New York - There is no doubt that four-time and three division champion Miguel Cotto has had success fighting in New York City. Nine times under the Top Rank banner he has been victorious in the Big Apple, eight at the “Mecca” Madison Square Garden.The Garden, in other words is considered home for Cotto.“Something special came when Madison Square Garden appeared in my career,” he said, Wednesday afternoon at the final press conference before his fight with WBA Super Welterweight champion Austin Trout Saturday Night. And if everything goes to plan, Cotto once again will fight before a capacity crowd of proud fans from Puerto Rico.They have come to see their Island hero and expect the knockout in the main arena. Cotto, when he was with Top Rank would make it a custom to defend one of his titles on the eve of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. The following morning, he would be on a float parading up Fifth Avenue.And perhaps, he will do that again, now that the Garden has welcomed his return after a brief hiatus. Cotto has his own promotional company and is working in conjunction with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions.Not that Cotto wanted the hiatus away from his New York fans. The Garden is still undergoing extensive renovations, and Top Rank could not book a fight for him in June due to how the Cotto fights were arranged in the course of a year.But all of that aside, Cotto is happy to be back in New York, his first fight at the Garden since last December 3rd when he stopped Antonio Margarito in their second fight defending his WBA Auper Welterweight title.“I appreciate a lot more what the people who be there for me do,” he says. Cotto, (37-3, 30 KO’s) is also the top grossing gate leader in Garden fight history and he was recognized for that accomplishment on the podium along with all of the undercard fighters that are on the 9-bout card.As for Trout, 28-0, 14 KO’s, and a relatively unknown fighter, Cotto took him on because s he says, “It is another challenge.” His fight, along with two other bouts will highlight the Showtime Boxing telecast. Cotto and Trout, along with the undercard will be distributed as a Pay-Per-View telecast in Puerto Rico.There is no viable explanation as to why the telecast is not free in Puerto Rico, but Richard Schaefer CEO of Golden Boy said, “It is part of a deal that works out evenly for all.” Though, over the years, Cotto has always been a proponent of assuring fans that they should not have to pay to see him fight on television.The Puerto Rico Pay-Per-View telecast includes Super Welterweight Jorge Melendez (24-2-1, 23 KO’s) of Manati, his second fight in the United States opposing 15-6 James Winchester. Undefeated junior lightweight Jeffrey Fontanez of Caguas, (8-0) opposes (12-2-3) Pedro Arcos of Tijuana Mexico, and a bout between lightweights Michael Perez (17-1-1) and Fernando Carcamo (10-4, 7 KO’s.)Trout will be taken seriously. And after his loss tough 12-round loss to welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past May, there is every reason to believe that Cotto will bring another title home to Puerto Rico.“It has been carefully planned,” commented Cotto about his training for Trout. “The Miguel Cotto that you are going to see Saturday is probably the best Cotto you’ve ever seen.”And that is the extent of it. Cotto will not reveal his approach, and as always would not elaborate further what would be next if he prevails over Trout. Over the years, he always left the next opponent in the hands of Bob Arum and Top Rank. Now, he controls his destiny as promoter of Miguel Cotto Promotions.Yet, the questions will always be asked, what would be next? He already has been in the ring with Mayweather, and lost to then welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao via a 12th round TKO in November of 2009. And, with his financial situation secure, Cotto can leave the ring today and be a certain inductee to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.To the fans in New York, and to those in Puerto Rico, Cotto is popular but still has not surpassed the fame of the former champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad. He will dedicate this fight in the memory of the late Hector “Macho” Camacho who passed away from gunshot wounds earlier this week.“I prefer to remember Macho Camacho for his brilliant career, his abilities in the ring, and the glory he brought to his country, Puerto Rico,” he says.“Mayweather was an excellent fight,” says Cotto. “I didn’t win but sometimes when you lose you win. That was my case in this fight. I felt rejuvenated after this fight. Everybody is going to see that Saturday.”To his credit, Cotto never picks easy fights. And Trout will be no different. The defending champion is ready and determined, this being the major fight of a career that has been unnoticed despite defending his title three times.“I am grateful for the opportunity,” comments Trout. “I know I am going to have to put a lot of leather on him to get a win at the Garden. He has a good jab and I will try and stay away from it.”As for the crowd of Cotto fans, Trout said. “I just have to make sure I don’t give the crowd anything to cheer about. I’m not intimidated at all.”They will be cheering in the Garden again Saturday night for Cotto. And, something says, he won’t go away anytime soon and Madison Square Garden this time will be a memorable homecoming.Email Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com-
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