Cotto vs. Kamegai for vacant 154-pound title on Aug. 26
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.”
Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or…
You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. – Mano A Mano.