Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |



Cotto says 2017 will be his last as a fighter


Miguel Cotto has never had to explain himself.

He’s pretty unambiguous and to the point when he speaks to the media, articulating the usual platitudes (while hiding a rich sense of humor that he displays out of the public eye).

But on Wednesday, Cotto spent large swaths of a luncheon designed to promote his Feb. 25 bout with James Kirkland on HBO PPV on reiterating a theme he’s hinted out previously: 2017 will be his final year as a fighter. He said it in a Manhattan hotel ballroom but given Cotto’s grand history as a warrior, few seemed to believe him, which is why he was asked, several times in various ways if he really meant it. At least on Wednesday, he did.

“2017 is going to be my last year in boxing,” Cotto told a large room of reporters. “We’ll see what happens next. I want to end my career in the best way possible, and that’s why we decided to face James. I’ve been in boxing since I was 11. I have four kids. I have been away from them a lot of their lives and I want to be a 100% father.”

Cotto, a former four-division champion who turned pro in 2001, hasn’t fought since he lost a competitive decision to Canelo Alvarez in November of 2015. He took 2016 completely off, never thinking, he says, if he would ever fight again. Retirement never entered his mind. Instead, he viewed the time off as a way to restore his body. Now, Cotto (40-5, 33 knockouts) hopes to have between “two and three” fights to cap off his career, starting with the bout against Kirkland at the Dallas Cowboys new training facility at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. But asked if he has a match-up on his bucket list to bring down the curtain on, the stoical 36-year-old demurred.

“I’m always looking for the best name out there,” Cotto said. “We have to wait and see.” His trainer, Freddie Roach has the perfect opponent in mind for him to ride off into the sunset: Floyd Mayweather Jr., who won a decision against Cotto in 2012. “Well, I always thought with us together, Mayweather would have been a great fight,” said Roach, who started working with Cotto in 2013. “But he’s retired right now but that can change. And our last fight (against Canelo) was a very controversial decision, and I thought we won that fight but — there’s a couple good fights out there for us.”

Prodded on facing Alvarez again, Cotto said that yes, he would be interested in a rematch, though it’s a question what Canelo would stand to gain, other than a big payday. “I’m here for the best fights,” he said. “If the best fighters are out there, if they want a rematch to clear what happened last November 21, 2015, they know where and how they can  make it. It was close,” Cotto said of the loss to Canelo by scores of 118-110, 119-109, 117-111. “We orchestrated the plan in a perfect way and we believe we were the winners of the fight.”