Thursday, January 22, 2009

Miguel Cotto Has Something to Prove

Miguel Cotto is looking forward to returning next month and getting back into the thick of things.

Miguel Cotto is only a month away from squaring off against big underdog Michael Jennings at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but the specter of Antonio Margarito is hanging over his return like the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner.

Cotto is making his highly anticipated return to the ring after suffering his first professional loss to Margarito last July. Many are curious to see whether or not they will be treated to the same destructive fighter they all came to know before he ran headfirst into 'The Tijuana Tornado' and was stopped in eleven brutally exciting rounds.

Cotto, currently in the thick of his preparations, says the long lay-off since the Margarito loss has done him good and that he expects his return on Feb. 21st against the unknown Jennings, who hails from Great Britain, to be a successful one.

"I feel good," said Cotto, who claims making 147-pounds will be no problem. "You're going to see what I can do and physically I feel O.K. I'm anxious to see how I do…and answer the questions."

Cotto, who is refreshingly honest and candid about himself and his career, figures the reason that he lost to Margarito is relatively simple to understand.

"It wasn't about my conditioning, my conditioning is always good," said Cotto. "It was his night…it was Margarito's night is all it was. He was better than me that night and that's all there is to it. Simple as that, really."

As far as the fight against Jennings goes, Cotto says he will be prepared for whatever Jennings will bring to the table and he is looking forward to winning the vacant WBO welterweight title.

Michael Jennings (left) and Cotto, met for the first time at the press conference to announce their fight. Few give Jennings much of a chance, but Cotto says he is taking the challenge seriously.

"I don't know anything about him…nothing," says the plain-spoken Cotto. "But there is no such thing as an easy fight. No matter the fighter, they are never easy. The people said the same thing about Alfonso Gomez (whom Cotto stopped in five one-sided rounds) but they all come to win and they all come to fight hard. I know that Jennings is coming to win in the same way."

Cotto's future could be predicated on the outcome of this Saturday's WBA welterweight title fight between Margarito and Shane Mosley taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Cotto holds a close decision win over Mosley from Nov. 2007, so he is very familiar with both combatants. However, he seems to be sounding a cautionary note for Margarito.

"I don't know what to say about who will win that fight," said Cotto when asked for his opinion. "Both guys are top boxers, you know? But I think if Margarito doesn't come in the same shape as when he fought me, then he will probably lose this fight. Shane is a very good boxer."

According to Bob Arum, who promotes both Margarito and Cotto, even if Margarito somehow manages to lose to Mosley on Saturday night, he will move ahead with plans to match Margarito and Cotto on June 13th at Madison Square Garden.

But for that to happen, Cotto has to do his part and he has to get by the challenge of Jennings. And for now, he is not looking past that fight.

"I want to prove that Miguel Cotto has a lot of boxing left," he says of his return. "I want to prove that I'm still one of the top boxers in the world."

January 2009

No comments: