Saturday, June 7, Miguel Cotto (38-4-2) will move up a weight class to take on Sergio Martinez (51-2-2) for Martinez's WBC middleweight title. The bout will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City and televised on HBO PPV.
For Cotto, the championship match up is an opportunity to make history as the first Puerto Rican fighter to win titles in four separate weight classes. With history on the line, Cotto will surely be coming to win as he always does.
On the other hand, Martinez gets the opportunity he has been asking for which is a match up with Cotto. The desire to fight Cotto stems from an encounter the two had at a television studio in which Martinez was excited to meet Cotto and went to shake his hand but Cotto blew him off.
Lou DiBella, Martinez's promoter, told ESPN.com
Sergio is a proud man and he will use all of that stuff, all of the disrespect as motivation."
Even more, Martinez, outside of his match up with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., will step on the biggest stage of his career against Cotto. Therefore, it is foreseeable that the boxing world can expect to see the best of Sergio Martinez.
However, there are many questions as to whether Martinez will truly be in his best form due to the fact that he is coming off two knee surgeries that has kept him out of the ring since April of 2013. Martinez's mobility in the ring is a crucial part of his boxing style and many will point to the fact that some of that mobility may be gone after the surgeries.
Additionally, Martinez was knocked down in the 8th round of his prior fight by Martin Murray (26-1-1) with a performance that have boxing critics questioning whether Martinez has much more left at 38 years of age.
From a promotional standpoint, the match up is one of the best fights made for this year thus far. Cotto, who normally draws enormous crowds with the support of the Puerto Rican people to Madison Square Garden, will surely sell out the building once again as June 7 marks the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.
Credit must be given to both Bob Arum of Top Rank (Cotto's promoter) and Lou DiBella (Martinez's promoter) for getting the fight done. Cotto had various options that delayed the decision to take on Martinez, but in the end it was likely the opportunity to win a fourth title in a different weight class and make history that convinced Cotto to take the fight.
Only time will tell, but the boxing world will surely have this match up marked on their calendars. It should be interesting to depict how this fight plays out as you get two fighters at the latter stages of their careers with considerable punching power and skill that could end the fight with any punch.