The months of contentious negotiations have paid off. Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez versus Miguel Cotto is signed for New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden and HBO pay-per-view on June 7.
Cotto will be attempting to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win major titles in fourth different weight classes. Over his 13-year career, Cotto has made 13 successful title defenses spanning three weight classes: junior welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight. His last fight, a third round TKO over Delvin Rodriguez at light middleweight, was the highest rated boxing telecast of 2013 with 1.5 million viewers.
Since winning the middleweight title from Kelly Pavlik in 2010, Martinez has made six successful defenses, including a string of four consecutive stoppages over Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin. His first pay-pay-view fight was a 2012 unanimous decision win over Julio Cesar Chavez, which included a “Round of the Year” favorite in which Martinez battled back from a late knockdown. His last win was a disputed unanimous decision win over Martin Murray last April.
At press time, no undercard fights have been announced.
This is going to be a great “event.” Martinez has fought a few times in NYC and we know Cotto will bring out the Puerto Rican faithful. Like I said earlier today in my Geale-GGG piece, HBO would be wise to put that fight on the undercard. Golovkin is the next logical opponent for the middleweight champ. In addition, GGG has fought several times at the Garden and will bring out his own nationalistic fans.
As for the actual fight, it’s hard for me to see Cotto winning even with the injury-riddled Martinez he’ll be facing. Maravilla has been breaking down from the fact he’s been facing naturally bigger fighters. Cotto will be the first time in years he’ll get to fight a smaller man. Cotto’s power likely won’t translate well at 160, but we’ve seen Sergio drop and hurt much bigger men with his shots. Outside of a freak Martinez injury, he should take this one by a late stoppage.