By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
Miguel Cotto, a New York favorite and the "Pride of Puerto Rico," will face off against World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez of Argentina on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Wednesday was their press conference for the big fight.
On Friday afternoon at The Theater at Madison Square Garden will be the official weigh-in at 2:30 pm. There will be 3,000 passes handed out on Friday starting at noon at the North Breezeway adjacent to the main box office on 32nd Street and 7th Avenue.
Cotto, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, enters the fight with a 38-4 record with 31 wins by way of knockout. He has sold more tickets to his fights at The Garden than any other fighter in the 21st Century.
Cotto is attempting to become Puerto Rico's first four-division world champion. He said it "would be an achievement. Gomez, Benitez, there have been a lot of fighters from Puerto Rico before me. When I started boxing, Tito Trinidad was our big star. A victory on Saturday night would make me feel happy and proud. I would like to be remembered as a boxer who tried to do his best."
Martinez, of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, is 51-2-2 with 28 KO's, and he has never lost a world championship fight. He is defending the title he first won in 2010.
Cotto said of Martinez, "I'm not worried about Sergio and what he has done or what he will do. I'm only worried about what I need to do...what Freddie (Roach) has taught me...what we worked on in training camp. The man with the best skills will win this fight."
Cotto said of what Roach has done for him, "This was the best training camp I've ever had because of my team - Freddie, Gavin, and Marvin. A lot of people say Michael Jordan wouldn't be Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen. Our chemistry together has been great."
Freddie Roach, Cotto's trainer, said, "Winning this fight will be about ring generalship. Miguel must keep himself in good position and control the ring. This is what we have worked on for nine weeks in training camp. Miguel never knew how to do this before we began working on it. Miguel will have to cut the ring off, stay off the ropes and stay out of the corners. He now knows how to do it. He is a great student and one of the most disciplined fighters I have ever trained."
Roach said of Martinez, "Sergio's in over his head on this one. We worked on fighting southpaws (lefties) and have it down to a science now. Miguel will have no trouble with Sergio's style...Working opposite Miguel with Manny Pacquiao gave me great insight to Miguel's flaws. It taught me his weaknesses and during this camp I was able to eliminate them."
Martinez said of his strategy against Cotto, "It is not only Austin Trout that made it a difficult fight for Cotto (December 1, 2012 at MSG), but Mayweather and Pacquiao as well. We have looked at all of those fights, and picked up on different things that have worked against Cotto. My trainer Pablo Sarmiento has come up with a great game plan and you will see me execute it perfectly on Saturday night."
Martinez said of the excitement in his home country, "Not all Argentinians are looking forward to the World Cup, as not everyone is a soccer fan but I can assure you that everyone in Argentina is definitely looking forward to and paying attention to this fight."
Cotto said of what this weekend means for his homeland, "It's going to be a great weekend for Puerto Rico with the fight, the Festival (referring to the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday), and Tito Trinidad's induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame."