Cotto vs. Rodriguez Presser
On Tuesday, former three-division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) joined his challenger Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs), Top Rank President Todd duBoef, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to announce their 12-round super welterweight fight on October 5th. The bout marks a crossroads moment for the 32-year-old Cotto, who is coming off back-to-back losses.
After defeats at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout while with Golden Boy Promotions, Cotto has made the switch back to Top Rank. The company originally signed him out of the 2000 Olympics.
In a return to something familiar, Cotto is anxious to get back his championship form.
“I’ve been away from boxing for a long time, since last December and it’s great to be back,” said Cotto. “It’s great to feel the energy.”
In addition to the change in promoters, Cotto has also made the move from trainer Pedro Diaz to Freddie Roach. The five-time BWAA Trainer of the Year will prepare the former champ out of his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, CA.
“I’m going to [Los Angeles] for the first time in my career to train and I’m going to bring my best. Every morning at the track, every morning at the gym to come here in the best weight possible and to make a great fight.”
Rodriguez is also looking at this as a fresh opportunity. The two-time world challenger has scored two knockouts in the past sixth months, including a win over the previously undefeated George Tahdooahnippah.
With the top five contender consistently knocking at the door, Rodriguez is treating this fight with the 33-year-old Cotto as a “now or never” opportunity to score a signature win.
“I’m motivated more than ever because facing a fighter like Miguel Cotto who’s been fighting the best fighters in the division forever,” said Rodriguez. “No disrespect to the people I’ve fought in the past, but for some reason, I fought to their level.”
Rodriguez seemed energized by the largely pro-Cotto crowd of fans that were allowed to attend the press conference inside the Amway Center. While a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Cotto has lived and trained in Orlando at times making him the hometown favorite.
Mayor Dyer echoed the sentiments of the raucous fans and also pointed to a future of more boxing events for the three-year-old arena.
“We’ve always wanted to have a multitude of events so adding boxing to the mix is really exciting for us,” said Dyer. “This is an arena that (NBA Commissioner) David Stern has said is the best in the world. Many of the singers that have been here have said that the acoustics are fantastic so I think we are going to be the best boxing venue in the world as well.”
In addition to the Amway Center getting its first boxing event, it will get the exposure of a fight being viewed on HBO and in 180 countries worldwide. While Cotto by his own admission might be nearing the end of his career, his presence on any card makes it a big event.
“You don’t even describe him because what he’s given the boxing community since he turned pro in 2001 is incredible,” said duBoef. “He’s accomplished everything in this sport. He’s a Hall of Famer.”