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Four-Time and Three-Division World Champion Miguel Cotto and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout held a kickoff press conference on Monday in front of hundreds of boxing fans at El Museo Del Barrio in New York to announce their Dec. 1 world championship showdown at Madison Square Garden, which will be televised live on Showtime
One of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Cotto (37-3, 30 KO’s), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 while winning 16 of the 19 world championship bouts in which he has fought. Puerto Rico’s most exciting fighter and one of its greatest of all time, Cotto has fought some of the most talented fighters in boxing, including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito.
The undefeated “No Doubt” Trout (25-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., has made three successful defenses of his WBA title. The 2004 U.S. amateur champion is a former alternate for the U.S. Olympic team and is considered one of the most avoided young champions in the sport.
Also in attendance on Monday were Miguel Cotto Promotions Vice President Hector Soto, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, MSG Sports Executive Vice President Joel Fisher, SHOWTIME Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinzoa, Cotto’s trainer Pedro Diaz, Vito Mielnicki of Trout’s promoter Greg Cohen Promotions and Trout’s manager Bob Spagnola.
Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday:
“The fans here make me proud of the Puerto Rican heritage in New York.
“Austin Trout is a world champion. I always go for the best fights possible and Austin was the best option for us. I’ve learned a lot in camp from Pedro (Diaz) and I know he’s going to get me ready to win another world title.
“People here [in New York] make me feel at home; people here make me feel comfortable. They root for me and they give me the support I need to beat anyone.
“He’s a world champion, he’s undefeated. He’s a dangerous fighter and he was the right opponent for me, but I’ll still walk out of the ring with another belt on December 1st.”
“My mom has always been such a big support. My dad isn’t here anymore so it’s always good to have family with me when I train and fight.
“The crowd here in New York is electrifying. I get a different feeling when I fight here.
“Camp just began two weeks ago. I’m going to train hard to beat my opponent and be champion of the world.”
“I know the Puerto Rican fans are going to be out in full-force, but on December 1st, there is going to be a new star in boxing. They’re going to see why I’m here, why I’m the champion. I have two things in this sport right now – my belt and my undefeated record and I plan to keep both of them.
“I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and I’m run with it. It’s very honorable to be on that list of people Cotto has fought because he’s fought the best, but it’s going to be even better to be on that list of the people that have beaten Cotto.
“He can have whoever he wants in the crowd because it’s only me and him in the ring. I’m not worried about the crowd and fighting in New York. I’ll do my job no matter where I fight.
“I’ve been in hostile waters before down in Mexico and it gave me experience for this fight. There’s only one man who’s going to be in the ring with me.
“We’ve wanted this fight for years. We knew we had to knock off some people first to get it, but I’m very grateful to say the least.
“I’m one of the most avoided fighters in boxing, so I thank him for the opportunity to fight him on this stage. This weight class is stacked and I’m going to clean it up.”
“It’s a dream come true to fight at Madison Square Garden. I’m a Knicks fan and I’ve been there for a Knicks game and it was electric.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA:
“Miguel Cotto is one of the most legendary and exciting fighters in Puerto Rican history. Every fight he has at Madison Square Garden is electric, and his return on December 1st won’t be any different.
“This fight solidifies SHOWTIME as THE place to watch fights on TV.
“Puerto Rico has produced some of the best boxers in the world. The people of Puerto Rico respect Miguel because of the passion he has for fighting. When he fights, you know he’s going to give it his all.
“He’s held a world title every year since 2004. He now looks to solidify his Hall of Fame career on December 1st against World Champion Austin Trout.”
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