Cotto Retiring in 2017—Any Questions?

By Marc Livitz on August 23, 2017
Cotto Retiring in 2017—Any Questions?
Cotto admitted that everything he's done or endured has made him the man he is today.

“I’ve enjoyed my career and don’t want to point to any opponent, to any fight. I think that my whole career has been great for world boxing…”

In November of 2015, yet another chapter of the ‘Mexico versus Puerto Rico’ saga was spun when ever-rising galatico Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was expertly matched with then 35-year-old Miguel Cotto. Just as was the case three years prior when Cotto, the former four division champion from Caguas, threw the most battle hardened effort at Floyd Mayweather and came up short. Still, he gained the admiration of those in attendance and only grew larger in the hearts of those who loved him beforehand. If we were to look back at one decade to the past, 2007 was one of the finest years of Miguel’s legendary career. In particular, an eleventh round knockout victory over Zab Judah was followed by an epic clash with Shane Mosley, which he won via unanimous decision.

Many of us will find ways to always look back at the following July, when Cotto was flying high in the early rounds against Antonio Margarito in Las Vegas. He was using the ring well and was on his toes with impeccable timing. However, his opponent from Tijuana relentlessly plodded away in his direction and eventually started to land heavy shots all over. The sight of the WBA welterweight champion beaten and bloodied was a tough one indeed for more than just a few to stomach. Matters were settled in round eleven. Cotto had been knocked down once and voluntarily took a knee shortly thereafter just as his corner threw in the white towel. Some were in shock while others felt like celebrating.

Of course, Margarito’s fate was proverbially sealed six months later when officials discovered that the “Tijuana Tornado” decided he was just that. What are we told makes a tornado so dangerous? It’s not always the strong winds. It’s often the hard objects that are put into flight. The fact that he may have tried to fight with loaded gloves against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles led some to believe that he had done the same against Miguel Cotto. In any case, was Cotto’s train ride somewhat derailed after this defeat?

We’ll look at the facts. After more than a year away from boxing, the Puerto Rican legend took a tune-up with Michael Jennings, then withstood a firefight with Joshua Clottey four months later. That same fall, Manny Pacquiao pummeled him pink as a grapefruit en route to a twelfth round stoppage. Victories over a one-legged Yuri Foreman and a maniacal Ricardo Mayorga would set the tone for his grudge match against a one-eyed Antonio Margarito. As we all know, revenge was sweet.

Decision losses against Mayweather and Austin Trout came next. A comeback win against journeyman Delvin Rodriguez was followed by a win over a sadly decrepit Sergio Martinez, who had suffered from too many wars and too many injuries. A fourth round knockout win over Daniel Geale led up to the contest with Canelo Alvarez and somehow, after his first career loss in 2008 and with the exception of the bout with Rodriguez, Cotto was always able to fight for a major world title. The question can perhaps be asked, “Does Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KO’s) deserve to go to the Hall of Fame?” Pinch ourselves silly. Yes, of course he does and he’s recently stated that his upcoming bout with Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KO’s) for the vacant WBO world super welterweight title this coming Saturday will be the penultimate outing of his career.

“I think that 16 years is enough and I have other things to do in my life,” Cotto said on Monday during an international media conference call. “You know, I’m taking care of my family better and that is the biggest and only reason that I have to stop boxing and quit boxing and retire after December 31st of this year.”

Always the humble and soft spoken gentleman, Cotto revealed a bit more on the ups and downs of his sixteen years in the ring and admitted that everything he’s done or endured has made him the man he is today.

“I enjoyed my whole career,” said the former champion. “I believe that if anything from the beginning didn’t happen in my career, then I wouldn’t have the career that I’ve had. You know, I’ve enjoyed my whole career and I don’t want to point to any opponent, to any fight. I think that my whole career has been great for world boxing.”

Always the type to carefully pick his words, he admitted that his second shot at Margarito was among the most satisfying moments in his career. He commented, “You know, I’ve enjoyed everything. The victory against Mosley and the rematch against Margarito, but at the end of the road, I’m really proud of the kind of career that I’ve had.”

Naturally, there are bound to be journalists who need to know a fighter’s opinion on a certain fight which is taking place on the same evening as his own. We know the one we’re all thinking of, right?

“I arrived here in L.A. at the beginning of July to start my training time,” remarked Cotto.

“I’ve only come here with one thing on my mind, and that’s just getting ready for Kamegai. And I’ve been doing a great job here in L.A., and I have no time and no space in my mind to think about another thing, you know?”

Miguel continued. “I’m just ready for Kamegai. I’m just thinking about the Kamegai fight, and whatever or whoever has another fight on the same day, they have to think about their fight.”

Once the last bell of his career sounds to signal the end of his time as a professional fighter, Cotto intends to further the progress of his promotional company as well as nurture the talent from his island home.

“The future of boxing is whatever we want it to be,” he said. “We have to work hard and make them believe, make them work hard, as you have to work for boxing, and the whole world is in the hands of every Puerto Rican.”

Cotto will take on Kamegai on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The contest can be seen live on HBO’s ‘World Championship Boxing’ beginning at 9:45pm ET/PT.

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  1. Old Yank 04:31am, 08/26/2017

    Whose he fighting after Kamegai?

  2. Buster 07:49pm, 08/23/2017

    Cotto is a shot fighter who should have retired four years ago. He’s taken far too many beatings and too many punches. I don’t know who Kamegai is, but I hope he is the usual inept manufactured phony contender who doesn’t have the skills or punch to hurt the damaged Cotto. He is a great warrior who stayed around too long.

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