According to Dan Rafael of espn.com, WBA Super Welterweight champion Austin Trout will take on former three division champion Miguel Cotto on December 1st at Madison Square Garden.
“I officially announce that my fight on Dec. 1st at MSG will be with the undefeated WBA (junior middleweight titlist) Austin Trout,” Cotto wrote.
“I’m trying to put this legacy together and this is what I needed. I am ecstatic right now,” Trout told ESPN.com. “I get to check off a few things on my bucket list with this fight. I get to fight in the Garden, I get to fight a superstar in the Garden, and I get to fight on HBO, if that’s where this fight is.”
Both HBO and Showtime are negotiation to televise the fight.
“We are teaming up with Golden Boy for aspects of the promotion, but Miguel doesn’t have any promotional ties to any company and that’s the way it’s going to remain,” said Cotto’s attorney Gabriel Penagaricano.
“We explored the Pacquiao fight,” Penagaricano said. “We discussed it for several days but there was no agreement. The weight was an issue and we didn’t agree on all relevant aspects of the deal, so at the end, there was no agreement. After that didn’t work out, we had a had a short list of candidates and Miguel picked Trout.
“He’s undefeated, he’s a good challenge, he’s a world champion and that was attractive to Miguel. The world title aspect and the undefeated record were most attractive in making the selection.”
Trout found out that he had gotten the fight by phone from his promoter, Greg Cohen, on Friday and said he did not believe him at first.
“He told me and I said, ‘Get out of here,’ ” Trout said. “There had been talks before so I didn’t believe him. Greg said, ‘So how does “Trout-Cotto” sound to you?’ I said, ‘Great,’ but I didn’t think he was serious. He said, ‘This is happening.’ It’s a miracle for Cotto to take this kind of fight. I’m gonna take full advantage of this opportunity. I feel like going to train right now.”
“I don’t want to step on Cotto because the only night he can get the Garden is Dec. 1,” Arum said. “So that means we then take Dec. 8. Hopefully, Miguel winds up on HBO and we’ll go on pay-per-view the next week. That’s the idea.”
“I’ve done that before, going to other people’s house,” he said. “I went to Mexico twice for title fights and I will take that experience with me. I’m ready for it. I’ve been through the Mexican fans. The Puerto Rican fans are passionate as well, but I’ve had my seasoning.
“I am definitely a fan,” he said. “I watched him coming up with Top Rank. I’ve been watching him for a while. I will prepare for the Cotto that gave Mayweather his fight next to (the first fight he had with Jose Luis Castillo). I know the jab will be important. I’ll step around him. I saw how Pacquiao did it to him and I think I have better footwork than Pacquiao.
By Bart Barry
Manny Pacquiao can be beaten, but this is not news because any man who ties gloves on his fists and makes combat with large and good enough men will be beaten eventually. Manny Pacquiao can be beaten by the man he faces Saturday, and this is news. It is not an outcome aficionados have allowed-for in a Pacquiao fight since at least Miguel Cotto but probably Oscar De La Hoya – and nobody knew what the hell was going to happen in that fight.
Pacquiao was unofficially beaten by Juan Manuel Marquez in November, yes, but you couldn’t find three people to predict it aloud in the MGM Grand Media Center during fightweek. It will be different this week. Pacquiao has not looked sensational against another prime fighter since his second tilt with Marquez in 2008 – another fight he may have lost with every scorecard in an honest hand. None of his recent opponents, not even Marquez seven months ago, prepared him for what he’ll see Saturday, when he faces Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand for the WBO welterweight title.
Bradley, 7-0 in world title fights, is an undefeated 28-year-old volume puncher who leads with his head. That sentence comprises everything needed to beat a subprime Pacquiao.
It has been more than five years since Pacquiao faced someone who had no idea how to lose, and that was the overmatched Jorge Solis at Alamodome in a fight with more anxious moments than one infers today from its boxscore. Those moments came behind a collision of heads that caused a cut to drop blood in Pacquiao’s eye, much as had happened two years before in the last prizefight Pacquiao lost – when Erik Morales took notice of the queasy look Pacquiao showed him after a visit to the ringside doctor. The Solis cut, too, brought a queasy look, one followed immediately by Pacquiao thrice making the Sign of the Cross – forehead to breastbone, left shoulder to right – in rapid succession, before tearing into Solis with a savageness unpredicted by any previous act in the fight.
The Sign of the Cross is a thing young Catholics learn to make in anxious situations, an emergency petition of sorts: I could be in over my head, here, so please watch over me. Pacquiao learned to do it as a child, like millions of others, and has continued to do it through a career that, as discovered in this match’s promotion, saw him occasionally eschew the teachings of Rome. Pacquiao’s rededication to his Catholic faith is sincere, but like other sincere initiatives Pacquiao has launched – like eradicating world poverty with yellow gloves – this one looks flighty.
It should be a private matter, either way, Pacquiao’s born-again Catholicism during a prizefight promotion, but as a matter that exploits Americans’ dual fascinations with evangelism and salesmanship, it was too rich for HBO not to shine its documentary light on – as part of a “24/7” programming concept, once innovative in 2007, that now covers mostly itself and predicts storylines it once discovered.
