By Marc Livitz: It’s been nearly two years since we last saw Miguel Cotto in action. As the first Puerto Rican fighter to win titles across four divisions and now at the age of 36, he will look to pick up where he left off, so to speak when he faces Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan on Saturday, August 26.
Miguel’s last outing took place in November 2015, when he put up a game yet ultimately losing effort against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. One of the most popular fighters in boxing, Cotto (40-5, 33 KO’s) has faced off with certain Hall of Fame talents such as Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Sergio Martinez. A sixteen year professional career will conclude, according to Miguel at the end of this year. However, before he makes his ride off into the sunset, he’ll need to get past Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KO’s) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Of course, there will be many fans of boxing and combat sports in general who may elect to watch Cotto battle Kamegai by way of their DVR, as this Saturday basically belongs to a certain high profile promotion taking place in Las Vegas. Regardless, Miguel Cotto always beings his best efforts to the ring, so maybe we need to watch him while we still can. His Japanese opponent spent 2016 in a two fight war with Jesus Soto Karass, the first of which ended in a draw and a second contest that ended with an eighth round TKO win for the man from Hokkaido. On Saturday in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, the vacant WBO world junior middleweight title will be up for grabs on the HBO ’World Championship Boxing’ telecast in the United States (9:45pm ET/PT).
Miguel Cotto and Yoshihiro Kamegai took part in an international media conference call on Monday afternoon to discuss their upcoming showdown.
Selected Highlights Listed Below
Oscar De La Hoya, President/CEO, Golden Boy Promotions: "Future hall of famer and Puerto Rico’s first four division champion will make his return this Saturday, August 26 at the StubHub Center in Cason, California. This bout has all the makings of an action packed fight. It will be the best boxing match taking place on August 26, mark my word."
Opening Statements, Yoshihiro Kamegai: "I had the best camp ever and I’m honored to be fighting Miguel Cotto. I’m prepared to put on a great and entertaining fight."
Miguel Cotto, Opening Statement: "I had a good training camp and I’m ready to be back on the 26th."
Cotto on Retiring in 2017: "I think that sixteen years in enough and I have more things to do in my life. I have to take care of my family and that’s the biggest reason I have to quit boxing in December of this year."
His Plans for Last Fight: "First, I have to just think about Kamegai on August 26 and then will do what we always do. We’ll pick the best challenger out there and we will face him. We’ll discuss the weight with everyone at that time."
On Career Highs: "I’ve enjoyed my whole career. I believe that if anything didn’t happen in my career, then I wouldn’t have what I’ve had. I think my whole career has been great. I enjoy everything. The victory against Mosley and Margarito. The end of the road, though and I love everything."
Competing w Mayweather/McGregor Bout: "I arrived in LA in the beginning of July to start my camp. I came here with one thing on my mind, which is to get ready to face Kamegai. I’m just thinking about that fight and nothing else."
Fighting Past December: "I’ve already made the decision. No matter what happens in my career, it’s over on December 31st. I’ve taken time off to be with my family and let my body recover."
"We’ll pick whoever will bring the most action for my last fight."
Cotto on Fighting in Los Angeles and for Puerto Rico: "The people in L.A. always treat me good. I know the tickets have been selling well and it should be a good night. I’m always here to bring my best and do whatever it takes to get the victory. I look to make my family, the people around me and myself proud."
Kamegai on the same: "I am from Japan and we’re from different countries. Still, I’m here to fight. There will be people who will root for Miguel and some who will root for me."
Cotto on Life as a promoter: "I just want to give to boxers what boxing gave to me. I just want to help them. I want them to have a chance to show their skills."
Kamegai on his past: "I was 13 when I decided to box and never really wanted to do anything else. My style changed when I came to America. In Japan, I was more of a defensive fighter. Here, I knew that I had to be more aggressive to win."
On Fighting in America: "I am much more motivated when I fight in the United States. The fans really get into it and I think it’s probably the best platform for fighting."
"I was told that this fight was in the works back in March. I was hopeful that it would materialize and I’m now looking forward to it."
On fighting at 154 pounds: "Going up in weight made it easier for me into get into better condition. I felt that I had more speed and strength."
Cotto on what is left to accomplish: "I just want to finish my career in the best way possible, which is why I’ve been working hard at this stage in my career."
On signing with Golden Boy Promotions: "The relationship between us has always been a good one and very professional. The way we feel about them is how it needs to be. We’re really happy to be here."
Kamegai’s Thoughts on being seen as a stepping stone: "I’m the fighter that is fighting, so I can’t talk on what other people are thinking."
Cotto on Puerto Rican boxing: "The future of boxing is whatever we want it to be because you have to work hard. The young kids have to believe. The hard work is in the hands of every Puerto Rican."