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Cotto-Margarito tour to begin in mid-September

Fighters Network

Top Rank Promotions is planning a media tour that will begin in late September for the rematch between WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and ex-titlist Antonio Margarito of Mexico, Cotto’s legal adviser Gaby Penagaricano told

Margarito-Cotto II will take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec.3. Their clash will be contested at a catchweight of 153 — one pound below the limit for the junior middleweight division.

“There are no contracts signed yet, but the fight has been agreed to in principle. They’re finishing the contracts to be circulated and to be reviewed, etc.,” said Penagaricano.

“So nothing has been signed, but the fight has been agreed to in principle to Miguel Cotto’s full satisfaction.”

The fight is a return bout of one that ended with the 33-year-old Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) handing Cotto (36-2, 29KOs) the first loss of his professional career with an 11th-round stoppage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July of 2008.

The Margarito-Cotto II press tour will “begin in Miguel Cotto’s backyard of Puerto Rico,” , said Penagaricano.

“I know that the promoters are shooting for the week of Sept. 19 for a launching date from Puerto Rico, and the tour will cover Puerto Rico, New York, Mexico and Los Angeles,” said Penagaricano.

“So it is going to be a full-blown tour of those cities in the United States and Mexico and Puerto Rico, and it is being worked out as we speak.”

A former two-time welterweight and one-time junior welterweight champion, the 30-year-old Cotto’s fights have been arguably the most popular of any present-day boxer’s at Madison Square Garden, where he often has fought in June on the eve of New York’s City’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

Cotto is 8-0, with three knockouts when fighting in New York, and he is 6-0 at Madison Square Garden, where four of those contests have taken place on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Cotto has scored consecutive knockouts over Yuri Foreman and three-time beltholder Ricard Mayorga, respectively, in the ninth and 12th rounds in June of last year and in March.

Before dethroning Foreman, Cotto, himself, was dethroned as WBO welterweight titleholder by Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) via 12th-round knockout in November of 2009.

Margarito has not been in the ring since losing by unanimous decision to Pacquiao in a match up that earned Pacquiao the WBC’s vacant junior middleweight belt in November of last year.

Although Pacquiao-Margarito was contested at a catchweight of 150 pounds, Pacquiao faced a 17-pound weight disadvantage (165 pounds to 148 in favor of Margarito) by the time the two fighters entered the ring.

Margarito, nevertheless, suffered a fractured right orbital bone resulting from the damage he absorbed from Pacquiao’s fists, comprised of a massive cut and swelling beneath his right eye socket.

Margarito underwent 75 minutes of surgery to repair the damage, and was cleared this past spring to return to training and to the ring.

Pacquiao has since vacated the WBC’s title.

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]