Pacquiao’s unconventional conversion is a bit relevant, too, because a fighter is not supposed to “feel empty inside” during training camp. If he is not too physically exhausted and mentally obsessed with another man’s injury to partake of such flummery, he’s likely not throwing hard enough at the heavybag. Or is that too ungentle for this era? Well. Can you imagine Marvelous Marvin Hagler, cloistered at the Provincetown Inn – the better to marinate in hatred and rage – having a telegenic advisor to ensure his spirit felt fulfilled? Heavens.
Just another part of the Pacquiao mystique, we are told. The soap-operatic entourage, the constituents in Sarangani Province, record deals, lawsuits and countersuits, the feuding corner, training breaks for Bible study; none of these is a distraction because Pacquiao has preternatural focus in the prizefighting ring. Or he’s been well-matched.
Inherent in most aficionados’ Pacquiao fight predictions has been a wager like this: Too much money to be made in a Floyd Mayweather fight for promoter Top Rank to risk it with a miscue. This has been a well-placed bet on the legendary marriage of matchmaker Bruce Trampler’s prowess and promoter Bob Arum’s business acumen, and their continued assumption a superfight with Mayweather is still doable.
Timothy Bradley’s one other showing at welterweight, an unimpressive 2010 outing with Luis Carlos Abregu, also indicates a prime Pacquiao will have his hand raised Saturday. Bradley is special in his way, special in both style and character, but he is not quite special as a guy who went 4-1-1 (3 KOs) against the primest versions of his era’s three best Mexican champions, as Pacquiao did. When was that prime-Pacquiao last seen, though? Pacquiao is the variable, Saturday, not Bradley; if the Pacquiao who has been showing up since he decked Ricky Hatton makes a pre-concert appearance at MGM Grand later this week, he will get conclusively outworked.
We already know what a volume puncher like Bradley brings: a glorious sort of shamelessness. Bradley doesn’t care much where he hits you and cares even less if you stretch him; so long as he surrenders himself fully to his intensity and does what his corner tells him, he is contented. Bradley doesn’t have to worry about losing because he has never done so as a professional, and because a volume puncher knows quickly when someone is decisively better than he is, as Pacquiao will be, and finds euphoria in breaking that man’s spirit with a want of polish, an enchanting rudeness.
I’ll take Bradley, SD-12, then – with a dissenting 112-116 scorecard filled-out the day before.
Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com
The May 5th Floyd Mayweather – Miguel Cotto megafight was just that as it amassed 1.5 Million Pay Per View buys which equated to $94 Million.
“The 1.5 million number is actual reported numbers,” Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com. “The final number will definitely be bigger than what it is now.”
“Floyd Mayweather’s numbers are getting bigger and bigger and this number shows you the kind of draw he is,” Schaefer said. “He’s a superstar and able to capture the interest of a large audience. He has broken out of the boxing following and now has a mainstream following that is unmatched in the sport. The numbers keep getting bigger and bigger.”
The bout is the second biggest non heavyweight bout of all time behind Mayweather’s bout with Oscar De La Hoya
By Bart Barry
SAN ANTONIO – Suspended above a bullring on a wire-mesh floor below a cinema-size screen, one story and 50 yards from where Cowboys Dancehall’s dancers danced, 75 or so aficionados gathered to look up to a gigantic image of Floyd Mayweather looping right crosses off Miguel Cotto’s left temple. They had arrived round 6:00 PM and sat through seven local-talent fights co-promoted by Jesse James Leija, and a pay-per-view co-main as well.
Although their view was front row of a movie theater that made customers stand, these aficionados enjoyed certain uncommon benefits: they were in a lively if respectful group comprising more serious observers than the folks downstairs keeping one eye on the Spurs game, there was instead of HBO’s audio feed the odd musical assortment that explodes from cowboy-bar speakers – Sir Mix-A-Lot opening for Garth Brooks – and there was the unexpectedly good event that went off above them.
Floyd Mayweather decisioned Miguel Cotto by unanimous scores, Saturday, in MGM Grand. The scorecards, while wide, were about what prognosticators expected, when in a reflection of bookmakers’ opinions, they favored Mayweather nine or so to one – with the one in that ratio usually having an ethnic or financial stake in picking the loser. Writers at ringside had the fight closer than the official judges, and ringside writers and official judges composed the matter’s sole authorities.
Nobody sincerely believed Cotto would win Saturday’s fight, and he did not. But Cotto made a fight more satisfying for spectators than any he had made since Manny Pacquiao stopped him 30 months ago. And make no mistake, it was Cotto who made Saturday’s fight. In round 2, he put Mayweather on the ropes – and Referee Tony Weeks left him there – and it led to a heap more abuse than Mayweather expected, all postfight protestations to the contrary.
In implying afterwards that his initial trip to the ropes was voluntary, that allowing Cotto to whale on his arms and sternum was plan A, Mayweather struck a curiously familiar note; those were Roy Jones’ words immediately after he sneaked past Antonio Tarver in 2003: I went to the ropes to entertain my fans. But in actuality, as the world soon learned, Jones went to the ropes because his diminishing reflexes and footwork allowed Tarver to put him there.
A similar hollowness accompanied Mayweather’s words because his fans, like Jones’ before them, generally want no part in a competitive spectacle. They do not watch a Mayweather fight to see their guy endangered or struck on the face a hundred times. They watch for a transcendent display, for proof that super heroes happen off the pages of their comic books.
