Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach let their feelings be known on a conference call. Read the transcript about what they had to say below, leading up to the fight on June 7 against Sergio Martinez:
CO-PROMOTER TODD duBOEF OF TOP RANK: I would like to welcome everyone to Miguel’s conference call. This fight is one we have all been waiting for. Obviously Miguel wants to show time and time again how great New York is and how passionate he is for the fans there and how he has created a great brand with the Puerto Ricans on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. But more importantly he has a goal to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four different divisions. In regards to the event, I’m not going to talk about Miguel and how he feels and how he is training – I’ll let Freddie and Miguel do that. Let’s talk about the event. As we went on sale, The Garden told us it was the fastest selling sporting event it has had in many years. The demand has been incredible. The match is right. The fans are behind both Sergio and Miguel and we know that The Garden is going to be electric the night of June 7. So, let’s go to Freddie and Miguel…
COTTO’S TRAINER FREDDIE ROACH: We are having a great training camp. Miguel is working really hard and we have great sparring partners – some really awkward southpaws. Everything is right on schedule. Miguel is in great shape and I can’t wait for this fight to happen.
MIGUEL COTTO: Everything is going very well and I am having fun with the guys at Wild Card Boxing Club in every part of the training camp. I’m just waiting for the time for the fight to happen.
Was there a time in your career that you ever thought you’d be fighting for a world title at middleweight?
MIGUEL COTTO: Never did it cross my mind that I would be able to go up to 160 pounds. After the fight in October, that was the best scenario. Sergio agreed with us and we moved on to this fight.
You could be the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four divisions. How do you feel about that?
MIGUEL COTTO: It is a personal matter. A personal achievement that I want to win and I am working for it on June 7th. It doesn’t mean that I am going to be better than Wilfredo Gomez, better than Félix Trinidad, better than all of the great champions that Puerto Rico has produced, but for me, Miguel, it will be the greatest accomplishment of my career.
Whether you win the fight or not, most people would think you would be in the conversation with those great champions. Do you feel a victory would put you in the elite group of the Puerto Rican greats?
MIGUEL COTTO: I am just waking up every day trying to do my best in preparation so I am at my best for every opportunity that I have to fight. I don’t want to be named, myself, as one of the elite boxers of Puerto Rico – that’s for the fans and for the people that know about boxing. I just want to do my job the best I can and I am going to do that the rest of my career.
Miguel seems as though he is a smaller person in terms of his build. Are you concerned that he may be over-reaching in terms of size for this fight?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, we moved up the weight a little bit and put on more muscle – I think he may actually be taller and he will be stronger on the inside and much more physical on the inside than Martínez is, and we are going to push him around with no problem. I think on the inside we are the bigger stronger fighter.
Do you think Sergio will be as elusive as he has been in the past due to recent injuries?
FREDDIE ROACH: We are going into the fight thinking Sergio is going to be the best that he can be and that’s the way it should be. It sounds like he’s already making excuses but we plan for him to be at his best and we are going to beat him at his best.
You looked so great and 147 and 154 – how do you feel about 160?
MIGUEL COTTO: I feel that I can do the pounds that I need to do. Freddie and Gavin [MacMillan] have given me the opportunity work well with the weight – I don’t see that as an issue at all – I have put that out of my mind. I just work hard and get my work done.
Is it difficult to carry that much weight – will it be a disadvantage?
MIGUEL COTTO: I feel at 160, I don’t need to lose the weight. It’s not about gaining the weight, it is about no having to lose the weight, coming down and trying to cut weight. It is important to stay fit and do the things that I need to do and I think that my body recuperates better during training camp because I don’t have to lose the weight.
You have fought in New York many times [nine times] winning a lot of fights there. The last fight you did not win – is that motivation for you to come back and win at The Garden?
MIGUEL COTTO: You know, you go in there and you are going to win or you are going to lose. The last time I did not come out the winner but I always go in and do my best. I am glad I have the opportunity to go in and show the fans again what I can do.
Against Austin Trout you had a difficult time getting inside. How do you plan to amend that for this fight?
MIGUEL COTTO: These are two different scenarios. You have Austin Trout, who is a gym fighter who has a lot of mobility; and you have Sergio Martínez, who is not a gym guy who moves around a lot but he has a couple issues with his knees. We are going to do our best. I know how I am going to fight Sergio and I can guarantee you we are going to win this fight.
Freddie, what do you think is different today than when he fought Austin Trout?
FREDDIE ROACH: I think he knows how to control the ring a lot better now – we really work on that, ring generalship, quite a bit. I wasn’t part of the Trout fight but I did see the fight. I know Miguel can do a lot better and he has been showing that in training with the bigger, stronger sparring partners and we are more scientific about our approach to this fight and how to control the ring a lot better. I think he’s come a long way this being our second fight together. We have had a great training camp and have a great rapport with each other. I think the problem has been solved in how to cut the ring off from our opponent.
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