World champion Sergio Martinez believes the only reason Miguel Cotto has chosen to fight him is because he thinks he is over the hill. The WBC middleweight kingpin puts his title on the line against the Puerto Rican legend at Madison Square Garden …… continue reading




“Sergio is in over his head on this one. We worked on fighting southpaws and have it down to a science now. Miguel will have no trouble with Sergio’s style,” stated Freddie Roach, Hall of Fame trainer of three-division world champion Miguel …… continue reading




“Ruslan is a great fighter and a great champion. It’s a real honor to be in there with him. I have seen him fight before. I’m actually a fan of watching Ruslan fight. He’s a pressure fighter. He comes forward. He’s super tough, very …… continue reading



No more words for Cotto, Martinez, but their teams are still talking

By Doug Fischer

NEW YORK – The underlying theme of the anticipated Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez middleweight title bout has been the war of words between the main event fighters, however, both fighters decided to save their energy for the ring during the final press conference before Saturday’s event at Madison Square Garden.

“I hope you are not bored, there were too many words already,” said Martinez, who returns to the famous venue where he defended his middleweight belts against Matthew Macklin in 2012 at The Theater (he makes his first appearance at the main arena on Saturday). “I came prepared to fight, prepared to box, and ready for war. I am ready to give my very best. I worked as hard as usual to win. As usual. On Saturday, there will be no more words.”

Cotto, on the other hand, remained his usual, unfazed self after Martinez’s statement.

“It is good for us to hear Sergio is ready for war, because that’s what we’re going to see on Saturday,” said Miguel Cotto, the challenger in what will be his 10th appearance as a headliner in boxing’s most storied venue. “I am on the same page as Sergio: on Saturday there will be no more words.”

Luckily for the promotional aspect of the event, the rest of the participants in the press conference did not hesitate to put their feelings into words and produced some colorful exchanges.

“I will be short,” said Martinez’s long time advisor Sampson Lewkowicz in his turn at the podium (but as usual, he was anything but that, much to the pleasure of the media members in attendance).

“Miguel has been saying that Sergio has had problems with his health, and I hope that after the fight he can explain to everyone why he made that mistake (of thinking that way).

“And by the way, don’t say again ‘don’t cry for me, Argentina,’ because you lose every time you say that,” quipped Lewkowicz turning his attention to Bob Arum, co-promoter of the event, before taking aim at Cotto’s trainer, Freddie Roach.

“He’s one of the good ones, but every time he predicts something I feel I should put money on the other side. The excuses that he makes sound like a husband who was just caught cheating. Hopefully, he’ll make that mistake again. You will see the KO after the sixth round, and I don’t talk s__t like you say,” said the Uruguay-born promoter, before reminding Roach that he’d be eating his words again as he did after Martinez’s title defense against another one of Roach’s protégées, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Roach was not as talkative in his retaliation, but he was almost equally witty in his comeback to Lewkowicz, as well as brief.

“I wish you good luck, you’re going to need it. Sampson, I am glad you think I’m funny, I like your hairpiece,” said Roach to the increasingly balding Lewkowicz, who responded with a laugh, setting up one of the few eruptions of laughter during the presser.

Not to be undone, Martinez’s trainer Pablo Sarmiento had his own comments to expand on Lewkowicz’s turn at the podium.

“Sergio trained very hard and is very motivated after putting up with Cotto and his antics,” said Sarmiento, referring to Cotto’s requests of being introduced last and walking into the ring after Martinez, two privileges usually reserved for the champion, as well as occupying the top billing of the event, which in turn caused Martinez to label Cotto as a ‘diva.’

“But what Cotto doesn’t know is that regardless of whether he comes up first or second, or regardless of the corner he is in, he will have to face Sergio up there anyways. And I want to tell Freddie that facing him for a second time is great for me, but unfortunately, after (June 7) I’ll be 2-0 against you. Sorry about that.”

The historic character of the fight did not escape the analysis of promoters and fighters alike.

“It is very appropriate that the green belt has (a picture of) Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler on it, two guys that as a young child got me into boxing,” said promoter Lou DiBella, expanding on a mention by WBC president Jose Sulaiman announcing that the title belt itself will be bearing pictures of those two great champions in its decorative inserts.

“(They) are the symbols of the middleweight division of the modern era,” continued DiBella, noting that his co-promoter Bob Arum had promoted both fighters in their time while DiBella is fulfilling his dream of promoting a fight at this historic arena.

The post No more words for Cotto, Martinez, but their teams are still talking appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring


More Cotto-Martinez Press Conference Quotes

By Togorashi FREDDIE ROACH: “Winning this fight will be bout 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 …



Stuart Hall: I’m going to smash Paul Butler’s face in

By Doug Fischer

Stuart Hall didn’t turn professional until he was 28 years old and virtually no one pegged him as a potential world champion. Never one to pay attention to critics, the relentless pressure puncher from Darlington, England, is now armed with the IBF bantamweight title, and is keen to defy the odds once more when he meets red hot favorite Paul Butler in Newcastle this Saturday.