What little vocal reaction happened above the bullring at Cowboys Dancehall, Saturday, came just as the bell rang to end round 8, Cotto’s best.
“He ain’t doing nothing!” somebody barked.
“He ain’t nothing!” agreed a second voice, its volume proportionate to its nervousness.
Then Mayweather gave them a rebuttal that was articulate (since that word has come out of hiding): I am a fighter, not an entertainer. It was what Mayweather said in the third round of his match with Shane Mosley, when he put his hands in a classic, high position and attacked the older man. It was a phrase he spoke in his fourth round with Victor Ortiz when he exploited the younger man’s weakness to cut his consciousness. And it was what he said for 30 of Saturday’s 36 minutes with Miguel Cotto. I am this, primarily this, and not what most of you think I am.
Something often missed by Mayweather’s detractors and ever missed by his devotees: Before he was “Money May,” master of the era’s race-baiting nuances, before he made pundits who should know better assign unprecedented import to his undefeated record, he was a fighter – a man who collected blows for a living.
There was a touch of requited love in the way Mayweather handled Cotto’s head on a break in round 4, something almost tender about it. Another man was speaking to him fluently in their first language – not hip hop’s Ali-copycat speak, not the cloyed and serenaded words the mercenaries sing to Money, not those adverbial clauses everyone spits at video cameras – but the language of professional combat in a proper tongue. It betrayed for a moment what most observers do not realize: Other fighters genuinely adore Floyd Mayweather because he is, at root, exactly as they are.
But other fighters also know what historians will uncover: There is a reason you must fight the fights. Mayweather beat Cotto, yes, but does any knowledgeable observer think he is, today, a stronger man for doing it? He is not. Mayweather was brutalized, softened, his health compromised, his life likely shortened some, in those 12 rounds with another professional puncher. It was what both men signed up for, of course, and if Mayweather was not enthusiastic about paying the tariff, he was still, and absolutely, good for it.
Historians, those plodding, careful men who assess records not hand speed, will note Mayweather never fought or beat, in his prime, a man who was favored over him. It’s too late to change that, and subsequently Mayweather’s legacy is for the most part settled. But then, respectfully, so is this: Floyd Mayweather was and is more of a fighter than he was or ever will be anything else.
Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com
Floyd Mayweather; Eight-Time and Five-Division World Champion
“Tonight we gave the fans what they wanted to see. We matched the best with the best. Cotto was a very tough competitor and he won some rounds. He pushed me to the limits and this is what it’s all about.
“Miguel Cotto fought his ass off tonight and I want to congratulate him and his team.
“You’ve seen me in flashy cars, but I want you to know that I do give back to the community. This is what it’s all about. It’s not about making a lot of money. It’s about giving back.
“I don’t want be on TV and not give you guys [the fans and media] what you deserve.
“Cotto is a good puncher. He didn’t win more than 30 fights for nothing. I was the first fighter to fight him at a weight that he was comfortable with. I actually came into the fight weighing 147.
“Things happened tonight and we both had to fight. But the main thing is that we got the victory.
“I think tonight was a cool fight. The fans were happy. It’s about impressing fans and giving them what they want to see.
“I sensed that sometimes Miguel was breaking down and then he would come back sharp. Miguel Cotto is in shape. The right hook and the uppercut were working for me tonight. I had watched tapes of Shane Mosley [when he fought Cotto] and I saw that the right hook was working. And I also watch Zab Judah use the uppercut against him too. So I knew I was going to use those shots tonight.
“I knew the right hook was going to be my money shot. A lot of times and these days you don’t see fighters using the right hook, only the left. But tonight I wanted to use the right hook and that is what I did.
“Tonight I got a few bumps and bruises, but that is part of the sports.
“I could have made it a very easy fight, but I was going for the knockout. Cotto was in tremendous shape. He was tough.
“Our game plan is always to win. Cotto surprised me and his record reflects where he is today.
“It’s about winning and that’s what I did. I’m not going to fold to pressure. Cotto can keep his head high as we are both winners tonight in our own way.”
Canelo Alvarez, WBC Super Welterweight Champion
“I want to thank my great team for all the great work and Mosley for giving me the experience. I learned a lot from tonight’s fight. It’s is the first time that I got cut and learned a lot from it. I told myself not to worry about it and that is also what I told my team.
“Yes I’m definitely ready to fight on a higher level. I’m ready for the best. I’ve gained a lot of experience tonight and I am ready to fight bigger fighters.
“I felt I had a great performance. Mosley is an experienced fighter. I know him very well and I followed his career.
“That was the game plan. I had to be calm and take my time and that is exactly what I did.
“I would like to fight one of the two main fighters, Mayweather or Cotto. This is what I deserve the most.
“I wasn’t surprised that Shane was able to take my punches.
“The next fight, you will see a better Canelo and a more experience Canelo. I am ready.”
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Floyd fought a fight that you guys hadn’t seen in some time. We knew coming into the fight that preparation was the key. He was pushed and he had to come out and fight hard.
“Cotto never gave up. The fans were going really wild.
“Miguel Cotto is probably one of the classiest guys in the sport of boxing. I would like to give him, his team and Gaby a lot of credit.
“What can I say but another one down.”
Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“Everyone gave a wonderful show tonight. Canelo is a young man who showed a lot of heart and desire, especially when he got cut over the eye, he kept his cool and remained collective. That’s a good sign of a champion. Obviously, Canelo fought a good fight and he was too much for Mosley. For a 21 year old, he showed a lot tonight and I believe he is ready for a guys like Cotto or Mayweather.
“Cotto fought a great fight and Mayweather fought a great fight as well.
“It didn’t surprise what did Mayweather in the fight. Mayweather is a great fighter and we have to give a lot of credit to Cotto for giving such a fight to Mayweather.
“Mayweather is a strong fighter. He got Cotto with great shots. He’s confident in his abilities and he believes in himself. This is a beautiful thing for boxing.”
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“Canelo is ready and so is the MGM Grand as he will be headlining his first pay-per-view on September 15.
“I’ve never seen as many people in the arena for the co-main event. A lot of Mexicans came for the fight.
“What I noticed with Floyd is that people are more appreciative of him and realize that he comes to fight. To see him come in tonight with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne and 50 Cent is really great for the sport of boxing.
“Beside his amazing skills, Floyd brings amazing numbers to the pay-per-view sales.
“Floyd Mayweather is a rock star. He really is.”
By Norm Frauenheim (Ringside)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. did the expected Saturday night at the MGM Grand and beat Miguel Cotto with a decision that was as bruising as it was unanimous. Then, there was the upset.
Mayweather did an interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant after saying he wouldn’t after the two engaged in a war of words following his controversial stoppage in a September stoppage of Victor Ortiz. Merchant said Mayweather apologized Friday for the rhetorical brawl.
The bet was that an apology from Mayweather would happen before immortality and an end to taxes. The way things are changing, anything looks possible, maybe even a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. More on that later.
Nevertheless, there have been hints for at a least week that Mayweather is a changed man even before he has to report on June 1 for an 87-day jail sentence for domestic abuse. At news conferences and other public appearances, he had begun to behave more like a diplomat and less like an ill-mannered rapper.
In Cotto, he said, he expected a tough fight.
“He came to fight,’’ said Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), who collected a minimum of $32 million, a record guarantee. “He didn’t come for survival.’’
No, he didn’t. Cotto came for a significant upset. He didn’t get it. On the scorecards, his loss was one-sided. Judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Dave Moretti scored 117-111 each for Mayweather. The third judge, Robert Hoyle, had it 118-110. Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) left the ring without speaking to the media, which might be a sign of his frustration at the scoring.
But there are no points for determination and the guts to sustain an attack throughout 12 rounds. A key element to Cotto’s tactical plan took shape early. Mayweather often uses distance like a puppeteer uses strings. From about the length of a jab, he pushes, pulls, leads, twists and, in the end, turns ordinary opposition inside-out. But Cotto refused to let him maintain the distance so fundamental to his reign.
In the second, it was evident Cotto would not follow Mayweather’s calculated lead. Cotto shoved him up and against the ropes as if to say that Mayweather should have picked a different dance partner. Cotto returned to the blueprint again and again throughout the next 10 rounds, driving Mayweather into the ropes with a bruising jab and a physical attack that bloodied Mayweather’s nose.
The blood was a surprise. If anybody was going to bleed, the guess was that it would be Cotto, whose eyes are surrounded by scar tissue from old wounds. This time, however, the unmarked Mayweather was the only one to bleed and sight of that blood elicited cheers from that part of the crowd that lusts for him to lose.
He didn’t, because in the ring, at least, he never changes. He is never without resources or an infinite ability to adjust. He scored by getting Cotto out in the center of the ring and landing shots, some unlikely. In the fourth, he rocked Cotto with a right that circled around his upraised hands. The punch found its mark, almost like a curve ball. Even when pushed up against the ropes, he rolled his shoulder and managed to deflect many of Cotto’s blows.
What’s next? For now, there’s only June 1 and time in Nevada’s Clark County Jail.
“That comes with the territory,’’ Mayweather said. “Things of life. You are faced with certain obstacles. You take the good with the good and the bad with the bad. …When June 1 comes, I’m going to accept it, like a true man would do.’’
And after his release?
“I don’t know,’’ said Mayweather, who went on to rip Pacquaio’s promoter, Bob Arum. “I was looking to fight Manny Pacquiao. I didn’t think that fight would happen because of Bob Arum. Bob Arum stopped the Manny Pacquiao fight. Let’s give the fans what they want to see. Let’s get that fight together.’’
Otherwise, Mayweather might have to apologize again. Once is enough.
It was the end of a beginning for a 21-year-old Mexican who might finally begin to be known for something more than his red hair.
“This is the beginning of my career,’’ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez said. “Thank you, Shane Mosley, for giving me this experience.’’
Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) might also have said thanks to Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs) for letting him add a legendary name to his unbeaten resume. He could also have said good-bye and good-luck to Mosley.
Mosley never had a chance. He was pounded to the body, pounded to the head, pounded from pillar-to-post in losing a unanimous decision to Alvarez, still the World Boxing Council’s junior-middleweight champion and more ambitious than ever to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Miguel Cotto or Manny Pacquiao.
A sign, perhaps, that Canelo is growing up and beyond his Howdy Doody days happened at the moment when he encountered the only potential adversity in an otherwise one-sided fight.
