Zayas-Cruz to battle for ‘The Miguel Cotto Award’

Junior middleweight phenom Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs) will have an extra source of motivation for his upcoming fight.

The 20-year-old standout will fight Ronald “Diablo” Cruz (18-2-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday, June 10 for the second annual Miguel Cotto Award, which is presented by Top Rank and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. The Miguel Cotto Award celebrates the remarkable career of the legendary four-division world champion and upholds the tradition of hosting a major fight card during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. Cotto, who achieved notable wins against Muhammad Abdullaev, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale during this festive weekend, will present the award at The Theater at Madison Square Garden following the June 10 bout.

Zayas-Cruz will be the co-feature to the junior welterweight showdown between WBO and Ring Magazine world champion Josh Taylor and former unified and lineal lightweight king Teofimo Lopez.

Taylor-Lopez and Zayas-Cruz will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Cotto said, “For me, it’s a great honor and a great pleasure that Madison Square Garden and Top Rank have an award with my name to continue the tradition of fight cards during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. This award will motivate future generations to deliver their best in each fight.”

“Miguel Cotto has made an immeasurable mark on boxing at ‘The Mecca’ – Madison Square Garden,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events and Operations, Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to celebrate Cotto’s warrior legacy during the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend with the presentation of the second annual award to the winner of the Xander Zayas v. Ronald Cruz fight on Saturday, June 10.”

Zayas said, “I’ve always said that in the world of boxing, Miguel Cotto is my favorite fighter. He is the reason I decided to become a fighter. It’s a total honor and a dream come true to have the opportunity to fight for an award that has his name. This confirms for me that we are on the right path, and it motivates me to keep working hard to continue accomplishing my dreams. I want to unite my Island and all of the Puerto Ricans in the United States in the same way that Miguel did. That is my biggest dream, and I will achieve it.”

Cotto, Ward, Toney, eleven others to be inducted into Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame

An illustrious cast of boxing legends were inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame today at the Fernando Vargas Fighting Foundation in Las Vegas. The 8th Annual Induction Weekend happens August 7th & 8th, 2020 at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2020 Induction Class includes:

Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas (26-5, 22 KO’s)

Las Vegas resident Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas is a multiple-time champion who won his first title when he fought and defeated Yory Boy Campas. Vargas would go on to battle “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, Winky Wright, and Felix “Tito” Trinidad to name a few.

Clarence “Bones” Adams (44-7-4, 20 KOs)

Las Vegas boxing trainer and world champion, Clarence “Bones” Adams. Known for his all-action style, Adams captured the WBA super bantamweight world title March 4, 2000, at the Mandalay Bay with his big win over Nestor Garza. Throughout his career, Adams also had memorable fights with the likes of Kevin Kelley and back to back wars with world champion Paulie Ayala.

Andre “SOG” Ward (32-0, 16 KOs)

The last male fighter to capture US Gold in Olympic Boxing and arguably one of the greatest American boxers in the history of the sport, Andre “SOG” Ward can now add the title of Hall of Famer to his resume. Ward held multiple titles in two separate weight classes including the unified WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine Lineal Light Heavyweight Title. Ward ended his professional career undefeated beating the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Mikkel Kessler, Chad Dawson, and Carl Froch.

James “Lights Out” Toney (77-10-3, 47 KOs)

Fighting nearly 100 professional bouts in his career while never being stopped, James “Lights Out” Toney will be inducted into the 2020 NVBHOF class. Toney who fought in Nevada fourteen times had numerous memorable wins beating big names such Evander Holyfield, Iran Barkley, Micheal Nunn, and Vissiliy Jirov and took on several others including Roy Jones Jr. and John Ruiz respectfully while being named Ring Magazine fighter of the year in 1991 and 2003.

Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs)

Puerto Rico’s first four-division world champion, Miguel Cotto’s tremendous work history in the squared circle is second to none and joins this year’s star-studded NVBHOF class. Cotto known for being a true boxer-puncher fought everyone including Canelo, Floyd Mayweather, Sergio Martinez, Chop-Chop Corley, Manny Pacquiao, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley throughout his journey in the sport.

Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson (44-5-1, 28 KOs)

The first African American fighter to capture a World Flyweight Title, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson is a familiar name in boxing community as Johnson won titles at flyweight and super flyweights defeating the likes of Fernando and Alejandro Montiel. Johnson captured his first title after stopping Francisco Tejedor in the 1st round of their championship fight in Anaheim, May 4th, 1996.

Julian “The Hawk” Jackson (55-6, 49 KOs)

Known as “The Hawk” Julian Jackson has held world titles in the jr. middleweight and middleweight divisions and has been considered one of the hardest punchers in the history of the sport. Fighting 18-times in Nevada, Jackson quickly became a local favorite but is most recognized for his knockout victories over “Terrible” Terry Norris and the UK “Bomber” Herol Graham.

Azumah “The Professor” Nelson (39-6-2, 28 KOs)

Arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever come out of Africa and undoubtedly Ghana’s top pound for pound fighter of all time, Azumah “The Professor” Nelson made his splash in the boxing world when he was called in as a late substitute, and gave the legendary world champion Salvador Sanchez all he could handle before being stopped in the 15th and final round of their 1982 world title fight. Nelson would go on to stun and stop Wilfredo Gomez, to take Gomez’s WBC featherweight title. Throughout his legendary career, Nelson would have wars with the likes of Jeff Fenech, Jesse James Leija, and Gabriel Ruelas.

Danny “Little Red” Lopez (42-6, 39 KOs)

A huge favorite in Southern California and regularly fighting at the Olympic Auditorium and, later, the Forum, “Little Red” Lopez packed dynamite in his gloves. Lopez won his first 21 fights in a row by knockout and during his career took on the likes of the great Bobby Chacon, Sean O’Grady and fought back to back matches with the legendary Salvador Sanchez. Lopez captured his first featherweight title in the fall of 1976 in front of over 100,000 screaming fans in Ghana, Africa, as he defeated WBC World Champion David Kotey.

Jose Luis Castillo (66-13-1, 57 KOs)

 A true Mexican warrior Jose Luis Castillo climbed through the ropes of rings in his home country for the first ten years of his career. In September 2000, Castillo surprised Steve Johnston winning a majority decision to claim the WBC lightweight title. Castillo had memorable fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Lazcano, and Joel Casamayor but will always be remembered with his wars with the great Diego “Chico” Corrales.

Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

Sadam Ali defeats Cotto by unanimous decision(photos); Cotto confirms retirement

On a night that Madison Square Garden and the boxing world bid farewell to a boxing legend in Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs), Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) stole the show, winning a unanimous decision victory and the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship in front of 12,391 fans and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. The final scores were 115-113 twice and 116-112.

Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Brooklyn, hurt Cotto twice in the early rounds and used slick defense and solid counterpunching to keep Cotto at bay throughout the 12-round bout.

“I worked hard for it,” Ali said. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to Thank God, and also thank team Cotto, They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th round, I thought the fight was close. Whatever Golden Boy Promotions has next, I’ll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was eight years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.”

Cotto, a six-time, four-division world champion and the fighting pride of Caguas, Puerto Rico confirmed his retirement after the bout.

“I am feeling good with the performance,” Cotto said. “Something happened to my left bicep in the seventh round. I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family. Thank you for all the fans. I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”

In the co-main event, despite suffering severe gashes over both eyes caused by accidental headbutts, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) defended his title a second time, rolling to a 12-round unanimous decision victory over a very game Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs). The scores were 119-109 twice and 120-108.

 Photos: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

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Sadam Ali: ‘Cotto is coming to my territory’

Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) today hosted a media workout at his gym in Brooklyn ahead of his fight against Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) for the WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship set for this Saturday, Dec. 2 at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

While New York City is Cotto’s adopted hometown, Ali was born and raised in Brooklyn. The way Ali sees it, Cotto is coming to his territory:

 “I’m really excited to be fighting at MSG against a legend. I know what’s in front on me, and I know what I’m stepping up to,” Ali said. “I’m different, I’m a bit of a boxer, I can brawl if I need to, and I have my little tricks. My motivation is being on HBO, it being a world title, and my career honestly. People say I didn’t deserve this fight, but they haven’t been paying attention to my career.This is my hometown. I grew up here. Cotto is coming to my territory. He’s got power; I need to focus on not getting stuck. I worked a little bit with Danny Jacobs and Curtis Stevens for this fight.I want to thank all the fans who are coming to watch my fight! It’ll be a great one!”

Cotto vs. Ali, a 12-round fight for the Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship. The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The livestream will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT.

 Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

De La Hoya on Cotto: “I believe him when he says this is his last fight’

WBO Junior Middleweight champ Miguel Cotto is expected to finish his great career after his fight with Sadam Ali on December 2 at Madison Square Garden.

Will the  37-year-old Cotto actually retire after his fight with Ali?

Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya  thinks this will be the last time we see Cotto in the ring:

“Obviously, there’s many reasons why a fighter can choose to come back, but a fighter like Miguel Cotto, he has everything he needs, most importantly, his family,” De La Hoya said during a conference call on Wednesday. “He has a whole island that supports him, that is with him 100 percent. Millions of people who supported him all over the world so there’s no reason. He has one last chance, and believe me, he’s obviously training to give everyone the best show possible. I believe we’re going to see the best Miguel Cotto we’ve seen on December 2nd” De La Hoya said. “I believe him when he says this is his last fight.”

If Cotto’s wins, he has some options. Maybe Canelo again, maybe GGG or possibly the winner of Saunders-Lemieux. So, have we seen the last of Cotto? I guess we have to let time be the judge of that!

Cotto-Ali finalized for December 2 at MSG

LOS ANGELES (OCT. 11, 2017) – December 2 will mark the end of an era in boxing as four-division and six-time world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) enters the ring for the final time to defend his WBO World Junior Middleweight Title in a 12-round battle against Sadam “World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs).

The action will take place at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Cotto will make his 24th appearance on the network and his 10th showcase at MSG.

Cotto, a surefire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, has held world titles in the super lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico has faced a who’s who of elite world champions including Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, Zab “Super” Judah, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio “El Tornado de Tijuana” Margarito, Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and current Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez.


In his last outing, Cotto defeated the tough and determined Yoshihiro “Maestrito” Kamegai to win the WBO World Junior Middleweight Title, which he will look to defend successfully before a packed crowd of his loyal New York supporters as he closes the book on his legendary career.

“I’m very excited to be back in the ring for my final fight at The Garden. I’ve worked really hard my entire career to be at this level,” Cotto said. “I am fully concentrated on getting together with Freddie Roach so we can work hard and have a great victory on December 2.”

Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian fighting out of Brooklyn who has held multiple regional titles, will get his second shot at a world championship after earning victories over top welterweight contenders including Francisco “Chia” Santana, Luis Carlos “El Potro” Abregu and most recently former interim WBA World Super Lightweight Champion Johan “El Terrible” Perez.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to fight a legend in Madison Square Garden in front of all my fans and on HBO,” said Ali. “My time is now. God willing, I will leave the Garden with the championship belt.”

“What can you say about Miguel Cotto that hasn’t already been said during his two decades in boxing?,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “He is a first-ballot hall of famer; a true legend in Puerto Rico, New York and beyond; and a true credit to the sport of boxing. Just like he [Cotto] was given a shot for his world championship, he is now doing the same for Sadam Ali. Who will come out on top? Tune in December 2 to find out.”

“It’s amazing having Miguel Cotto back at The Garden for one last time to finish a brilliant career,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Cotto Promotions. “Memorable fights and a legacy were built in that building. December 2 will be remarkable for Miguel Cotto.”

