Cotto chooses Trout over Pacquiao rematch
Three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto has chosen to take a fight with the WBA’s 154-pound “regular” beltholder Austin Trout over a potential rematch with former foe Manny Pacquiao, Golden Boy promotions CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed on Friday.
Cotto (37-3, 30 knockouts) will meet Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) on Dec. 1 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Puerto Rican fighter is 7-0 with four knockouts. Cotto is 9-0 overall with five stoppage wins in New York.
Neither Cotto nor his advisor, Gaby Penagaricano, could be reached for an immediate comment.
“I officially announce that my fight on Dec. 1st at MSG will be with the undefeated WBA (junior middleweight titlist) Austin Trout,” Cotto wrote on his Twitter account.
No network has yet been determined for Cotto-Trout.
By choosing Trout, Cotto took himself out of consideration for a return bout with Pacquiao, who stopped him in the 12th-round in November of 2010. Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) had been mulling return bouts with either Cotto, WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley or four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez.
Cotto is coming off May’s unanimous-decision loss to five-division, eight-belt winner Floyd Mayweather Jr., who added Cotto’s WBA “super” junior middleweight belt to the WBC welterweight crown he already owned.
“Miguel is going to be fighting Austin Trout. Miguel announced it earlier this afternoon. The fight is done for Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1,” said Schaefer, who promoted Mayweather-Cotto
“We are very happy that Golden Boy Promotions will be working with Miguel Cotto Promotions to put together a spectacular event and night from Madison Square Garden. We met with Miguel, and with his team and everybody, and they’re very excited about working together again.”
Between losing to Pacquiao and Mayweather, Cotto scored three straight stoppage victories, including a 10th-round knockout of Antonio Margarito last December to avenge the first loss of his career.
The Margarito fight was Cotto’s last at Madison Square Garden.
“We worked with him on the Mayweather fight, and he had a wonderful experience. He loves the way that Golden Boy works. We do shows with Miguel Cotto’s promotional company in Puerto Rico, so he knows that we’re very professional. So it’s going to be a pleasure, once again, to be working with Miguel Cotto at the Garden on Dec. 1,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions.
“After he lost to Mayweather, he could have easily said to himself, ‘I’ll take a tune-up,’ or ‘I’ll take an easy opponent.’ But no, he wants to go after a world title again. Now, he’s taking on an undefeated fighter in Austin Trout. But Miguel Cotto, he’s Puerto Rico’s pride, once again, and he’s going for the world title.”
A southpaw who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Trout is coming off a unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez in June that followed a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November.
Trout has served as a sparring partner for THE RING middleweight champ Sergio Martinez during his preparation for left-handed fighters such as ex-title-holders Sergei Dzinziruk and Paul Williams.
Martinez stopped Williams in the second-round of their clash of southpaws in November of 2010, and dropped the previously unbeaten Dzinziruk five time on the way to an eighth-round knockout in March of last year. Trout was also a sparring partner for Matthew Macklin, who gave Martinez trouble prior to being stopped in the 11th-round in March.
“It’s a tough fight for Miguel. I personally take my hat off to Miguel Cotto because this is a very, very dangerous fight. But this is who Miguel Cotto is. This is what makes him great,” said De La Hoya.
“This is what’s going to take him to the Hall of Fame when his career is said and done. That’s why Puerto Rico is so proud of him, and that’s why he’s Puerto Rico’s son. He takes these types of risks and challenges.”
Neither Trout or his promoter, Greg Cohen, could be reached for an immediate comment.
But during an interview with RingTV.com before he fought Rodriguez, Trout expressed the desire to prove himself worthy against an opponent such as Cotto.
“I think that I’m already in the minds of the guys in the division and in the minds of my potential opponents. I know that they realize that I’m good. I know that they’re watching for me. They may not say it, but if they’re smart, they should be watching for me. But in the minds of the public, it’s going to be fights like this against Delvin Rodriguez that are on national television,” said Trout.
“That’s what is going to get my name and my face in the public’s mouth and in their heart. All that I really have to continue doing is to keep winning. If I can keep on winning in good, solid fashion, then my time will come. That’s when the public will start getting behind me. They’ll start saying, ‘Let’s see what Trout can do with Cotto,’ or, maybe even, ‘Let’s see what Trout can do with Mayweather.’
“Beating all of those other guys, they’ll want to see Trout in there with bigger names. So, that’s what I have to do. I just have to just keep on winning and working hard, and then, eventually, the public will begin to get behind me.”
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 Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]