Blood, Canelo red, poured from a cut above Alvarez left eye after a head butt in the second. But it didn’t seem to bother Alvarez, who is said to have never suffered a cut before the inadvertent collision with Mosley.
If it really was Alvarez’ first wound, the 21-year-old Mexican responded as if he had always known how it would feel. How it would color his vision. How it would taste. It was a moment when he looked as if he had been born for the blood sport.
“He can go a long ways,’’ said Mosley, who collected $650,000 on a night when Alvarez earned $2 million.
The totality of Alvarez’ victory, however, might be hard to judge in terms of how he will do against younger, more dangerous opponents. The 40-year-old Mosley did nothing to dispel mounting evidence that he’s more shot than Sugar. He endured 12 rounds. He would not quit Saturday night. After sustained punishment that has left his face puffy and some say his speech slurred, however, it looks as it is time to quit the long, legendary career that will one day land him in the Hall of Fame.
“It can look that way,’’ said Mosley, who in the immediate aftermath of the loss didn’t say he would retire.
Mosley had no defense for the heavy hands that ricocheted off his midsection, rocked his head and echoed with an almost sickening thud throughout the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Maybe, he’ll be one of the next kings of the ring,’’ Mosley said.
Las Vegas welterweight Jessie Vargas (19-0, 9 KOs, a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-promoted fighter, is still unbeaten, but there wasn’t anything unanimous about his performance after a unanimous decision over shop-worn Steve Forbes (35-11, 11 KOs), also of Las Vegas.
There were scattered boos from a crowd gathering for the Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto fight for the dull 10 rounder. Vargas won at least eight of the rounds, but wasn’t dominant in any of them over Forbes, who has lost six of his last eight fights.
With Miguel Cotto watching from a ringside seat, super-welterweight Carlos Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs) scored a sixth-round knockout of DeAndre Lattimore (23-4, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas in the first bout on the pay-per-view part of the card.
Cotto must have liked what he saw from Quintana, a fellow Puerto Rican, in a victory that might have been a good sign for his chances at an upset of Floyd Mayweather in the main event. Quintana swarmed Lattimore with a barrage of punches — head to body, body to head.
Midway through the sixth, Quintana stunned Lattimore in a neutral corner. A dazed Lattimore slid along the ropes. Quintana pursued, hitting Lattimore with a succession of left hands that finally dropped him near his own corner at 2:19 of the round.
“A great day for Puerto Rico,’’ Quintana said of a night that he hoped would end in a Cotto encore.
Puerto Rican featherweight Braulio Santos (6-0, 5 KO) employed explosive quickness for a unanimous decision over Juan Sandoval (5-9-1, 3 KOs) of San Bernardino, CA, in the last fight before the pay-per-view telecast.
Santos’ array of punches came at a blinding rate, especially in the fourth when Sandoval was knocked into the ropes by combo capped by a stinging left.
Lightweight Omar Figueroa (16-0-1, 13 KOS) of Weslaco, TX, could have been swinging a bat at a ball poised on a tee with a wide left hook that lifted Robbie Cannon (12-7-2, 6 KOs) of Pevely, MO, up and almost out of the ring.
Somehow, Cannon got up, but only to see that referee Vic Drakulich had ended it, declaring Figueroa a TKO winner at 2:08 of the second round.
Welterweight Keith Thurman (17-0, 16 KOs) of Clearwater, FL, turned the card’s second fight into a display of the reasons why Golden Boy Promotions signed him.
Thurman’s foot speed, power and quick jab overwhelmed Brandon Koskins (16-1-1, 8 KOs) of Hannibal, MO. Referee Russell Mora stopped it at 25 seconds of the third with a defenseless Koskins hanging on the ropes after a head-rocking right hand from Thurman.
Antonio Orozco and Dillet Frederick fought in front of referee Kenny Bayless, three judges, cornermen, a few ushers and nobody else in the first fight on a card Saturday that would end hours later with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto in the main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The arena was filled only with echoes, mostly from body punches landed by Orozco (14-0, 10 KOs), a San Diego welterweight who won a third-round TKO over Frederick (8-6-3, 5 KOs) of Fort Myers, Fla.
By Norm Frauenheim
LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. generated cheers, boos and even a reaction from the stoic Miguel Cotto after a stare down Friday that lasted longer than anybody can remember in a ritual that has followed weigh-ins for as long as there has been an opening bell. For 70 seconds, they looked into each other’s eyes, maybe looking for a weakness or maybe looking for another clue to the outcome of Saturday night’s junior-middleweight fight at the MGM Grand.
Those dangerous eyes stayed locked, without a single blink, like lasers onto a target in a break from expectation and perhaps a sign that the Mayweather-Cotto fight will end in a surprise.
The biggest, of course, would be a Cotto victory. That’s the most unlikely outcome. Mayweather leaves very little to chance. Proof of that is in his unbeaten record (42-0, 26 KOs). He picks his opponents these days. In fact, he hires them, which helps explain why he will collect a $32 million before anybody even begins to count his cut of the pay-per-view revenue, concessions and ticket sales. According to contracts filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) will get $8 million. Not bad, but it’s a fraction, a quarter, of the record guarantee that further confirms Mayweather’s nickname, Money.
