Miguel Cotto: ‘No doubt’ of beating Sergio Martinez on June 7
LAS VEGAS — Miguel Cotto said he has "no doubt" that he will beat Sergio Martinez on June 7 at New York's Madison Square Garden, and picked Floyd Mayweather Jr. to win by "shutout" against Marcos Maidana on May 3.
Cotto (38-4, 31 knockouts), who will challenge for Martinez's RING and WBC middleweight championships on HBO Pay Per View, spoke to reporters during a Friday luncheon at the MGM Grand, site of Saturday night's rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.
"Everybody knows how important this fight is to me," said Cotto, a 33-year-old three-division titlewinner. "I'm going to do my best to win, and I have no doubt that I will."
Having fought at junior middleweight since 2010, Cotto is moving up to 160 pounds for the first time in an attempt to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title in as many different weight classes (the island nation currently has no reigning beltholders who were born there). Martinez-Cotto will happen the night before New York's Puerto Rican Day parade.
Cotto is 9-1 with five knockouts in New York, and 7-1 with four stoppage at The Garden. He 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.
Martinez is a bigger fighter than Trout, but Cotto said that won't matter with new trainer Freddie Roach, who was in Manny Pacquiao's corner when he defeated Cotto in 2009.
"This is a different fight," said Cotto, whose loss to Mayweather ended a three-fight knockout streak. "This is a different opponent, different trainer, different mindset. I know that this is going to be a whole different game plan and a whole different fight."
Having last fought in April 2013 when he defeated Martin Murray, the 39-year-old Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) has vowed to slice up Cotto, who is prone to cuts. Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Matthew Macklin, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. were all left with badly bleeding faces after losses to Martinez.
In additon, Darren Barker suffered a perforated eardrum during an 11th-round stoppage loss to Martinez, and Sergei Dzinziruk was dropped five times during an eighth-round knockout loss.
"I'm a boxer. I've bled before," said Cotto, in response to Martinez's threats. "I've found out the way to work with the bleeding on my face in the fight, and if that happens on June 7, I am going to be able to find a way to work with it again and beat him."
Martinez is 7-0 with four knockouts since falling by majority decision to 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 Pavlik in April 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 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. Martinez was floored once during his first bout with Williams, as well during his wins over Pavlik, Macklin, Chavez and Murray.
Although Cotto is well aware of Martinez's past injuries and his resiliency, he said that he will count on his rival being at "100 percent."
"If he still has injuries, then that's his problem," said Cotto. "I have confidence in Freddie. I'm working with Freddie in the gym on doing things in this fight."
Asked if he would have beaten Mayweather if Roach was in his corner at the time, Cotto said, "You can't talk about what happened in the past."
"I'm more disciplined boxer right now, than before, and I have better guidance with Freddie," said Cotto. "I do know that the whole fight would have been different if Freddie was in my corner."
Mayweather will defend his RING and WBC 147-pound championships against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana on May 3 at The MGM.
"That's going to be a shutout for Mayweather," said Cotto. "To me, that's not an interesting fight. It's going to be an easy fight for Mayweather."