Meeting at a maximum weight of 159 pounds, the 5-foot-7 Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) will sacrifice size against the 5-foot-10 Martinez.
Also a past professional cyclist and soccer player, Martinez has been shelved since physically deteriorating in April 2013 against formidable Englishman Martin Murray.
Martinez, who controversially outscored the 31-year-old Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) by three counts of 115-112, sustained another right knee wound, broken left hand, and bad cut over his left eye during the bout.
“I had a partially torn meniscus. I had a breakage in the femoral capsule, right behind the knee. I had a post-operation infection right before the Murray fight. I had partially broken cartilage, where the cartilage became like a small saw on my tibia,” said Martinez, 39, who first suffered a torn right meniscus against Julio César Chávez Jr. in September 2012.
“I had an injury in my ligaments as well, a distension of the ligaments. I also had chondromalacia patellae, which is the injury that occurs beneath the kneecap. That’s why they couldn’t find an integral solution, because there were many injuries together. And recovering from that, being 39 years of age, was difficult. But thanks to the doctors I am fine.”
Meanwhile, in an absolutely brilliant outing, the 33-year-old Cotto earned a third round TKO triumph over Delvin Rodríguez on October 5 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
A four-time world champion in three weight divisions, Cotto’s working with Freddie Roach and the pair focused on throwing more left hooks to the body versus the 34-year-old Rodríguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs).
Accordingly, the Puerto Rican legend landed 29 of his 55 blows to Rodriguez’s torso and dominated.
Ultimately, despite manhandling Rodriguez, Cotto’s a bit shopworn and Martinez is graying and no longer the tremendous force that captured the 2010 “Fighter of the Year” award.
Nevertheless, Martinez’s southpaw stance and blazing speed should give Cotto fits.
“Thanks to the doctors,” expect Sergio Martinez to stop Miguel Cotto roughly a month from tonight at The World’s Most Famous Arena in Gotham.