HBO’s Face Off: Cotto-Martinez will debut on May 24 in advance of the HBO Pay-Per-View June 7 clash between RING/WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto at New York's Madison Square Garden, the network announced on Wednesday.
The segment will air at 12:00 a.m., ET/PT immediately following the Boxing After Dark telecast headlined by heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Mike Perez.
Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts) 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 stoppages since falling by majority decision to Paul Williams in December 2009. Martinez avenged the loss by stopping Williams in the second round in November 2010.
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 repair.
Martinez required a second surgery after having re-aggravated the knee, later determined to be a torn right meniscus, after his triumph over Murray.
Cotto (38-4, 31 knockouts), a three-division titlist, is coming off a third-round stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez in October that helped him bounce back from consecutive 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 weight classes.
At the Garden, Cotto decisioned former world titleholders Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Paulie Malignaggi, knocked out Zab Judah and Antonio Margarito and lost to Trout. The Trout fight was his last appearance in New York.
The loss to Mayweather ended a three-fight knockout streak by Cotto, whose previous setback had come via 12th-round stoppage to Manny Pacquiao in November 2009. The triumph over Margarito had avenged the first loss of Cotto’s career, an 11th-round knockout in July 2008.
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, November 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 9, Madison Square Garden, December 3, 2011
Austin Trout, L UD 12, Madison Square Garden, December 1, 2012
HBO's Boxing Schedule for May and June:
May 17 — Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado live on HBO (10:15 p.m.)
Simpiwe Vetyeka vs. Nonito Donaire airs at 4 p.m. on HBO on May 31 from Macau as the lead-in for Froch-Groves II.
June 14 – Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Chris Algieri- live on HBO (10 p.m.)
June 28 – Terence Crawford vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa- live on HBO (10 p.m.)