RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto will be part of a four-city media tour in advance of their June 7 fight on HBO Pay Per View at New York's Madison Square Garden, Top Rank announced on Monday.
The tour will begin on March 10 in Cotto's native Puerto Rico, an event that will be open to the public, and include stops in New York on March 11, Los Angeles on March 12, and one in Buenos Aires, in Martinez's native Argentina, on a date to be determined, according to the Top Rank release.
Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts), a 39-year-old southpaw, has risen from the canvas during each of his past three fights comprised of an 11th-round stoppage of Matthew Macklin and unanimous decision victories over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martin Murray.
Martinez will have been out of the ring since last April, when he fought Murray in Buenos Aires. Martinez is 7-0, with four knockouts since falling by majority decision to Paul Williams in December 2009, having avenged that loss by stopping Williams in the second round in November 2010.
The win over Williams was in defense of the WBC belt Martinez won by unanimous decision from Kelly Pavlik in April 2010. Martinez has also knocked out former titleholders Sergei Dzinziruk and Darren Barker in the eighth- and 11th-rounds.
After the Chavez fight, Martinez received eight stitches to repair a cut over his left eye, two staples in his head, and suffered from both a broken left hand and torn ligaments in his right knee, the latter of which required surgery to repaair.
Martinez required a second surgery after having damaged the knee injury, later determined to be a torn right meniscus, after his triumph over Murray.
A 33-year-old three-division titlewinner, Cotto (38-4, 31 knockouts) is coming off a third-round knockout of Delvin Rodriguez in October that helped him to bounce back from consecutive unanimous-decision losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in May and December 2012, respectively.
Cotto's loss to Trout represented his eighth appearance at The Garden, and his 10th in New York.
Having fought at junior middleweight since 2010, Cotto will be moving up to the 160-pound division for the first time against Martinez in an attempt to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title in as many different weight classes.
Cotto is rising to the challenge at a time when the island nation currently has no reigning beltholders who were born there.
At The Garden, Cotto has decisioned former world titleholders Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Paulie Malignaggi, knocked out Zab Judah and Antonio Margarito, and lost to Trout, the latter in his last appearance in there. Cotto is 9-1 with five stoppage wins in New York overall, including 7-1 with four knockouts at The Garden.
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 triumph over Margarito had avenged the first loss of Cotto’s career, which was an 11th-round knockout in July of 2008.
Cotto's fight with Rodriguez was his first under trainer Freddie Roach, who was in the opposite corner when Cotto fought Pacquiao. Roach replaced Pedro Diaz, Cotto's trainer for three bouts.
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
Austin Trout UD 12 Miguel Cotto, Madison Square Garden, Dec. 12, 2012