Miguel Cotto Conference Call
Lee Samuels, Top Rank:The champ is here, Miguel Cotto. He’s training in Puerto Rico. He’s getting ready for “Fast & Furious,” Saturday, November 10, at Madison Square Garden Live on HBO Pay-Per-View. He’s defending his welterweight title against Sugar Shane Mosley – a very, very exciting promotion.
Miguel’s ready, fit, trim, ready to go. And at this time, I’ll turn to my boss, Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum. He’ll talk about Miguel and the entire fight card. Bob.
Bob Arum: The eagerly anticipated match between the champion, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley is days away and we’re all looking forward to coming in to the Big Apple to get ready for this historic fight.
The card, as many of you have commented, is an exceptionally strong one because Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy and ourselves felt that with such a great fight as the main event, the fans were entitled as well to a tremendous under card and Antonio Margarito, against Golden Johnson, Joel Casamayor against Jose Santa Cruz, and Victor Ortiz, the young rising star fighting former world champion and a man that Miguel fought, Carlos Maussa.
So it’s a great card. It’ll be a great night, November 10 at Madison Square Garden and we expect a tremendous pay-per-view audience.
Miguel Cotto – gee, it seems like a long time, longer than it is, but Miguel has made three prior visits to the big arena in Madison Square Garden and come away with victories every time.
He’s fought everybody that we’ve put in front of him and he’s been victorious in every fight. We believe that Miguel Cotto is on course to be considered to be the best pound for pound fighter and one of the true legends when his career is over in the sport of boxing.
So it’s a pleasure to introduce to you, the welter weight champion of the world, Miguel Cotto.
Miguel Cotto: Hi everybody. I’m happy to be here with you. We’re going to have a good conference call.
Boxing Press: Miguel, can you talk about the – you know, you’ve been in a lot of championship fights in your career, but this is obviously the biggest one you’ve been in.
Can you talk about just the – your level of excitement and jus the magnitude of the event and how much you’ve looked forward to being in this type of fight since you’ve signed with Top Rank out of the Olympic games and made your way up the ladder?
MC: It’s a bigger event I’m going to participate and that’s the reason I trained really hard for this fight. I’m pretty happy with that. I’m pretty happy with the moments in my career I’m past and I hope chances stay pretty good for bringing a good show to all the people.
BP: Miguel, are you somebody that has paid attention to Shane Mosley’s career or followed it in any way?
And if so, can you just give me a few thoughts on – your thoughts about Shane as a fighter both when he was considered the number one fighter in the world a few years ago and also to what he is today which is still obviously one of the better fighters out there?
MC: He’s a good fighter. He’s a four-time world champion but it’s my time – it’s my moment now. I’m going to take advantage of that.
BP: A lot of your career has been built around the body punching attack that you use – unleash on your opponents.
Can you give me just your thoughts on body punching as far as your success is concerned?
MC: I’ve got to tell you, it’s the best way you can put pressure on your opponent, you can make them weaker than you and that’s the way Miguel Cotto fights.
BP: As far as the chin aspect, Miguel, some people have questioned whether or not your chin is as strong as it should be. What’re your thoughts about your ability to take a punch?
MC: I’m a boxer. You know when you have a – when you catch a good punch – to catch a good punch, you know. The question is if you can catch a good one and take out from this moment.
BP: Shane is a three-time world champion, Miguel, would you say that this definitely is the toughest opponent you’ve ever been in against?
MC: Well, on paper it looks like that.
BP: So on paper, what do you see?
MC: The paper tells the total. Shane was a three-division world champion. He’s a good fighter. He gives a good fight. He’s a good boxer and was (unintelligible).
BP: Are you expecting him to be the toughest fighter?
MC: I can’t tell you yet. I’m just preparing myself. You have to prepare yourself and try to bring on a good show.
BP: Miguel, yesterday on the conference call – on Shane’s conference call, I asked both Oscar and Shane if they thought that you could ever become as popular in Puerto Rico with the fans as Felix Trinidad was during his heyday, during his best years. And they both said that, although you were establishing yourself as a great fighter, they didn’t think you were as popular as Felix because Felix has a more outgoing personality and you are very quiet and reserved. What do you think about that?
MC: That’s one part – my personality – I can’t do anything with that. I’m a shyer person than Felix. That’s my way.
BP: I appreciate that. Bob, I’m wondering your take on the same thing. How do you compare the popularity issue with the two fighters? And do you think that just with continued victories that Miguel could reach that same popularity?
