The normally stoic Miguel Cotto met Ricardo Mayorga’s trash talk word for word at the first press conference for their March 12 showdown.
Mayorga claimed Cotto was punch-drunk, and wouldn’t be able to handle his power.
“I make a promise here today that I’m going to knock him out in four rounds,” Mayorga vowed. “I’m been watching all his fights in the last two months. He’s punch drunk, [and] he can’t take a shot anymore. And after I’m finish with him, I’m going to retire him.”
Cotto, seated to Mayorga’s immediate right, showed no outward emotion, but never took his eyes off the outspoken Nicaraguan. Mayorga continued trying to rile Cotto, this time by bringing up his family, who normally watch his bouts from ringside.
“Don’t let your mom or family suffer anymore by watching you take those beatings in the ring,” Mayorga patronized. “Stop making them suffer…you know our families suffer when we lose in the ring…I think my pants are taller than you….Buy the PPV, and watch the retirement party for Miguel Cotto. Your hands are like a woman’s, look at my man’s hands.”
Miguel Cotto began by thanking the fans and media in English. When he turned to Mayorga, he spoke in Spanish to retort Mayorga’s earlier taunts. Each time Mayorga attempted to interject, Cotto came with another insult. He cited their common opponent, Shane Mosley, as proof of who the better fighter is. Cotto won a unanimous decision over Mosley, while Mayorga was knocked out.
“Yesterday when I met him, he was very nice and serene. Today I guess he’s excited because of the cameras,” Cotto quipped. “They’ll be a lot more cameras and people the night of the fight. It’s your farewell fight…With these little hands, I beat Shane Mosley. You know who that is, right?”
“In big fights, you fail,” Cotto spat angrily. “You know who I am, three-time world champion. You’ve been dead since [the] Vernon Forrest [fights]. You beat him, and that’s the last anyone heard of you.”
Emanuel Steward found Cotto’s comments unexpected, but he welcomed his fighter’s aggression. He’s confident it will translate into an exciting fight on March 12.
“I didn’t know Miguel could get that upset and angry,” Steward marveled. “He’s going to have to get some respect from Ricardo, and he’s going to have to hurt him to get it. It’ll be a very explosive fight…Miguel will land his patented left hook to the body, and the fight will be over somewhere in the middle rounds.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was not surprised. Pointing to Cotto’s resume, Arum believes the Puerto Rican titlist is impossible to intimidate.
“One thing we know about Miguel, ain’t no fighter alive that can intimidate him,” said Arum, who’s promoted Cotto for most of his career. “He goes in the ring, and you know he’s coming to fight, and will take on any man we put in front of him.”
At press time, Cotto and Mayorga are scheduled to head to Puerto Rico for their next tour stop.