Cotto vs. Ali, a 12-round fight for the Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle, and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event will take place Saturday, December 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets for Cotto vs. Ali are priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50 and go on sale on Tuesday, October 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET.  Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at or

For more information

Photos from Miguel Cotto’s media workout

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 16, 2017) Former four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) hosted a media workout today at the Wild Card Boxing Gym ahead of his 12-round fight against Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) for the WBO World Junior Middleweight title that will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT

Here are photos from Cotto’s media workout:

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Photos: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Miguel Cotto: ‘In my time off, I feel like I’ve become a more mature, more focused, complete fighter’

August 26 is a busy day for the sport of boxing. Of course, you have Mayweather-McGregor, and another fight involving a legend of the sport.

Miguel Cotto makes his return to the ring for the vacant WBO junior-middleweight title against Yoshihiro Kamegai in a 12-round fight at the StubHub Center in Carson, California (HBO).

The last time we saw Cotto was almost two years ago when he lost to Canelo Alvarez. During his time away, the 36-year-old Cotto believes he has become a better fighter:

 “In my time off, I feel like I’ve become a more mature, more focused, complete fighter,” said Cotto Our partnership with Golden Boy Promotions is part of that — Oscar De La Hoya and his company have always been there to support me and my team, and I am glad I get to share the last leg of my career with them in the best way possible. We have already seen the positives of working with them, and we are excited for the partnership we have developed that goes beyond this fight.”

Cotto explained why he chose Kamegai for his comeback fight:

“Kamegai is the best opponent for me right now in my career — he is a warrior in the ring. When we were looking through our options, he was one of the first names that popped up,” said Cotto.  

Cotto expects to be completely ready come fight night.  “I will be prepared for Kamegai on August 26 mentally and physically. It will be a great fight,” said Cotto.

Cotto is expected to fight one more time in 2017, and then retire from the sport.



Freddie Roach details Miguel Cotto’s preparation for Kamegai fight

World renowned trainer Freddie Roach shared important details regarding the training camp of Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), the only Puerto Rican boxer to ever win world titles in four divisions, as he prepares to go to war for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight title against the Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs). Cotto will attempt to obtain a sixth world title in four divisions and will appear on HBO for an astounding 23rd time. The event takes placeSaturday, August 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Roach, a Hall of Fame trainer who was supervising a recent sparring session at the Wild Card Boxing Club, shared Cotto’s training camp routine, which consists of:
  • Strength and conditioning at 5:00 am with Gavin McMillan (exercises are done either at the gym, pool, nearby hills or at the track).
  • Breakfast at around 8:30 am. (Cotto likes to cook all his meals himself; his diet is normal, avoiding fried food).
  • Light snack at around 11:15 am.
  • Sparring three days a week at 1:00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Boxing routine on at 1:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Dinner at around 5:30 pm.
Roach also provided additional training camp details, including the strategy for taking advantage of the exciting and crowd-pleasing style of Kamegai.
“Kamegai [Yoshihiro] is very aggressive and I like that. I think it should make for a great fight because he’s coming forward all the time and always looking for a knockout. Guys who look for knockouts, get knocked out. So, we’re working on countering his attack, and it’s going really well so far,” Roach concluded.
“I feel great, everything is working perfectly in camp together with Freddie and Gavin on every workout session. Freddie has a great game plan and I just follow him and do my best every day at gym. We look forward to have a big win” Miguel Cotto said.
“For more than 16 years, Miguel Cotto has represented Puerto Rico. He has given fans incredible fights at a number of weight classes, and has won world titles in an astounding four divisions,” said Oscar De La Hoya. “Now, after nearly two years out of the ring, as he attempts to claim a sixth championship belt, we are fully expecting a tough war between him and Kamegai.”
Cotto vs. Kamegai, a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and sponsored by Tecate “BORN BOLD” and Casa Mexico Tequila. Rey Vargas vs. Ronny Rios is a 12-round world championship fight for the WBC Super Bantamweight Title, and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event will take place Saturday, August 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.