Miguel Cotto: On May 5th, I’m trusting in myself

MIGUEL COTTO CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT 

Oscar de la Hoya      

Everybody’s all excited, ready to go.  I know all the writers are getting their stories in.  We have two and a half weeks to go until the fight.  “Ring Kings: Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto,” and it will be for the WBA 154 pound title.  Obviously the co-main event, Canelo Álvarez versus Sugar Shane Mosley, will be a 12-rounder for the WBC 154 pound title as well. 

 

This event is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions, and Miguel Cotto Promotions-live from the MGM Grand Las Vegas, produced by HBO Pay-Per-View.  I want to thank Corona, Hatfields & McCoys on the History Channel.  I want to thank the DeWalt Tools, AT&T, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Puebla-Cinco de Mayo for all their hard work in promoting this event.  This event is being promoted all over the country, all over the world.  People are excited. 

 

The “Ring Kings: Mayweather versus Cotto” will be available in three MGM resort properties:  Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, and The Mirage.  They will be showing the fight in closed circuit all over Las Vegas.  Tickets are going fast for the closed-circuit telecast, which will be very exciting. 

 

Episodes two and three of HBO’s 24/7 will debut April 21st, 10 p.m. Eastern and also April 28th at 9:45 p.m. Eastern and the final episode, which will be televised live Friday, May 4th at 8 p.m. Eastern.  Also, we’re excited that NCM Fathom will be broadcasting “Ring Kings: Mayweather versus Cotto,” and the entire card in high-definition, live to more than 440 movie theaters nationwide.  That’s always very exciting to watch it with other boxing fans and cheer on your favorite fighter. 

 

Let me introduce to you the current WBA Super Welterweight Champion.  He’s been a four-time, three division world champion.  He hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico.  He’s known as one of the most exciting and popular fighters in the island’s history, as one of the greatest of all time.  He held the world title every year since 2004, while winning 16 of 18 world championship bouts in which he has fought. 

 

Obviously, he captured the WBA Super Welterweight title at Yankee Stadium, stopping then undefeated Yuri Foreman, and Cotto successfully deciscioned two division world champion, Ricardo Mayorga in March.  As you all know, he finally avenged his loss to Antonio Margarito, once again retaining his world title. 

 

With a record of 37 and 2, with 30 knockouts, from Caguas, Puerto Rico-Miguel Cotto.

 

Miguel Cotto

Hi.  I am very happy to be here with all of you. 

 

Q        

Miguel, are you afraid of anything that Floyd Mayweather will bring?

 

Cotto

Absolutely nothing, I am prepared, very prepared.

 

Q

Will you be thrilled to obtain the victory on May 5?

 

Cotto

I have worked very hard for several weeks in the gym to get this victory.

 

Q

Who do you think will come out on top in the Canelo v. Mosley fight?

 

Cotto

I really don’t have an inclination either way but I will tell you this, the one that comes best prepared from their training camp will obtain the victory.

 

Q        

Miguel, I wanted to ask you about the weight in this fight.  You are fighting Floyd at 154 pounds, where you are the reigning title holder.  He has not asked you to come to a catch weight for this fight.  It’s going to fight you all the way up at 154.  I wonder, how much of an advantage do you think that that is for you.  He said he accepted the fight at your weight because he wanted you to be comfortable.  What was your take on that and also, what do you think about the fact that he is coming all the way up to your neighborhood for this fight?

 

Cotto

First of all, I give thanks to him for making the fight in my weight.  If he wants my title, he has to fight in my weight, and he does it in the correct way.  It’s my weight class.  I feel comfortable in here.  I’m feeling pretty strong, really happy to get this fight in my weight class, and I just prepared myself well enough for victory.

 

Q        

Was the weight issue as big of a factor as it was made to seem?  Because before you and Mayweather agreed to this fight, there was discussion that maybe you would have a re-match with Pacquiao.  And that the reason why that didn’t happen was because of the insistence, apparently from the Pacquiao camp, that you would go down lower than 54, perhaps all the way down to-back to welterweight division.  Was that the reason why you declined to pursue the re-match with Manny and instead ended up taking another huge fight against Floyd? 

 

Cotto

We have more than one reason for deciding to pick the Mayweather fight instead of the Pacquiao fight. I received better treatment in Mayweather’s negotiation and we decided to go with Mayweather. 