“I’m just going to train for this fight the way I always do,” said Hall, who will be making the second defense of the title he won against Vusi Malina, last December. “Despite being new to this weight division, Butler is a threat. He’s unbeaten and apparently very confident, so this one has my full attention.

“With that said I think my size is a big advantage because I’ve been in with the likes of Sergio Perales, who is a ranked junior featherweight, and I’ve been at 118 pounds for my entire career. Butler thinks I’m in for a shock, but I’m not one for mouthing off, and will let my fists do the talking on fight night.”

Despite being the bigger man, Hall is wise to take Butler seriously. The 25-year-old challenger from Merseyside has dominated all 15 of his opponents, scoring 8 knockouts, and is unanimously touted as one of the finest talents in the UK. He has won British and Commonwealth titles as a junior bantamweight and is also notorious for making a real target of the midsection.

“Butler is a decent body puncher, but I sparred with him five or six times and he didn’t hurt me,” said Hall, who remains completely unconvinced. “We were obviously wearing baby gloves, so I will have to watch those shots in the fight, but a body punch has never bothered me in my whole career, so I’m not going to worry now.

“His plan is to catch me with the body shot. He’s going to land one, nothing will happen and then what’s he going to do? He’s going to spit his dummy out, like he does when he has a poor spar. I’ve heard stories about him being upset after sparring, saying he’s had an off day. He’s a spoiled kid when things don’t go to plan, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when we fight.”

So Hall knows what to expect from the loquacious challenger, but what is he planning to do about it? The 34 year old is renowned for doing the unexpected and he promises to deliver more shocks, when the first bell rings in Newcastle.

“My jab is going to be in his face so much he’ll think he’s surrounded,” said Hall, who is 16-2-2 (7 knockouts). “My power is also a factor and every shot he takes will be dangerous, because I pack a punch. Butler thinks of himself as a slick fighter but I’ll be on him from the start, and will change nothing in terms of what I do offensively.

“I don’t think Butler carries that much power. He’s unbeaten in fifteen but that was fifteen nobodies in my eyes. If he’d fought fifteen good opponents then I’d be worried, but he’s stepping up a level and I can’t wait to get in that ring with him. He said I’ll be gassed after 6 rounds, but he won’t get past 6 if I put it on him.”

This type of talk is customary in the land of big domestic showdowns and you only have to look at the diatribe between Carl Froch and George Groves, prior to last weekend’s history making title bout, for evidence. Still, Hall’s entire disposition changed when this reporter asked if he carried any respect for the challenger.

“I had a bit of respect for Butler but not now,” said Hall, his voice rising. “He’s upset my family and it’s personal. He retweeted an insulting comment on Twitter and made a joke out of it, which upset my entire family. That’s the mentality of the man and the respect is gone. I’m going to smash his face in and love doing it.”

Should Hall defy the odds then he will look towards another domestic showdown with friendly rival Jamie McDonnell, who handed him his first defeat in September 2011. The Doncaster man was in fact stripped of the IBF title, which Hall now holds, for failing to enter negotiations with the aforementioned Malinga and, having won the “regular” WBA strap on Saturday, a rematch would be eagerly anticipated in the UK.

Hall said, “That’s the fight I’ll be screaming for, after this one. I’m 34 years old, on top of my game and I want to get Jamie while I’m at the top. It would be a dream fight that I would love to win and, providing I deal with Butler, there’s no reason why it can’t happen. I’ve spoken with Jamie and we both want the fight desperately.

“First things first though, because I need to beat Butler. I’m so excited about this one and I love a good talker. I’ve been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. It’s going to be a brilliant night for the fans and this will put me on the map. Butler is a big favorite with the bookies, which was a surprise, but I don’t mind being the underdog.

“I’m not letting go of that belt.”

British fans can see Stuart Hall vs. Paul Butler live and exclusive on BoxNation from 7.00pm (Channel 437 or HD on Channel 490). Tickets are available from or

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

The post Stuart Hall: I’m going to smash Paul Butler’s face in appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring


Miguel Cotto guarantees victory over Sergio Martinez in return to MSG

By Brian Harty

Miguel Cotto (standing) in his third appearance at Madison Square Garden, an 11th-round TKO over Zab Judah in 2007. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images.

Miguel Cotto (standing) in his third appearance at Madison Square Garden, an 11th-round TKO over Zab Judah in 2007. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images.

Though it was nearly a decade ago, Miguel Cotto can remember his first fight at Madison Square Garden as if it was yesterday.

“That night I fought the guy who beat me in the (2000) Olympic Games and it was my second title defense. It was a memorable night for me,” Cotto said.

Cotto stopped Muhammad Abdullaev on a ninth-round TKO to retain the WBO junior welterweight title. [Note: Abdullaev was Cotto’s third defense; the first two were Randall Bailey in 2004 and DeMarcus Corley in 2005.] But more importantly he branded himself a straight-ahead wrecking machine worthy of picking up the mantle of fellow Puerto Rican superstar Felix Trinidad, and he became a certified star at Madison Square Garden.

