If You Can’t Make It in New York

By Robert Ecksel on November 22, 2011
If You Can’t Make It in New York
Arum heard what Cotto was saying and tried to change the subject (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

“I signed this fight for New York,” said Cotto. “I didn’t sign this fight for somewhere else. I’m going to fight in New York. Just New York…”

Miguel Cotto’s teleconference call in anticipation of his Dec. 3 fight with Antonio Margarito ended almost as soon as it began.

Things started somewhat strangely when Fred Sternberg and Bob Arum spoke glowingly about the Dec. 3 rematch between Cotto and Margarito, yet failed to mention where the fight would take place or what the venue would be.

The subject of Margarito having loaded gloves during their first fight, of which Cotto is convinced, came up, but most of the questions were about the NYSAC hearing regarding the licensing of Antonio.

Cotto was asked repeatedly if he would fight elsewhere if the bout with Margarito was relocated out of New York City, and each time his answer was the same:

“I signed this fight for New York. I didn’t sign this fight for somewhere else. I’m going to fight in New York. Just New York. I’m not going to present myself in any other state, or any other commission than New York State and their commission.”

Arum heard what Cotto said and tried to change the subject, but to no avail.

“If the people from the New York Commission say Margarito is not able to fight because of his eyes,” Cotto said, “everyone has to respect that, and the viewers have to respect that. I’m not going to fight anywhere else. Just New York.”

Arum was asked how Cotto’s refusal to fight somewhere other than New York might affect the Dec. 3 card.

“I don’t know,” said Arum uncharacterically, “and I don’t know why we’re on this conference call when we haven’t heard from the New York Athletic Commission. Other issues will be discussed if and when New York does or doesn’t allow the fight to be held. This conference call is really not appropriate at this time.”

Cotto was asked again about Margarito’s handwraps.

“Playing with the health of somebody,” he said, “a human being, and playing with his health, attempting to kill him, because if used plaster in his wraps, that’s a weapon to me. You have to be like a criminal, because you used a weapon in a sport where you can only use your skills and conditioning. If we have another name to call that, just please tell me what kind of verbs I can use.”

Someone asked something about HBO’s 24/7, and it seemed as relevant as a slingshot during a nuclear war.

Returning to whether the fight was happening or not happening, and if it might happen somewhere other than New York, Miguel Cotto stuck to his guns: “When I signed to fight Margarito, the fight was to be in New York City, and that’s where the fight should be. It’s not a question of giving advantage to anyone. It’s a question of doing the right thing. And that’s what I signed for, to fight in New York City.”

Bob Arum was distressed. He had heard just about all he needed to hear.

“Fred, Fred, Fred, will you wind up this call?”

These things usually last an hour. This abbreviated teleconference call barely clocked in at 20 minutes.

The ball, as they say, is in Melvina Lathan’s court.

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  1. the thresher 07:34am, 11/28/2011

    And oh by the way, Junito, if California bans Margo but NY doesn’t, don’t give me that “every commission” garbage. It has no traction.

  2. mikecasey 08:05am, 11/24/2011

    Nice article, Robert. And I agree with Dave’s sentiments here. The guys who cheat never seem to realize that it scars them eternally. Many fans won’t ever forgive them for that.

  3. Dave Wilcox 12:07pm, 11/23/2011

    I wouldnt lose sleep if Plasterito lost a payday. He is a jerk anyway. He and his whole “punk” team.

    I like Cotto and respect his decision to not fight elsewhere. If this one falls through, Cotto will find another payday..hopefully the same wont be said for Cheatarito. If I never see Margacheato inthe ring again, that will be too soon

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