 

Q        

When you and Floyd were both-say maybe like four or five years ago, maybe even six years ago, when you were both champions and going strong, and both with Top Rank at that time, there was conversation that maybe this was a fight that perhaps would happen.  My impression was always that it was your camp that would have loved to have that fight at the time.  Mayweather, he had other ideas at the time.  Do you think back to those days and how much you would have liked to have the fight back then or are you very satisfied that even though it’s been a long way, you finally have this fight today?

 

Cotto

Everything happens in life for a reason.  Fights can’t happen four, five, six years ago, but they happen now.  I feel better right now.  I feel this is-after the Margarito fight on December 3rd, I feel much, much better with myself.  I think this is the right moment for this fight.

 

Q        

Why do you think that?

 

Cotto

Because I have everything I took from Margarito’s victory-things he stole from me, things he grabbed from me.  I have it back, and I feel much better right now.

 

Q        

You just touched on something that I was going to pick up on.  You seem very much at peace right now with yourself as a fighter-all your accomplishments, obviously topped off by the Margarito victory and you’re joining with Pedro Diaz.  But you’ve been through quite a lot.  You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, but you’ve been through quite a lot. 

 

I know the death of your father, and your relationship with him now, inspires you.  I wonder if you could tell us what was the lowest point before the Yuri Foreman fight, who did you rely on?  Who was your inner circle, and how did you come out of that period in your life?

 

Cotto

That was the first time I lost in my career.  Thanks to God, I have a great family, great people around me.  They helped me a lot to get out of the situation. I understand it’s not the way you fall, it’s the way you stand up again and keep working.  I wake up myself and I’m still working, and I’m going to work until May 5th.

 

Q

Miguel, can you talk about who your inner circle was?  When your father passed away, was it Bryan?  Who was your counsel?  I know your mother’s in camp now, and I know you have a really good relationship with your wife and kids.  Who helped you to get through that, and how are you better as person and as a fighter as a result of getting through that?

 

Cotto

Agreed.  I have a great team.  Every member is a special person for me.  Every member helped me in everything-my family, my mom, my dad, Pedro, Phil, Bryan.  I believe everybody, all of them, helped me a lot to be in the position I am in right now.  I’m a better person right now. 

 

Q        

Finally, when you say to be the person you are right now, who are you now?  How much are you better?  I said you seemed to be at peace with yourself.  Can you talk about your state of mind, your spiritual feeling right now, how you feel about yourself right now?

 

Cotto

When you find peace in life, when your family brings you peace, when the people around you bring you peace, you live in a peaceful atmosphere.  That’s where I am right now.  I have peace in my heart and in my life.  Everything I’m going to do in my life, I do it with peace and that’s made me work better, comfortable, and much, much concentrate in my work. 

 

Q        

You’ve talked about your father being your biggest motivator in the ring and in your life.  Can you tell me what it means to have-when you’re in the ring, are you thinking about your father?  Is there something-how does that work for you?  How does it motivate you to-his memory? 

 

Cotto

When you had in your life a person who never stopped working for you for your benefit for all you can have in life, he wants to give it to you better and do so much for you.  That was my father.  My father was a person who never stopped working for me or my family or my mom in every moment.  He passed away two years ago, so he’s still in my sight.  I feel him.  I’m pretty happy with the feeling in every moment in my life and that’s the reason my father is the best person I ever have in my life.

 

Q        

That’s really nice.  What kind of difference does it make to have Pedro Diaz in your corner?  You’ve had a couple of trainers recently, but what kind of difference does Pedro make for you?

 

Cotto

Pedro-a lot of people will know Pedro because he was head trainer, a coach for the Cuban team.  Everybody knows their achievement of the Cuban boxer in the amateur weight.  Pedro was the guy in charge of the Cuban team, and he got out of Cuba in 2000, I think.  Right after I broke up with my first trainer, we decided to talk to him.  But he doesn’t want to join us because he doesn’t feel himself prepared enough for professional boxing yet. 

 

After my previous fight we started having some issues, some problem with Emanuel Steward.  We decided to talk to Pedro.  Finally he wants to start working with us.  It’s amazing having Pedro here. I’ve known Pedro since 1996.  Having Pedro here, having a Cuban Latin guy working with us, with his experience, with all the knowledge he has in boxing, make me feel and work more comfortably.

