Boxing on HBO has broadcast some of the biggest fights thus far in 2014, such as Pacquaio vs. Bradley II. But the biggest fight will occur on Saturday June 7th when Miguel Cotto of Caguas, Puerto Rico (39-4, 31 KOs) challenges the WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The fight will take place on the eve the Puerto Rican Day parade, so the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden will be electric in support of Cotto. Cotto is 7-1 fighting at Madison Square Garden and has sold more tickets at MSG than any other fighter in this millennium.
The 33-year-old Cotto is seeking to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win titles in four different divisions. This will be a tough task for Cotto considering that this will be his first fight at middleweight, and because Martinez is a solid puncher.
In Cotto’s last fight in October he looked like the Cotto of old, knocking out Delvin Rodriquez in round three. This was Cotto’s first fight with Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach. Many feel with Roach in Cotto’s corner, he stands a good chance to upset Martinez. Roach has predicted that Cotto will knock out Martinez in round 8.
Martinez is still trying to prove, despite the fact he is 39 years old, that he is the best middleweight in the world. Currently Martinez is the 5th rated fighter pound for pound according to Ring Magazine. However, age and injuries seemed to have slowed Martinez down recently, as he has been knocked down in each of his last three fights.
In fact, due to injuries this will be Martinez first fight in almost 14 months. This fight could determine whether Martinez’s long layoff allowed his body enough time to heal or if he will be rusty.
The tension between these two men was evident during the negotiation for this fight, as there was a debate about whose name should be first on the promotion. With the bad blood that has been brewing for months, expect an action-packed fight.
This fight is crucial to both fighters as they look for more lucrative fights later this year. Miguel and his camp have already stated that if he gets past Martinez, they would like to have a rematch with boxing’s Pound for Pound King Floyd “Money” Mayweather. If he’s unable to get a rematch with Mayweather, then he may look to fight Junior Middleweight contender Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
If Martinez should be victorious on June 7th, then he may fight WBA Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin in a unification matchup.