Miguel Angel Cotto – the Puerto Rican Superstar and 4-weight World Champion, is set to retire by the end of this year (2017) and the future Hall of Fame fighter wants one big fight after his contest with Yoshihiro Kamegai, this coming weekend, in which they will battle it out for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title.
After the retirements of three other boxing legends this past week: Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, it signals the end of an era for some of history’s most loved and successful boxers – an era which Miguel has been a huge part of!
I am currently in the process of watching and studying all of Cotto’s professional fights and it is amazing to watch his progression and maturity in the ring – not only can you learn a lot from his elite skill set, but you can also take so much from him as a man and athlete, by the way he carries himself, his mindset, focus, determination and pure love and passion for his sport and craft.
As an amateur Miguel Cotto had a record of 125-23, where he won 4 consecutive Puerto Rican National Championships; he also won Gold at the Pan American Games and a Silver medal at the World Junior Championships. Not forgetting that he also represented his country at the Olympics in 2000, whilst still in his late teens.
After turning Pro, Cotto won his first World Title in his 21st fight and he did so against Kelson Pinto – a hard hitting Brazilian who beat Cotto on two occasions as an amateur – this stoppage victory must’ve been a sweet moment for Cotto as he avenged his amateur losses when it mattered the most and he came away with the WBO Light Welterweight World Championship belt around his waist.
His career has seen him capture 5 world titles in total so far and has also seen him fight some top names within his era, including: Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Sergio Martinez and Paulie Malignaggi to name a few.
Cotto has been a hero of mine ever since I first got into boxing. He lost his father within a year of me losing mine and this immediately drew me towards him – I can remember watching videos on YouTube and I always felt a connection to him after this and he became a massive role model in my life.
Luckily I got to meet the legend himself this year when out in Los Angeles, training at The Wildcard Boxing Club – it was amazing to meet and speak to him although I was totally star-struck at the time! Cotto’s class outside of the ring easily matches his class within it; he is such a humble guy, but also a man who is very focused and hard working, which is why he’s got to where he is today.
My favourite moment in Cotto’s career was when he avenged his loss to Mexican fighter Antonio Margarito, after he put Cotto’s life in danger by using illegal padding in his hand wraps (padding known as ‘plaster of Paris’). After meeting Miguel in person, I believe that the only reason he wasn’t seriously and permanently injured in that first fight between the two, was because of how incredibly strong and thickset he is, if he wasn’t so strong and robust, I believe the results could’ve been far worse.
Aside from this, all you have to do is look at Miguel Cotto’s record to see how impressive his resume is and his list of achievements. You can see the class and the levels of the man and the results clearly define his boxing ability – all of his success has been achieved through consistent work and hours upon hours in the gym… The secret to success!
Whenever Cotto does retire, he can do so with his head held high, knowing that he fought some of the best names in the sport and that he is up there (in my opinion) with some of the best fighters of all time, not just based on his wins and his achievements in the ring, but also because of his character, mentality, skills and his warrior’s heart!
To finish this post I’d like to say a personal thank you to Freddie Roach and Cotto’s team for giving me the opportunity to meet one of my heroes and thank you to Miguel himself for inspiring me to pursue Boxing after losing my father back in 2009.
Many Thanks and I hope you enjoyed this post about one of my idols!