Maybe, that’s why Mayweather has been acting as cool and calm as any CEO with Wall Street-like wages already in his wallet. For him, there have been no worries. He weighed in at 151 pounds, his heaviest ever and one more than his official weight before his victory over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
“I feel comfortable at any weight,’’ Mayweather said.
Cotto was three pounds heavier at 154, the junior-middleweight mandatory.
No matter what the scale, the hired help is never supposed to have an advantage, no matter how minimal. From Mayweather’s perspective, Cotto looked as if he had struggled to make weight.
“He looked kind of dry, kind of drawn to me,’’ he said.
If anything, Cotto looked out of character after stepping off the scale and onto a side of the stage for a stare down that almost lasted past sundown. He started talking at Mayweather. From a man whose meals outnumber his words over any given day, it was unusual.
“I told him, he has never faced anybody like Miguel Cotto,’’ the Puerto Rican said. “That’s the reason he’s undefeated and that’s the reason I will win on Saturday night.’’
The unusual stare down was punctuated by a backstage controversy that erupted behind curtains that hid the scale from the weigh-in crowd of about 6,000. Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who faces Shane Mosley on the undercard, will have to get new gloves for Saturday night’s fight. The gloves they had planned to wear included thumbs made in plastic. Mosley trainer Nazim Richardson said that plastic cuts more easily than leather. Richardson spotted plaster-like inserts in the gloves Antonio Margarito tried to wear before he lost to Mosley in 2009. When Richardson complains about gloves, regulators listen. The Nevada Commission ordered that Mayweather and Alvarez get gloves with thumbs made in leather. New Grant-made gloves are expected to arrive in Las Vegas from New York some time before Saturday night’s card.
What else can happen? Anything.
Everything, said Cotto, who was asked whether his best chance at upset rested with his proven arsenal of body punches.
“I can’t just go to the body,’’ he said. “I have to be on top of everything.
“If he wants to fight, I’m ready. If he wants to run, I’m ready for that. I’m ready for everything.’’
Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) wasn’t ready for the scale. At least, not the official one. He was a half-pound heavier than the mandatory 154 for his shot at the World Boxing Council junior-middleweight title held by Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs). After a run, he returned to the scale an hour later and made weight.
“I was on weight, but on a different scale,’’ Mosley said. “I ran, sweated it off. No problem.’’
The 21-year-old Alvarez, who is 19-years younger than Mosley, had no problem in his first trip to the scale. He was 154 pounds.
In a welterweight bout on the HBO telecast, Jessie Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas weighed 146 pounds. Steve Forbes (35-10, 11 KOs), also of Las Vegas, was 146.5. In the first bout on the pay-per-view telecast, junior-middleweight DeAndre Latimore was 154.5 pounds and Carlos Quintana (28-3, 22 KOs) was at 154.
FULL UNDERCARD FOR “RING KINGS: MAYWEATHER VS. COTTO” ANNOUNCED;SPECIAL FREEVIEW OF PRELIMINARY FIGHTS TO AIR FROM 7:00 P.M. ET/4:00 P.M. PT to 8:30 P.M. ET/5:30 P.M. PT THIS SATURDAY NIGHT
UNBEATENS OMAR FIGUEROA AND KEITH THURMAN
TO BE FEATURED IN SEPARATE FREEVIEW BOUTS
LOS ANGELES, May 4 – Unbeaten power punchers Omar Figueroa, Keith Thurman and Antonio Orozco will head up the hard-hitting non-pay-per-view undercard for “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” taking place May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The line-up guarantees that fans in attendance in Las Vegas will see the best of the next generation of boxing stars, while fans at home will be able to see Figueroa and Thurman in action in separate bouts which will be shown live on select internet outlets as well as by satellite and cable providers prior to the pay-per-view telecast. Those outlets include Ustream.tv, Yahoo! Sports, FoxSports.com, SI.com, CraveOnline.com and HBO.com/InsideBoxing.com.
Weslaco’s Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (15-0-1, 12 KO’s) has long been a Texas favorite because of his knockout power and aggressive style, but the rest of the country took notice of “Panterita” in 2012, as a result of his nationally televised knockouts of unbeaten Michael Perez and Ramon Ayala. He is now on the short list of fighters to watch in the stacked 135-pound weight class. On May 5, he’ll look to add another impressive win to his ledger when he battles Pevely, Missouri’s Robbie Cannon (12-6-2, 6 KO’s) in an eight-round bout.
Welterweight prospect Keith “One Time” Thurman (16-0, 15 KO’s) is rapidly becoming one of the most feared young fighters in the sport today, and at just 23, he’s only going to get better. The owner of a 94 percent knockout ratio, the Clearwater, Florida native returned from a 15-month layoff in February in impressive style when he stopped Christopher Fernandez in a single round. Hannibal, Missouri’s undefeated Brandon Hoskins (16-0-1, 8 KO’s) will aim to stop the meteoric rise of Thurman this Saturday night in an eight-round welterweight bout.
Also in undercard action will be twenty-four year old Mexico native Antonio Orozco (13-0, 9 KO’s), who is the latest promising talent to emerge from that fighting rich nation as “The Simple Man” continues to progress and impress in his impressive undefeated career. Most recently, he has stepped up with his best performances to date including a fourth round knockout triumph over Rodolfo Armenta at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in February and a shutout win over Fernando Rodriguez at STAPLES Center last October. Now, he is back in the fight capital of the world for an eight-round welterweight bout against Fort Myers, Florida’s Dillet Frederick (8-5-3, 5 KO’s).
