Meeting at a maximum weight of 159 pounds, the 5-foot-7 Cotto will sacrifice size against the 5-foot-10 Martinez.
Martinez has been shelved since physically deteriorating last April 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, suffered another right knee injury, broken left hand, and bad cut over his left eye during the bout.
“Cotto never wanted to face me before. He’s only facing me now because he believes my knee is damaged too much,” said Martinez, 39, who also dabbled professionally as a cyclist and soccer player and only began boxing at the advanced age of 20.
"I had nine months of no training at all. So, I had to use soft workouts to build my conditioning up for the hard stuff and I feel great. My body is responding better than ever."
Comparatively, in an utterly masterful showing, Cotto earned a third round TKO victory over Delvin Rodríguez on October 5 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
A four-time world titlist in three weight divisions, Cotto’s training with Freddie Roach and the duo focused on throwing more left hooks to the body versus the 33-year-old Rodríguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs).
Accordingly, the Puerto Rican icon 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 dominant force that won the 2010 “Fighter of the Year” award.
Nevertheless, with fans at The World’s Most Famous Arena “responding better than ever,” Sergio Martinez will stop Miguel Cotto this spring in Gotham.