NEW YORK — The 17,943rd and final ticket for Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II was sold at 10:42 a.m. on Thursday morning, producing a sellout gate in excess of $3 million for the HBO Pay Per View-televised rematch at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, is 8-0 with four knockouts overall in New York, and, 6-0 at Madison Square Garden, while Magarito is 1-0 with a first-round stoppage at The Garden.
Cotto is believed to have sold more tickets than any fighter overall at The Garden, considered “The Mecca of Boxing,” including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran or anybody else, according to Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum.
It is the second time a Cotto card has sold out at The Garden, with the first time being his 11th-round knockout of Judah on June 9 of 2007.
“You can rename Madison Square Garden The Mecca of Miguel Cotto. Selling out Madison Square Garden is an event,” said Arum.
“Selling it out in advance is a mandate. New York is Cotto country. I don’t think any fighter has sold more tickets in this building than Miguel.”
Cotto was unbeaten in July of 2008 when he was dethroned as WBA welterweight beltholder following an 11th-round knockout loss to the 33-year-old Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs).
The Cotto-Margarito undercard is stacked, led by RING No. 1-rated lightweight and WBA titleholder Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs) as well as unbeaten RING No. 8-rated Philadelphia welterweight Mike Jones (25-0, 19 KOs) and RING No. 10-rated New Jersey junior middleweight Pawel Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KOs).
Also to appear is Notre Dame graduate and Chicago-based ligthheavyweight prospect Mike Lee (7-0, 4 KOs) against Allen Medina (9-19-1, 1 KO).
Rios is in pursuit of his 11th win in a row against THE RING’s No. 8-rated Johnny Murray (31-1, 18 KOs).
Jones will be in against Argentina’s Sebastian Lujan (38-5-2, 24 KOs) for the No. 1 spot in the IBF’s ratings, with the winner being in line to meet IBF No. 2-rated Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs) for the organization’s belt that was recently vacated by Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs).
Wolak is taking his unbeaten streak of 8-0-1, including five knockouts against Dominican-born Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-3, 14 KOs), whom Wolak battled to a majority draw in July.
Wolak-Rodrigues I featured Wolak fighting the entire second half of the fight while peering through severely cut and swollen eyes, the right side of his face marred by a softball-sized hematoma.
MIGUEL COTTO’S FIGHTS IN NEW YORK:
Waklimi Young, UD 4, Hammerstein Ballroom, April 28, 2001
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org