. Margarito’s victory was called into question when it was discovered that he attempted to fight with illegal hand wraps in a subsequent fight.

 

Cotto rebounded quickly and in impressive style, winning the vacant WBO welterweight world championship against Michael Jennings (34-1) in February 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Cotto controlled the fight, scoring a technical knockout victory in the fifth round. Later that year, he defended his title with a twelve round decision victory against former IBF Welterweight World Champion Joshua Clottey (35-2). This victory set up the boxing event of the year, his much-anticipated fight against Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2). On November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas before a capacity crowd of 16,200, Cotto lost a close and exciting fight to Pacquiao in the twelfth round by technical knockout.

 

Cotto, however, remained undeterred, and only a short time later in June 2010, he won the WBA super welterweight world championship against previously undefeated and defending champion Yuri Foreman (28-0). Cotto outclassed his opponent before an announced crowd of 20,272 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. He scored a knockdown with a left hook to the body in the ninth round that led to his victory by technical knockout. He defended his title against former WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1), setting up a rematch against Antonio Margarito in December 2011 at Madison Square Garden. This time Cotto exacted revenge against Marhgarito, winning by technical knockout in the tenth round before a raucous crowd of 21,239.

 

On May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Cotto headlined the fight of the year against WBC Welterweight World Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0). After a fast-paced, crowd-pleasing fight that saw both fighters rally and repeatedly exchange punches, the judges awarded Mayweather the victory via a twelve round decision. “The judges said I lost the fight,” Cotto said, “I have to take my defeat. I brought my best and did my best every morning in training camp, and I did my best tonight. I’m happy with my fight and with my performance. So is my family. I can’t ask for anything else.” Cotto returned in December 2012 in a WBA super welterweight title fight against defending champion Austin Trout (25-0) at Madison Square Garden in which Trout hung on to win an upset twelve round decision victory.

 

On October 5, 2013, now under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, Cotto returned to the ring against Delvin Rodriquez (28-6-34) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Dominican Republic native was no match for Cotto, who was back to his winning ways as he displayed his famous aggressive style. The referee stopped the fight in the third round after Cotto landed a vicious left hook and a flurry of punches that dropped Rodriguez to the canvas, earning the Puerto Rican a technical knockout victory.

 

In June the following year, Cotto made history in his first fight as a middleweight against Argentine southpaw and defending WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2). Cotto dominated en route to a convincing victory at Madison Square Garden to become the first Puerto Rican boxer ever to win a title in four different weight classes. Cotto knocked Martinez down three times in the first round and once in the ninth round, forcing him to retire before the start of the tenth round.

 

In March 2015, Cotto and Roc Nation Sports announced that they had entered into a partnership that includes a co-promotional agreement with Miguel Cotto Promotions to promote Cotto’s fights.

 

On June 6, 2015, almost one year to the day since his last appearance in the ring, Cotto defended his WBC, Ring Magazine and lineal middleweight world championships against former Two-Time World Champion Daniel Geale (31-3) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. While some expected ring rust as a result of his one-year layoff, Cotto instead looked fresh, sharp and reinvigorated. He mowed through Geale, who outweighed Cotto by over 20 pounds on fight night, scoring a thunderous knockdown early in the fourth round before finishing matters with a second knockdown midway through the round which left Geale unable to continue.

 

On November 21, 2015, Cotto cemented his status as one of the biggest pay-per-view draws among active fighters in HBO’s much anticipated mega-fight against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alverez. The hard-fought bout, which drew 900K buys, has been dubbed as the biggest fight in the history of the famed Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing rivalry.