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The NYC Press Event: Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto Get In A Bitch Fight

Martinez and Cotto don't like each other, and there will be no love lost on June 7th
Martinez and Cotto don't like each other, and there will be no love lost on June 7th
Chris Farina/Top Rank

Only in New York City can a fight of this magnitude exist and still get lost in a sea of lights.

Its not everyday that a 3-time world champion from Puerto Rico gets to vie for the WBC middleweight championship of the world, against a come-backing and proud physical marvel.

While negotiating with a street vendor over the price of a hat while clad in a New York Yankees scully on 35th and 7th Ave, it seems the slight bounce of Spring in the air carried more energy in Gotham than what emanated off the big screen at Madison Square Garden.

Looking at it - in relation to the average guy on the streets - amid New York's dazzlingly re-tooled neon animation, you got the sense that Sergio Martinez's upcoming defense of his title against Miguel Cotto was just another highlight.

But that's like telling them its just another fight - it isn't.

Martinez, in a swaggering blend of cold condescension and visible annoyance, dug deep into a vault of contempt for Cotto. It is very real and very personal. The turtleneck he sported even suggested he was saying to Miguel, "I've had it up to here with your ass". He looked like he wanted to get into some kind of domestic violence with him.

"I can imagine he's going to ask for rose petals otherwise he won't walk into the ring," Martinez said.

He was recalling an incident which took place a few years back in Mexico, in which Cotto apparently refused to shake his hand. He spoke of how everyone noticed how he basically thought his sh*t didn't stink and immediately couldn't stand him.

It uh, also didn't help that Cotto was brutal on Martinez during the often contentious negotiations.

Cotto will walk to the ring after Martinez and be the last one introduced, distinctions commonly reserved for the champion, and I for one think that sucks.

"He acts like a little girl, like a 16-year-old girl," griped Martinez, who has begun training but isn't running yet because of precautions related to his right knee surgery following his last fight, an April 2013 struggle with Martin Murray. He expects to start running by the end of the month. "If he doesn't get these things then the fight isn't going to happen," he went on. "It's ridiculous. I just think that he does a lot of things that are ridiculous, not personally toward me but he has a personality that bothers me."

Cotto, who also successfully maneuvered a 159 catchweight, wasn't moved at all. He said he can't remember any incident in Mexico and doesn't feel any ill will toward Martinez. But make no mistake about it - his clear demeanor was dripping with a "f*ck you- you're nothing" attitude.

"I don't care about it," Cotto snapped back. "If that's his motivation- then good for him. I'm never going to be disrespectful to anyone. I treat everyone well and if he feels that about me, I'm sorry for him but the show must go on."

But uh, what about all the diva-like demands though Miguel? You care to explain that?

"In two times in my career, I fought with [MANNY]Pacquiao and [FLOYD]Mayweather and I understood they are the Side A of the equation," Cotto said. "And I understood my position. Sergio is the Side B. The guy who is going to sell tickets, who puts people in here [IS ME]."


We also can't overlook the fact that Sergio Martinez and his people picked up the phone and actively sought a bout with Cotto, who really has no business just getting an F'n title shot to begin with, but whatever.

Sergio was noticeably longer than Cotto, but not as wide, and the size disparity won't be as pronounced in favor of Martinez, because Cotto was roughly a 165lb fighter against Rodriguez.

High school theatrics aside, this fight will boil to intangibles. Certain fights happen at the right time for certain fighters, and if Cotto were to beat Sergio Martinez that time is now.

No previous version of him would even merit consideration for this bout - he gets taken to the woodshed by a 154lb, 2010 version of Martinez, but we're not in those times.

Because Cotto is in a unique place in time as a battle-tested warrior, and Martinez has spent the majority of his time testing how much more battle his body can absorb, I believe this is Cotto's fight to lose.

It can be said that Martinez has really over-achieved (given how he blossomed late into the sport) while Cotto is still trying to fulfill promise.

In front of a packed house in Madison Square Garden on June 7th, we're gonna find out, and I can't wait.

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