By Rich Cheney: Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) says he’s not overlooking the hard hitting Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Cotto, 36, is going to retire at the end of this year, and it’s important for him to beat Kamegai and look good in doing so.
HBO agreed to televise the Cotto vs. Kamnegai fight despite it being arguably being a lackluster match-up. However, Cotto’s fight in December is expected to be a good one with him potentially facing the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight or former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux. It should be interesting to see if Cotto faces one of them or if he chooses to take another lesser fighter. Cotto would be going out with a huge bang if he fights the winner of the Canelo-Golovkin fight. It was be a shame, though, if Cotto fights the loser of that fight. It’s thought by some boxing fans that Cotto will only fight Canelo and not Golovkin, because of the PPV money that Canelo would bring. Cotto fought Canelo in November 2015 in a fight that brought in over 900,000 PPV buys on HBO. A rematch might bring in a lot of buys, but perhaps not that many due to Cotto having been inactive for the last 2 years of his boxing career since that loss.
Cotto vs. Kamegai will be for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title. There are some fans that don’t like the idea of Cotto being allowed to fight for the WBO belt after having been out of the ring for 2 solid years and coming off of a loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez. This is boxing though. This sport sometimes has a WWE look to it with the way that popular fighters get a boost by the sanctioning bodies.
“You know, he’s a guy who’s going to come to present a really good right. We are training for that, and that’s why he’s the best opponent for that,” said Cotto to Kieran Mulvaney of HBO. “Yes, we’re giving our best on every occasion and Freddie just have the thing where he can take the best out of me and that’s great for me.”
Cotto will need to deal with the size and the big power shots from Kamegai. The Japanese fighter’s power is good, but it’s not the level of fighters like Gennady Golovkin or Danny Jacobs. Cotto can probably take the best shots from Kamegai when needed for him to get him out of there.
“You know, I’m living day by day. I’m enjoying the last stage of my career in the best way possible,” said Cotto. “And first of all, I have to face Yoshihiro, all I’m thinking of is the fight and after it we can talk about the retirement. He’s a guy who always brings a fight to his opponent. I know he’s coming to fight, he’s coming to present a good show and I’m ready for him.”