Also featured will be with a four/six-round featherweight bout between Carolina, Puerto Rico’s undefeated Braulio Santos (5-0, 5 KO’s) and San Bernardino, California’s Juan Sandoval (5-8-1, 3 KO’s).
# # #
“Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto”, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight World Championship and the vacant WBC Super Welterweight Diamond Belt, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. Also featured will be Canelo Alvarez vs. Sugar Shane Mosley, a 12-round fight for Canelo’s WBC Super Welterweight World Championship which is presented in association with Canelo Promotions and Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions and a 10-round welterweight fight between undefeated welterweight rising star Jessie Vargas and former world champion Steve Forbes. Opening the pay-per-view broadcast will be a 10-round bout between super welterweight contender DeAndre Latimore and former World Champion Carlos Quintana which is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment. The mega-event is sponsored by Corona, Hatfields&McCoys on HISTORY™, DeWalt Tools, AT&T, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Puebla – Cinco De Mayo and will take place Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Remaining tickets for “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” are priced at $1,500 and $1,250, not including applicable service charges, with a total ticket limit of ten (10) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Three Las Vegas MGM Resorts, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo and The Mirage, will host live closed circuit telecasts of “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto.” Advanced purchased tickets for the closed circuit telecasts are priced at $75, not including handling fees. All seats are general admission and are on sale now at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at (866) 799-7711.
The event’s freeview, featuring undefeated lightweight prospect Omar “Panterita” Figueroa facing Robbie Cannon and undefeated welterweight sensation Keith Thurman battling fellow unbeaten Brandon Hoskins in eight-round fights, will air live from 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT until 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on select internet outlets as well as by satellite and cable providers prior to the pay-per-view telecast.
The finale of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 MAYWEATHER/COTTO will debut this Friday, May 4 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT), the night before the high-stakes super welterweight title bout. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.
NCM Fathom will broadcast “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” in high definition LIVE to more than 440 movie theaters nationwide. Tickets to see the fight on the big screen are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.
CANELO ALVAREZ VS. SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY
JESSIE VARGAS VS. STEVE FORBES
DEANDRE LATIMORE VS. CARLOS QUINTANA
OMAR FIGUEROA VS. ROBBIE CANNON
KEITH THURMAN VS. BRANDON HOSKINS
Canelo Alvarez, WBC Super Welterweight World Champion
“I can only say good things about Sugar Shane Mosley. He is a great champion, but I have trained hard for this fight and I feel that I am going to win it. It’s going to be a victory for all of Mexico.
“Mosley is a great fighter and despite his age, he has taken very good care of his body.
“Even though Mosley is a veteran fighter, he can still beat a lot of young guys. I’m prepared for the best Mosley ever.
“You really can’t compare him [Mosley] to anybody. He is a complete fighter. He’s fast, he’s strong…he’s everything. I have never faced anybody like him.
“The key in this fight for me is not to get desperate. I have to take my time and stick to my game plan.
“This is just another test, another gate that I have to walk through. With Mosley being who he is, I feel that I have entered the big leagues.”
Sugar Shane Mosley, Six-Time and Three-Division World Champion
“This is going to be a great fight. I’m in great shape and I’m ready to rock and roll.
“Canelo wants to test himself and see if he is among the elite fighters. This is a golden opportunity for me, so I’m very, very happy.
“My plan is to do what I do, be Sugar Shane Mosley, get the punches in and win the fight.
“This is a no nonsense fight for me. I’m in there to win.
“Canelo is a good young fighter, but he probably shouldn’t be in the ring with me. It should have been somebody else. Hopefully he can learn from it and become a better fighter. He seems like a good young kid.
“I think my experience is going to make a difference, but I also think that my speed and power are going to make a bigger difference.
“The motivation is fighting the right fight. The type of fight I know I can fight. That’s the motivation and showing the people the way Sugar Shane really fights.”
Jose Reynoso, Canelo’s Manager and Co-Trainer
“On Saturday, Sugar Shane Mosley is going to be the door that Canelo is going to walk through to enter into the big leagues.”
NaazimRichardson, Mosley’s Trainer
“Canelo is already a star. When he came to America, he was a star. Now they brought him here to be a superstar.
“Canelo was watching Shane before Shane knew who Canelo was.”
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“I wouldn’t look at this as an undercard fight. We have Shane who has been a tremendous champion for a number of years and he has faced everyone during his era. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. Then we have Canelo who is here to prove to everyone that he is a champion.
“The Shane Mosley vs. Canelo Alvarez fight is a stand- alone fight itself.
“Canelo Alverez is a young strong champion who is out to prove to the world why he is here today.”
Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“This is a great undercard. On one side you have a great fighter [Mosley] who has proven over and over again why he belongs with the elite and why he is one of the best in the history of the sport. Shane trains like no other fighter and he believes in himself like no other fighter. This is why he is here today, to fight like a champion.
“On the other side, you have a young fighter who is going to fight one of the best. Canelo Alvarez is by far the most exciting and most popular fighter in Mexico today. This is why expectations are so high. This is the time for him to perform.”