Bob Arum: Look where Felix was at this stage of his career and look where Miguel is. I don’t think there’s any comparison. Miguel is so far ahead at the equivalent stage of his career. What happens in the future, happens in the future.
I think that working together with Miguel, with the Cotto team, everyone in Top Rank will do the utmost to enhance his popularity to the ultimate.
And I think that eventually, before he is finished, he will not only achieve the same measure of popularity, if he hasn’t already, as Felix Trinidad, but will be a cross over attraction because Felix was never able to learn to speak English and Miguel has.
BP: Well that’s a very good point. One last thing, Bob, all that said, and I respect that, would it be better for you as a promoter, would it be easier if Miguel was maybe even just a little more outgoing?
BA: Then he might not be as good a body puncher. In other words, you play the cards that you’re dealt. Miguel is Miguel. He’s a great, great fighter. He’s a great young man.
We, who are close to him, know that he has a great personality. I don’t want him to be a phony. I don’t want him to be what he isn’t.
BP: I was on the conference call yesterday with Shane and his father. And although Shane didn’t say anything particularly inflammatory, Jack did. I mean, some of the things that he said was that Cotto was worried sick about fighting Shane. You can look in his eyes and tell. He knows he’s not as strong as Shane.
Miguel, do you think that this is something that he’s trying to do, like, to get into your head and make you crazy.
What do you think about Shane’s father, you know, being so uncomplimentary towards you?
MC: I don’t have to be stronger, quicker – quicker than Shane. I have to be more intelligent. And I’m going to do that on November 10.
BA: And let me say something, Bernard. When I heard that Jack Mosley, who I like very much – when I heard his comment, it was music to my ears. Why? Because I heard the same kind of music a month ago with Emanuel Steward and Kelly Pavlik before the Taylor/Pavlik fight.
And what does that music mean? That music means – is that Taylor, in the case of Stewart and Shane, in the case of Jack, are afraid because they know, they know the kind of fighter that Pavlik is and that Miguel is.
And so they say things to demean the fighter in order to get their fighter more confident because they’re worried. Obviously Emanuel was worried about (Jermaine’s) confidence, with reason and Jack is obviously worried about Shane’s confidence. And so they say things to demean the opponent.
When Shane has fought a whole host of guys who were relatively easy opponents, you never heard Jack demean the opponent, did you? I’ve never heard Jack demean an opponent ever.
I never heard Emanuel demean an opponent ever. So they do it for a purpose. Remember that.
BP: Miguel, yes, something else that Jack said is that you’re a dirty fighter. That every time you get in trouble, you go low, you hit low. What’s your reaction to that?
MC: Well, I’m a fighter and you have to do what you have to do for winning. And if you have to do things like pass and (unintelligible) on purpose, that was on purpose. But if you had to do it with – on purpose, you have to do it.
BP: Are you saying it was on purpose against [Zab] Judah or it wasn’t?
MC: It wasn’t on purpose.
BP: Bob, Jack also insinuated that the latest rehash of allegations of Shane doing steroids came from you guys, whether Team Cotto or Top Rank or what. I mean, that’s pretty…
BA: Well, that’s preposterous. It was old news when it came out and it was something that had taken place the prior year before this fight was ever even thought of. I mean, it was quoting testimony and a hearing that took place a year ago before this fight was even contemplated.
I mean the idea that we had anything to do with it or Team Cotto is absurd. We didn’t even – we don’t know any of these people, any of these investigators, anything.
I mean, and I said immediately when this occurred that we weren’t concerned for this fight because Shane is a clean kid and wouldn’t cheat and the use of banned – of a substance which may or may not have been banned at the time was something that he explained before a grand jury and that explanation is something that everybody should accept.
In other words, it’s a non-issue.
BP: Yesterday on the conference call also they were talking about how Shane is going to outthink you and Shane is faster than you and Shane is stronger than you. I mean, what – like, you don’t have any advantages at all.
What in this fight – advantages – do you see yourself having?
MC: I’m (unintelligible) very good and I’m never late and use any – another thing that (unintelligible) than my (unintelligible) and my body. I’m always going to the fight with my whole energy, you know. And that’s the advantage I have over Shane Mosley.
BP: Miguel, you’ve had wars with Paul Malignaggi and Ricardo Torres, however against Mosley, you’re fighting a guy who has a lot of speed, movement, along with power and is a very good body puncher like yourself.
