(Main image photo credit: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports)
For boxing fans, the week leading up to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City means that Miguel Cotto will be in the ring, and this Saturday is no exception.
Miguel Cotto, the first and only Puerto Rican fighter to win titles in 4 different weight classes, returns after a year long absence to face Daniel Geale this Saturday live on HBO. The bout marks the first for Cotto since signing to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports roster and his last win over Sergio Martinez last June.
Cotto has had an illustrious career replete with the aforementioned honor for the Puerto Rican fighter. He is the current WBC, Lineal and The Ring World Middleweight Champion and after giving Floyd Mayweather the best fight in a long time, he is not out of the running for the last shot at Mayweather before he retires this September (although we know that Amir Khan will have plenty to say about that).
Cotto, who trains with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles, believes that he is on the path towards retaining his titles and gaining more.
“Freddie brings the confidence back to Miguel,” said Cotto. “He comes every day no matter what he feels and gives his best to me. When you have this kind of person in front of you giving you his best and making sure that you are going to do your best, the only way you can pay him back is bringing your best too. We only talk about boxing when we are in the gym. He’s my trainer there, but as soon as we finish our training session, he’s my friend.”
(Photo credit: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports )
Roach echoed the sentiment.
“We’ve had a great training camp. Miguel is in great shape,” said Roach. Our sparring partners on our team have been great. And we’re ready for this fight. Gary’s been making a big deal about catch weights, but they have been around for a long time and he knows how to read a contract and he’s had that contract for a long time now, so I don’t think that’s an issue. We look forward to seeing you at the fight.”
(Photo credit: Melfolio)
Geale is an Australian boxer ranked #4 in the world at middleweight. He is a former 3 time middleweight champion with his last fight being a win over Jarrod Fletcher where he Retained IBF Pan Pacific Middleweight title and won the interim WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight title.
(Photo credit: Melfolio)
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited,” Geale said at the final press conference. “We’re so excited as a team that this fight is taking place. We’ve put a great training camp in for this fight and I’m feeling as good as I ever have. There’s no excuse. I’m going in as the best fighter I can possibly be. I’m hoping Miguel Cotto is the best fighter he can be as well. I want the fans to enjoy a great fight and I believe it will be a great fight. I can’t wait to walk away with another title. I’m going in very confident and I know a lot of people aren’t giving me much of a chance, but I have a huge amount of confidence in myself knowing I’ve completed a great training camp. Knowing that I have put everything that I possibly can into it and knowing that I have such a great team. I look forward to Saturday night.”
(Photo credit: Melfolio)
Since founding Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z has made some high profile moves to counter Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions' full onslaught on the business of boxing. He began promoting hip-hop culture infused fights under the Throne Boxing moniker and signed high profile fighters Andre Ward and Miguel Cotto. Having the Barclay’s Center within his portfolio of companies insures high profile fights in a buzz worthy venue for his athletes.
“Led by our Chairman JAY Z and his partners, Roc Nation was founded to work with artists and entertainers to guide them and help them build their careers even beyond the boundaries of the music industry,” said Michael Yormark, President & Chief of Branding and Strategy of Roc Nation. “In a few short years, Roc Nation itself has expanded beyond the world of music, diversifying in a way that many never thought possible. Today we begin to celebrate a landmark in that expansion, as another legend, World Champion Miguel Cotto, prepares to headline Roc Nation’s first major fight on Saturday night against Daniel Geale, live at Barclays Center and on HBO.”
Last January, Throne Boxing held its first event and it featured the Voice of New York, Angie Martinez hosting and rapper Fabolous performing a halftime styled concert before the main event. Under the Roc Nation brand, the entertainment value will be no different.
“When Roc Nation founded its boxing division less than a year ago, we committed to doing things differently, and what you will see on Saturday night will be different,” said Yormark. “The eyes of the boxing world will be fixed on Barclays Center on Saturday, with celebrities and VIP’s lining the ring and a captivated audience watching at home. They will watch with anticipation, awaiting not only a masterful performance from the champion Miguel Cotto against a formidable opponent, but also an electric appearance from Roc Nation artist and hip-hop superstar Big Sean, as well as the voice of New York Angie Martinez, and a host of other surprises that will make this live boxing experience different from anything you’ve ever seen before.”
This Saturday, Miguel Cotto seeks to extend his current unbeaten streak to 3 against Daniel Geale, live on HBO.