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“Bert Sugar, thank you for everything and where ever you are, we miss you.”
Jessie Vargas, Mayweather Promotions Rising Star
“I have Steve Forbes in front of me. He is a fighter with lot of knowledge and experience, but I’m young and I am here to fight.
“I’m very happy that Forbes is in great shape, that way there will be no excuses.”
Steve Forbes, Former World Champion
“You know the last few years have been hell for me. I’ve had a lot of personal problems, but thank God she packed up and moved out, and now I’m back.
“It is great to be back here. This is where it all started for me when I turned pro. I am looking forward to a great night of fighting.
“Saturday night, Steve Forbes will be back. I’m telling you. I’m in superb shape.”
DeAndre Latimore, Top Super Welterweight Contender
“I worked hard for six years to get here, and now that I’m here, I won’t let it slip away.
“This right here is every fighter’s dream. I’m young, strong and I’m coming to take this. I won’t settle for anything else than a win. Don’t be surprised if I get a knockout.
“Quintana says he wants to fight the champion, but he’s got to get past me first.”
Carlos Quintana, Former World Champion
“I’ve trained hard for this fight. I’ve seen Latimore fight and he’s a very good boxer, but those of you who know me, know that I can win this fight.
“I have nothing against Latimore, but I’ve been working hard and I’m going win the fight.
“Canelo and Mosley are two big fighters and I would like to fight the winner. They are two big stars. One that has been around for a while and one that is a rising star. Fighting one of them would be a dream for me. You always have to dream big.”
Omar Figueroa, Lightweight Contender
“Being here proves that I am ready for the big stage. I am ready to fight and I am not here to play games and let it get to the judges.
“We [the undercard fighters] work twice as hard to make it to where we want to be. We are here for the fans. We are entertainers and will put our hearts out for each fight.”
Robbie Cannon, Lightweight Contender
“I have been training hard and I am ready to fight hard. I have my game plan and I’m going to stick to it.”
Keith Thurman, Top Welterweight Contender
“I look forward to the challenge and what it means for my career. I can guarantee you an exciting fight, and don’t be surprised if I win with a knockout.”
# # #
“Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto,” a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight World Championship and the vacant WBC Super Welterweight Diamond belt, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. Also featured will be Canelo Alvarez vs. Sugar Shane Mosley, a 12-round fight for Canelo’s WBC Super Welterweight World Championship which is presented in association with Canelo Promotions and Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions and a 10-round welterweight fight featuring undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas and former World Champion Steve Forbes. Opening the pay-per-view broadcast will be a 10-round bout between super welterweight contender DeAndre Latimore and former World Champion Carlos Quintana which is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment. The mega event is sponsored by Corona, Hatfields & McCoys on HISTORY™, DeWalt Tools, AT&T, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Puebla – Cinco De Mayo and will take place Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
FORMER WORLD CHAMPION DANIEL PONCE DE LEON VS.
EDUARDO LAZCANO AND ISHE SMITH VS. AYI BRUCE KICK OFF A WEEKEND OF ACTION IN LAS VEGAS AT
HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO TOMORROW NIGHT
LOS ANGELES, May 3 – On Friday, May 4, the night before the biggest boxing event of 2012, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions will get things started in style at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a five-fight card featuring a talented array of fighters looking to steal the show from Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto before their Saturday mega-fight.
In the 10 round main event, which will be televised by Fox Sports Net and Fox Deportes in English and Spanish respectively, former World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (42-4, 35 KO’s) battles Juarez’ Eduardo “El Chucky” Lazcano (24-2, 11 KO’s) for the vacant WBC USNBC Super Featherweight Title.
In the televised co-feature, longtime contender and Las Vegas favorite Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (22-5, 10 KO’s) returns to the ring to face Albany, New York’s Ayi Bruce (21-6, 13 KO’s) in a 10 round junior middleweight contest.
De Leon vs. Lazcano and Smith vs. Bruce are presented by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and DeWalt Tools. The Fox Sports Net and Fox Deportes bilingual simulcast, which will be available in over 50 million homes, will air live at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT.
The action in the ring won’t be all that will heat up viewers’ televisions as the two hour broadcast is set to include exclusive behind the scenes footage of the build-up to Mayweather vs. Cotto as well as special guests who will give their take on the action at The Joint as well as their predictions for the May 5 pay per view mega-fight.
Tickets, priced at $100, $60, $30, $25, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $125, may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
In undercard action…
Orlando’s Daquan Arnett (2-0, 1 KO) is a former amateur standout making a solid name for himself as a professional, and he’ll attempt to win his third straight fight in a four round junior middleweight battle against Phoenix’ Jose Martell (2-1, 2 KO’s). One of Puerto Rico’s finest prospects will take to the ring the night before island icon Miguel Cotto faces Mayweather, when Caguas lightweight Jeffrey Fontanez(5-0, 5 KO’s) battles Las Vegas’ Rocco Espinoza(3-4) in a four round fight.
Opening the show is a women’s featherweight clash scheduled for eight rounds featuring one of Las Vegas’ fistic favorites in former World Champion Jessica Rakoczy (31-3, 11 KO’s) who returns to the ring for the first time since 2009 to face Denver’s Brittany Cruz (8-5-1, 1 KO).