Lem Satterfield

Will Cotto’s fall return include trainer Diaz?


Four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto told a gathering of reporters during a Thursday press conference in Carolina, Puerto Rico, that he could return to the ring in the fall under the promotional banner of his own company, Miguel Cotto Promotions.

When Cotto (37-3, 30 knockouts) does re-enter the ring, the Puerto Rican fighter did not commit to having trainer Pedro Diaz in his corner for the fourth consecutive fight, according to the website www.mrboxingtab.com.

“I’ll be back soon during the fall. I’m going to fight under my company like we did in my last fight,” said Cotto, 32, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico. “The details about the fight and where will happen we are working with that to announce later.”

Cotto was in his third fight with Diaz during December’s Showtime’s unanimous decision loss to WBA junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Diaz replaced Emanuel “Manny” Steward, who died in October at the age of 68, after Cotto had won two fights under the Hall of Famer — ninth- and 12th-round stoppage victories over Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga in June of 2010 and March of 2011, respectively.

Diaz debuted for Cotto’s 10th round knockout of Antonio Margarito in December of 2011, which avenged an 11th-round knockout loss that was the first of his career in July of 2008.

In his second fight with Diaz, Cotto lost by unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., who added Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight to his WBC welterweight title, in May of 2012.

“I have no idea, he is in Miami,” said Cotto, referring to the future of Diaz in his corner. “That is something that we’re going to study and that we’re gonna talk about and decide.”

Cotto’s setback to Mayweather ended a three-fight knockout and winning streak since falling by 12th-round stoppage to Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009.

Rather than a rematch with Pacquiao, Cotto elected to challenge Trout, 27, who is coming off a unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez in June of 2012 that followed a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November.

For the first time in his career, Cotto spent the early portion of his preparation in the high elevation of the mountains of Big Bear, Calif., training for Cotto, an act that was questioned by veteran trainer, Virgil Hunter, during an interview with RingTV.com.

“If you are training at high altitude with a 32-year-old body, it takes five to six weeks just to overcome the stress aspects of it. So if you’ve got to go through all of the other training to get ready for the fight, then you’re wore out. And all of the extra stuff that you’ve got to do, chasing balls and this exercise and that exercise. That’s not good for a 32-year-old,” said Hunter.

“But I still picked Austin to win, before I realized Cotto’s training program. But it’s too much for a 32-year-old who has been in all of the wars Cotto has been in, to absorb. When you’re younger, you may be able to handle it a little bit more. But at 32 years old, at high altitude, I wouldn’t have done that with the wear and tear on his body. How much can his body take?”

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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