Cotto has fought eight times at the Garden, posting a sterling 7-1 record. And while he has had championship fights in other places like Las Vegas, and even Yankee Stadium, Cotto has an affinity for the “Mecca of Boxing.”

“It’s my second home. I feel great fighting inside this magical arena. Being in New York City is like being in Puerto Rico,” Cotto said.
Cotto is returning to the Garden for another special moment – a historical one – as he takes on Sergio Martinez for the WBC and RING Magazine championships in a 12-round match on HBO Pay Per View on Saturday night. If Cotto defeats Martinez he will become the first Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles in four different weight classes.

It would be an achievement that Trinidad, Wilfred Benitez and Wilfredo Gomez – all Hall of Famers – never attained. It would definitely cement his legacy as one of the greatest boxers from Puerto Rico.

Todd duBoef, who conceived the idea of having Cotto fight at Madison Square Garden during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade week, thinks the arena will be rocking on Saturday night.

“The culture associated with Cotto creates an environment in that building that is a unique experience,” duBoef said. “They’re passionate and vocal and it’s mayhem. It’s a party of explosiveness. They’re energized and they’re wearing their patriotic colors all over them. It makes it a unique experience. It likes going to a Man-U (Manchester United Soccer Club) game. There’s something about connecting with not only the athlete and the team, but the environment, that’s incredible. That compounds it with Cotto.”

Some of Cotto’s most thrilling matches, and victories, have happened at the Garden. He scored a stunning 11th-round TKO victory over Zab Judah, a Brooklyn-born boxer, to retain the WBA welterweight title on June 9, 2007. Five months later, he successfully defended the title by doing something that no one thought he could do: He out-boxed Shane Mosley to win a 12-round decision.

Perhaps one of Cotto’s sweetest victories at the Garden came when he defeated Antonio Margarito in a revenge-tinged rematch in 2011. Margarito had battered Cotto bloody and stopped him on an 11th-round TKO the first time the two met, in Las Vegas in 2008. Cotto suspected that Margarito had used loaded gloves in that match, because he was caught trying to use illegal hand wraps in a match against Mosley in 2009.

With the crowd chanting his name, Cotto destroyed Margarito in the rematch, battering him so badly that Margarito had to quit in the ninth round because of a badly swollen right eye. Margarito has not fought since.

Cotto’s 13-year career has taken some twists and turns since that first fight at the Garden in 2005. He has suffered some personal losses. He and his uncle and longtime trainer, Evangelista, parted ways over a difference in training philosophy in 2009. It culminated in a physical altercation between the two men and Evangelista throwing a brick through the windshield of Cotto’s sports car.

The next year Cotto’s lost his father, Miguel Sr., to a sudden heart attack, leaving him emotionally adrift for a while. Since 2009 Cotto has gone through a string of trainers, including the late Emanuel Steward.

At 33 years old and in the twilight of his career Cotto is now working with Freddie Roach, the veteran trainer who helped mold Manny Pacquiao into one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best.

Roach said he isn’t trying to remake Cotto as much as he is trying to get him to go back to the things that worked so well for him earlier in his career. They had a dynamite start in their first fight together, with Cotto pounding Delvin Rodriguez with a relentless body attack before knocking him out in the third round last October.

DuBoef thinks Cotto has finally found a trainer to whom he relates.

“He was lost for years because he didn’t have a real trainer,” duBoef said. “Then he was just cheap and grabbing different guys. Freddie has added something to him. He’s being spoken to for the first time while he’s being trained. He was never being really schooled. It was just trainers telling him to do this and do that.”

Cotto and Roach will have to make a dynamic team to beat Martinez, who is coming off a year-long layoff because of a third knee surgery and battling an infection which was the result of that surgery.

The last time Cotto fought at the Garden, two years ago, he lost to Austin Trout. It didn’t seem that he was able to decipher Trout who, like Martinez, is a southpaw. He couldn’t get inside Trout’s jab and lost a lopsided 12-round decision.

Martinez is tricky with a twist. He has sneaky, explosive power and his right hand can travel from odd angles. Martinez knocked out Paul Williams with a right hand that started at the South Pole, looped around the North Pole and landed somewhere near the Equator.

Cotto sees differences between Trout and Martinez.

“You have Austin Trout, who is a gym fighter who has a lot of mobility,” Cotto said. “And you have Sergio Martínez, who is not a gym guy who moves around a lot but he has a couple issues with his knees. We are going to do our best. I know how I am going to fight Sergio and I can guarantee you we are going to win this fight.”

Cotto is moving up to middleweight for the first time in his career. Roach said the additional weight has not been a problem and thinks he’ll be able to easily stand in against Martinez.

“I think he may actually be taller and he will be stronger on the inside and much more physical on the inside than Martínez is, and we are going to push him around with no problem,” Roach said. “I think on the inside we are the bigger, stronger fighter.”

It could shape up to be a strategic matchup for the first few rounds. But count on fireworks and an energized crowd at the Garden.

“No one can say that Miguel Cotto is in a bad fight,” duBoef said. “He’s exciting to watch.”

The post Miguel Cotto guarantees victory over Sergio Martinez in return to MSG appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring