Lost among the hoopla of the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor spectacle, Miguel Cotto a four division champion and future Hall of Famer will also be entering the ring on August 26th. It’s noteworthy because it comes after a two-year absence, he has his own legion of fans and is admittedly in the final stage of his career. On Saturday night Cotto will face off against Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight title at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California. The fight poses many questions. Does Cotto feel he is being upstaged by MayMac? What’s next for Cotto? Is this last we will see of him in the ring?
Squaring off Against MayMac
A little publicized fact is that Miguel Cotto was scheduled to fight on August 26th well before Mayweather and McGregor. The Kamegai fight was announced in May, whereas MayMac came together in July. Amongst boxing circles this move was viewed as bad form. What are Cotto’s feelings on the double-booking? When asked if he in any way feels overshadowed by the hoopla surrounding that fight, Cotto responded in vintage form – straight forward, politically correct and offering little to chew on. “I have no time and no space in my mind to think about another thing, you know? 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.”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya however, was much less diplomatic about the situation telling us this week “It will be the best boxing match taking place in the country on August 26th, mark my words.” While one may customarily attribute this proclamation as promoter-speak De La Hoya isn’t necessarily incorrect here. While MayMac has star wattage, novelty and a TMZ feel to it, substantively, the better match up is Cotto-Kamegai. In Kamegai you have a young and hungry contender on the rise who likes to brawl. While in Cotto an experienced veteran who always looks to box first, yet has no qualms about mixing it up – almost to a fault. The result, likely 12 rounds of action packed boxing.
Is This Miguel Cotto’s Last Stand
Yes and no. If you’ve ever covered Miguel Cotto, you know one thing. The man does not mince words. He’s made it clear that he will fight Kamegai and then there will be one more fight in December. Against whom? A possible match with David Lemieux or a rematch with Canelo Alvarez has been bandied about. Cotto however, was non-committal on the opponent. Simply stating “I have to just think about Kamegai, and then we are going to do what we always do, you know? Then we’re going to pick and choose the best challenger out there, and we are going to face him.” Pressed further whether a victory in December would open the door for future bouts, he told ‘LLERO in unequivocal terms “The decision is already made. I’m leaving on December 31st, no matter what happens with my career.”
So, for the legion of loyal Cotto fans, preparate because as 2017 comes to close so will a 16-year hall of fame career in which we witnessed wars with the likes of Antonio Margarito, chess matches with Shane Mosely and Zab Judah and a certain Floyd Mayweather pushed to places he’s never been. Win, lose or draw, thanks for the memories Miguel.
Image Credits GoldenBoy Promotions; Hogan Photos