Will we see you try to fight more of a tactile boxing match or are you looking forward to a straight up war with Shane?
MC: I don’t think at the age of 36 years old Shane can handle Miguel Cotto.
BP: Okay. So you were more worried about Zab as opposed to Shane because Zab perhaps was younger? Do you think Zab is a stronger fighter than Shane at 147?
MC: Yes, I think he was – he was a more dangerous fighter than Shane.
BP: If there are any mistakes that Shane has made, what were they and does Shane still make those same mistakes that you hope to exploit on November 10?
MC: I’m just going to do my thing. I never think about what Shane Mosley is going to bring on November 10. I’m just going to do my thing the best way I can.
BP: Mosley said that he was going to knock you out yesterday. What do you think when you hear something like that?
MC: I had 30 guys say the same thing, and none of them has been able to do it yet. So I don’t think this is going to be the exception.
BP: I have a question for you about the fighting in New York. You’re going to be fighting in front of a large, most likely, a large Puerto Rican crowd and how much do you think that’s going to help you having that much cheering power behind you?
MC: My people always help me, you know. They are for me, they have supported me and I know they’re going to do the same this night.
BP: I think they’ll support you as much as they supported Tito.
MC: I don’t know. I’m not Tito. I’m Miguel Cotto…
BP: I think you’re going to do just as much.
MC: I just can tell you about Miguel Cotto.
BP: Now Mosley made a point to the fact that he’s coming down from 154 and you’re coming up from 140. He’s the bigger guy. He’s a few inches taller and he does have a little bit more reach.
Can you talk a little bit about how you’re going to handle that?
MC: He’s coming from 135. I’m coming from 140.
BP: Oh are you?
MC: You tell me with that, who is bigger here?
BP: Over the last few fights you’ve shown that you take big leads on guys, but you still keep going after them. You’re relentless, even though you could probably sit on your lead and win some decisions.
If you find yourself against Mosley with a big lead, do you think you’re going to try to just outbox him at the end?
MC: I will never do that. People like to see me go after guys. That’s the way I fight. That’s the way everyone enjoys the fight. And I will always do that.
I’m just going to keep coming at them. That’s my style. That’s my pressure. And if he can send a (unintelligible) for him but if he can’t then I’ll be the winner.
BP: Miguel, at the 30 day weigh in, you were ten pounds over the welterweight limit, which is fantastic, but is there ever the thought that you could possibly be over-trained?
MC: No I’m – I just – that’s my (unintelligible) my body is claimed for the way (unintelligible) for the way it was. And I’m ten pounds over the limit 30 days before.
BP: With you just turning 27, Miguel, Shane being 36, could you possibly see this fight kind of, like, playing out like the Kostya Tszyu/Ricky Hatton fight back a few years ago?
MC: I don’t know. Every boxer is different. Every fight is different. And I’ve got to tell you this fight is going to be different than any one.
BP: The question was, you’re accused of being a dirty fighter by Jack Mosley and also the fact that they say that you’re chin is questionable.
MC: Every boxer’s going to get hit in the ring. Everyone’s going to get hurt some time during a fight.
It’s just a question of what you’re going to do with it. Are you going to respond or are you going to fall?
And I think that I responded every time I’ve been hurt in the ring. And the question I have for them, what will happen to Shane Mosley when he gets hurt in the ring? Will he respond to it? I know I have.
And the question about the dirty fighting – this is a fight, this is professional fighting. You do what you have to do to win and so things that happen in the ring are going to happen. And whatever it takes, that’s what I – you know, whatever it takes in the ring, I’ll do – and a – to get a win and I will do it.
BA: Well you know we’re – as I say, we got a lot of things planned for the Big Apple. Press conference is going to be held on Wednesday at BB Kings.
The press room is set up at the Affinia Hotel which is right near Madison Square Garden.
The weigh-in will be, of course, on Friday in the early afternoon. And that’ll be at Madison Square Garden.
We expect tremendous buzz in New York. The World Series, of course, is over. The football Giants have a bye week this week and they’re not playing the Dallas Cowboys until the day after this fight.
So there’s going to be a lot of interest in New York and rightly so, focusing on this fight, and we at Top Rank are confident that our champion will win and it’ll be a big, big win for him because Shane Mosley has been and still is a great, great fighter. And a win victory over Shane Mosley is something very special.