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Cotto vs. Kamegai for vacant 154-pound title on Aug. 26

Miguel Cotto is leaving boxing on his terms - on top of his game, financially secure and with the respect and admiration of his peers and fans.
24
May

Miguel Cotto will fight Yoshihiro Kamegai after all; it just won’t happen with Roc Nation Sports promoting the event.

Cotto and Roc Nation parted ways last week and it was believed the long-discussed matchup wouldn’t take place. But now it’s set, with Golden Boy Promotions taking the lead for Aug. 26 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

The HBO-televised bout will be contested for the WBO junior middleweight title Canelo Alvarez vacated after beating Liam Smith in September.

“I’m very excited to be back and showcase a high-level fight for the fans,” said Cotto, who will be making his 23rd appearance on the network. “Kamegai is a great, tough fighter but I will be ready for him and to capture the world title. I can’t wait to start training for this fight and get back in the ring.”

The future Hall-of-Famer has been out of action since a November 2015 decision defeat to Canelo. The Puerto Rican was slated to face James Kirkland in February but the Texan suffered a broken nose in sparring and the event was canceled.

Kamegai, 34, is coming off two action-packed bouts with Jesus Soto Karass (a draw in their first bout and a decision victory for Kamegai in their second meeting) but is now taking a quantum leap in competition.

The Japan native will be a massive underdog in what amounts to a shake-off-the-rust fight for Cotto, ahead of a possible fall meeting with Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez.

Kamegai always gives an honest effort, though, and is never in a bad fight.

“I fully understand who I am going to be in the ring against but Cotto’s record and history won’t matter once we are toe-to-toe,” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 knockouts) said. “I am looking forward to giving fans the kind of aggressive fight that they have seen from me before and having my arm raised in victory.”

Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) said in February that 2017 will be his last year in boxing. If the promise holds true, this should be the penultimate fight of the 36-year-old’s storied career, which includes titles in four weight classes and entertaining losses to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Cotto also was the lineal/THE RING Magazine middleweight champion, a feat he accomplished with a 2014stoppage of Sergio Martinez.

“Miguel Cotto is a legend who is still fighting for title belts more than a dozen years after first being crowned a world champion. It’s remarkable,” said Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, “but I’ve seen Kamegai in action many times and the guy doesn’t ever take a step back. Miguel will have his hands full on August 26.”

 

 

 

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