Fans hoping to see Miguel Cotto continue his unbeaten run at New York’s Madison Square Garden against WBA junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout when they clash on Dec. 1 will be disappointed, the undefeated southpaw said during a press conference on Monday.
“I know the Puerto Rican fans are going to be out in full-force, but on December 1st, there is going to be a new star in boxing. They’re going to see why I’m here, why I’m the champion,” said Trout on New York City’s Museum Mile at the El Museo Del Barrio on Fifth Avenue.
“I have two things in this sport right now — my belt and my undefeated record, and I plan to keep both of them. I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and I’m run with it. It’s very honorable to be on that list of people Cotto has fought because he’s fought the best, but it’s going to be even better to be on that list of the people that have beaten Cotto.”
Monday’s was the first of two appearances being overseen by Golden Boy Promotions involving Trout (25-0, 14 knockouts) and Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, who will also participate in a Wednesday press conference in Puerto Rico in advance of their Showtime-televised bout.
Cotto is 7-0 with four knockouts at The Garden, where he stopped Antonio Margarito in the 10th round in December of las year to avenge an 11th-round knockout loss that was the first of his career in July of 2008.
Cotto, who turns 32 next month, is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., who added Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight to his WBC welterweight title, in May.
“A few months ago, Miguel fought Floyd Mayweather and turned in a performance that many people thought Cotto won. Coming off that fight, Miguel could have taken a soft opponent,” said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.
“But he agreed to take on one of the toughest world titlists in this division. Austin Trout is young, strong and athletic. He defended his title on June 2nd on Showtime, and we’re thrilled to have him back defending against a legend like Miguel Cotto.”
A special documentary will be devoted to promoting Cotto-Trout.
“I’m also excited to announce that a new edition of our sports documentary series All Access will be dedicated to this marquee matchup,” said Espinoza.
“All Access: Cotto vs.Trout will take viewers behind the scenes as the fighters prepare for this event. It will reveal aspects of Miguel Cotto’s unique training camp for this fight, and introduce sports fans at-large to the American champion, Austin Trout.”
Trout hails from Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is coming off a unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez in June that followed a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November.
The loss to Mayweather ended a three-fight knockout and winning streak by Cotto, whose previous setback had come via 12th-round stoppage opposite Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009.
“The fans here make me proud of the Puerto Rican heritage in New York. Austin Trout is a world champion. I always go for the best fights possible, and Austin was the best option for us. I’ve learned a lot in camp from Pedro, and I know he’s going to get me ready to win another world title,” said Cotto, who was in his second fight under trainer Pedro Diaz against Mayweather.
“People here in New York make me feel at home. People here make me feel comfortable.They root for me and they give me the support I need to beat anyone. He’s a world champion, he’s undefeated. He’s a dangerous fighter and he was the right opponent for me, but I’ll still walk out of the ring with another belt on December 1st…The crowd here in New York is electrifying. I get a different feeling when I fight here.”
This time, however, Trout, 27, said the feeling Cotto will have will be one of defeat.
“It’s a dream come true to fight at Madison Square Garden. I’m a Knicks fan and I’ve been there for a Knicks game and it was electric. He can have whoever he wants in the crowd because it’s only me and him in the ring. I’m not worried about the crowd and fighting in New York. I’ll do my job no matter where I fight,” said Trout.
“I’ve been in hostile waters before down in Mexico, and it gave me experience for this fight. There’s only one man who’s going to be in the ring with me. We’ve wanted this fight for years. We knew we had to knock off some people first to get it, but I’m very grateful to say the least. I’m one of the most avoided fighters in boxing, so I thank him for the opportunity to fight him on this stage. This weight class is stacked and I’m going to clean it up.”
MIGUEL COTTO’S FIGHTS IN NEW YORK:
Waklimi Young, UD 4, Hammerstein Ballroom, April 28, 2001
Muhammad Abdulaev, TKO 9, Madison Square Garden, June 11, 2005
Paulie Malignaggi, UD 12, Madison Square Garden, June 10, 2006
Zab Judah, TKO 11, Madison Square Garden, June 9, 2007
Shane Mosley, UD 12, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 10, 2007
Michael Jennings, TKO 5, Madison Square Garden, February 21, 2009
Joshua Clottey, SD 12, Madison Square Garden, June 13, 2009
Yuri Foreman, TKO 9, Yankee Stadium, June 5, 2010
Antonio Margarito, TKO 10, Madison Square Garden, Dec. 3, 2011
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com