 

Q        

Has he taught you things you didn’t know? 

 

Cotto

He said to me, I’m not here to give to you new things.  You are a veteran fighter, and I’m just here to take things you put in your sight back in the game. That’s the main purpose of Pedro in my corner to make me feel like the Miguel of the beginning, and make me feel like the Miguel that basically you saw with Mosley.  This Miguel you’re going to see on May 5th.

 

Q        

Basically, he’s taken things that you’ve already learned as a fighter and refined them a little bit maybe? 

 

Cotto

He shows me, gives me some hints.  

 

Q        

Okay.  What would it mean to you to become the first fighter to beat Floyd?

 

Cotto

Nobody is invincible in life.  I know that because I pass through this point in my life.  I’m ready for anything Floyd brings me on May 5th.  The question is, is Floyd ready for anything Miguel can bring to him?  I know he’s a hard worker.  He said to everybody he’s a hard worker, but he’s going to have in front of him on May 5th a hard worker like him.  On May 5th, I’m trusting in myself.  I know what I have to do on May 5th to get the victory. 

 

Q        

Miguel, what have you done differently in preparation for this fight as compared to your preparation for the Margarito fight?

 

Cotto

Margarito and Mayweather are two completely different fighters so everything that was done in preparation for Margarito is different from what we are doing for Mayweather. Pedro had a specific strategy for December 3, and has a very different strategy for May 5.

 

Q        

What specific thing have you done in preparation for this fight to counter Mayweather’s elusiveness and defense?

 

Cotto

The strategy is always the same. I will follow Pedro’s instructions as to everything. We both have to trust each other. I have to trust him as a trainer and he has to trust me as a fighter. I will not say what our strategy will be, but I will follow the strategy that Pedro has designed for me come fight night.

 

Q        

Mayweather gave some declarations yesterday to the press saying that Puerto Ricans will be disappointed with Miguel Cotto on May 5, what was your reaction to those declarations?

 

Cotto

I am a different fighter; I will not play into Mayweather’s games. I am not the type of fighter that will just fall into the games of Mayweather. He wants his opponents to behave a certain way, I will not respond to whatever he has to say. By the end of May 5 everybody will see who will be disappointed.

 

Q        

How do you feel at this point in your preparation for this fight?

 

Cotto  

Everything is running according to plan, right on schedule. I will be ready to counter anything that Mayweather brings and there are a couple of key weeks left in preparation for the fight. There are a couple of weeks that are still there, and when I step into the ring with Mayweather in front of me, I will be completely ready to obtain the victory.

 

Q

I was just wondering if you’ve looked beyond this fight and if you win, whether you will look to possibly fight Pacquiao in the future; and if you lose, whether you may decide that this is your final fight.  Have you thought that far ahead yet?

 

Cotto  

When I beat Mayweather on May 5th, the only thing that is going to happen is I’m going to rest for a couple weeks.  After that I sit with my team and we can talk of boxing again. 

 

Q

When will you head to Vegas?  What are your plans, your itinerary from now until the actual fight? 

 

Cotto

We arrive in Vegas a week before the fight and train there the whole week. 

 

Q        

Do you feel that you are being compared to Mayweather’s last opponents? If you feel as if you are do you believe you are the most complicated opposition that Floyd has faced in years?

 

Cotto

I will say it again, I am ready. I feel great and I will defeat Floyd Mayweather and will be victorious when I step out of the ring.

 

Q        

Are you afraid if the fight reaches the judges? Are you afraid of getting a bad decision?

 

Cotto  

No. I trust my preparation and I trust that whether by knockout or by decision I will be victorious without controversy.

 

K. Swanson   

Thank you so much.  Miguel, we appreciate you taking the time.  Oscar, thank you.  Anyone have any last minute comments? 

 

Cotto

I’m just happy to be training for May 5th, and I’m going to put forward my best effort in Las Vegas. I have been training since February 13th and I’m still working up to May 5th until I get the victory.  That is going to happen on May 5th. 

 

 

END OF CALL

 

# # #

 

“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 rising star Jessie Vargas and perennial contender Alfonso Gomez.  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.

 

Limited tickets for “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” are still available, 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.

 

Episodes two and three of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 MAYWEATHER/COTTO debut on Saturday, April 21 (10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and Saturday, April 28 (9:45 p.m. ET/PT) respectively, with the finale debuting 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.