NEW YORK–An energized crowd of thousands of Miguel Cotto supporters packed the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday afternoon for the weigh-ins for the Cotto-Martinez pay-per-view card tomorrow evening in the main arena.
With spotlights gyrating to the Puerto Rican rap music blaring in the background, the crowd from the Caribbean commonwealth erupted for seven of the eighteen fighters on the card hailing from the island. They lustily booed Michael Buffer’s introduction of the Argentine middleweight champion of the world Sergio Martinez.
Cotto (38-4) and Martinez (51-2) both made the 160-pound limit for the title bout with room to spare on Friday afternoon. The champion weighed in at 158.5 and his Puerto Rican challenger registered at 155. Breitbart Sports will cover the action from ringside Saturday night.
“I’m ready to work,” an all-business, grim-faced Cotto announced. “I’m ready to fight tomorrow.” A smiling and confident Martinez said in Spanish over catcalls, “I will win tomorrow and this is for Argentina.”
A possible omen for tomorrow’s outcome came when one of the stunning ring girls flanking the fighters went down hard after standing for nearly an hour. She neither beat the ten count nor rejoined her scantily clad comrades as she lay legs-up as concerned onlookers fanned her and provided her with water. If the knockout of the knockout proves foreshadowing for Saturday night, Cotto would seem to gain. Martinez, more of a finesse fighter with fabulous footwork, notched just 28 of his 55 wins by knockout. Cotto, who boasts finishing 31 of 38 wins, looks to prove that his power moved up with him in weight. Should the fight end early, Cotto holds the advantage. Should it go to the judges, Martinez would appear the beneficiary.
The 39-year-old champion owns notable wins over Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik, and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. He has been down in his last three fights, looked sluggish and every bit his age against Brit Martin Murray last year, and enters the fight after a fourteen-month layoff with lingering questions surrounding his surgically-repaired knee. The noticeably smaller man’s CV boasts victories over Shane Mosely, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito, and Ricardo Torres. Cotto exuded revitalization in a third-round TKO over Delvin Rodriguez in October but wades into uncharted waters in his middleweight debut Saturday night.
For the rest of the results from the main card weigh in, Irishman Andy Lee (32-2, 22 KOs) weighed in at 154 for his junior middleweight scrap with knockout artist John Jackson (18-1, 15 KOs). Argentine Javier Maciel (28-3, 20 KOs) made weight at 154 for his bout with Puerto Rican Jorge Melendez (28-3-1, 26 KOs), who came in at 153. Filipino Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1, 15 KOs) tipped the scales at 125.8 while his opponent Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. registered a scale reading of 125.5.