Miguel Cotto Conference Call Transcript

01.11.07 - Lee Samuels: The champ is here, Miguel Cotto. Heís training in Puerto Rico. Heís getting ready for ďFast & Furious,Ē Saturday, November 10, at Madison Square Garden Live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Heís defending his welterweight title against Sugar Shane Mosley Ė a very, very exciting promotion.

Miguelís ready, fit, trim, ready to go. And at this time, Iíll turn to my boss, Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum. Heíll talk about Miguel and the entire fight card. Bob.

Bob Arum: The eagerly anticipated match between the champion, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley is days away and weíre all looking forward to coming in to the Big Apple to get ready for this historic fight.

The card, as many of you have commented, is an exceptionally strong one because Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy and ourselves felt that with such a great fight as the main event, the fans were entitled as well to a tremendous under card and Antonio Margarito, against Golden Johnson, Joel Casamayor against Jose Santa Cruz, and Victor Ortiz, the young rising star fighting former world champion and a man that Miguel fought, Carlos Maussa.

So itís a great card. Itíll be a great night, November 10 at Madison Square Garden and we expect a tremendous pay-per-view audience.

Miguel Cotto Ė gee, it seems like a long time, longer than it is, but Miguel has made three prior visits to the big arena in Madison Square Garden and come away with victories every time.

Heís fought everybody that weíve put in front of him and heís been victorious in every fight. We believe that Miguel Cotto is on course to be considered to be the best pound for pound fighter and one of the true legends when his career is over in the sport of boxing.

So itís a pleasure to introduce to you, the welter weight champion of the world, Miguel Cotto.

Miguel Cotto: Hi everybody. Iím happy to be here with you. Weíre going to have a good conference call.

Dan Rafael: Miguel, can you talk about the Ė you know, youíve been in a lot of championship fights in your career, but this is obviously the biggest one youíve been in.

Can you talk about just the Ė your level of excitement and jus the magnitude of the event and how much youíve looked forward to being in this type of fight since youíve signed with Top Rank out of the Olympic games and made your way up the ladder?

Miguel Cotto: Itís a bigger event Iím going to participate and thatís the reason I trained really hard for this fight. Iím pretty happy with that. Iím pretty happy with the moments in my career Iím past and I hope chances stay pretty good for bringing a good show to all the people.

Dan Rafael: Miguel, are you somebody that has paid attention to Shane Mosleyís career or followed it in any way?

And if so, can you just give me a few thoughts on Ė your thoughts about Shane as a fighter both when he was considered the number one fighter in the world a few years ago and also to what he is today which is still obviously one of the better fighters out there?

Miguel Cotto: Heís a good fighter. Heís a four-time world champion but itís my time Ė itís my moment now. Iím going to take advantage of that.

Chuck Johnson: A lot of your career has been built around the body punching attack that you use Ė unleash on your opponents.

Can you give me just your thoughts on body punching as far as your success is concerned?

Miguel Cotto: Iíve got to tell you, itís the best way you can put pressure on your opponent, you can make them weaker than you and thatís the way Miguel Cotto fights.

Chuck Johnson: As far as the chin aspect, Miguel, some people have questioned whether or not your chin is as strong as it should be. Whatíre your thoughts about your ability to take a punch?

Miguel Cotto: Iím a boxer. You know when you have a Ė when you catch a good punch Ė to catch a good punch, you know. The question is if you can catch a good one and take out from this moment.

Chuck Johnson: Shane is a three-time world champion, Miguel, would you say that this definitely is the toughest opponent youíve ever been in against?

Miguel Cotto: Well, on paper it looks like that.

Chuck Johnson: So on paper, what do you see?

Miguel Cotto: The paper tells the total. Shane was a three-division world champion. Heís a good fighter. He gives a good fight. Heís a good boxer and was (unintelligible).

Chuck Johnson: Are you expecting him to be the toughest fighter?

Miguel Cotto: I canít tell you yet. Iím just preparing myself. You have to prepare yourself and try to bring on a good show.

Robert Morales: Miguel, yesterday on the conference call Ė on Shaneís conference call, I asked both Oscar and Shane if they thought that you could ever become as popular in Puerto Rico with the fans as Felix Trinidad was during his heyday, during his best years. And they both said that, although you were establishing yourself as a great fighter, they didnít think you were as popular as Felix because Felix has a more outgoing personality and you are very quiet and reserved. What do you think about that?

Miguel Cotto: Thatís one part Ė my personality Ė I canít do anything with that. Iím a shyer person than Felix. Thatís my way.

Robert Morales: I appreciate that. Bob, Iím wondering your take on the same thing. How do you compare the popularity issue with the two fighters? And do you think that just with continued victories that Miguel could reach that same popularity?

Bob Arum: Look where Felix was at this stage of his career and look where Miguel is. I donít think thereís any comparison. Miguel is so far ahead at the equivalent stage of his career. What happens in the future, happens in the future.

I think that working together with Miguel, with the Cotto team, everyone in Top Rank will do the utmost to enhance his popularity to the ultimate.

And I think that eventually, before he is finished, he will not only achieve the same measure of popularity, if he hasnít already, as Felix Trinidad, but will be a cross over attraction because Felix was never able to learn to speak English and Miguel has.

Robert Morales: Well thatís a very good point. One last thing, Bob, all that said, and I respect that, would it be better for you as a promoter, would it be easier if Miguel was maybe even just a little more outgoing?

Bob Arum: Then he might not be as good a body puncher. In other words, you play the cards that youíre dealt. Miguel is Miguel. Heís a great, great fighter. Heís a great young man.

We, who are close to him, know that he has a great personality. I donít want him to be a phony. I donít want him to be what he isnít.

Bernard Fernandez: I was on the conference call yesterday with Shane and his father. And although Shane didnít say anything particularly inflammatory, Jack did. I mean, some of the things that he said was that Cotto was worried sick about fighting Shane. You can look in his eyes and tell. He knows heís not as strong as Shane.

Miguel, do you think that this is something that heís trying to do, like, to get into your head and make you crazy.

What do you think about Shaneís father, you know, being so uncomplimentary towards you?

Miguel Cotto: I donít have to be stronger, quicker Ė quicker than Shane. I have to be more intelligent. And Iím going to do that on November 10.

Bob Arum: And let me say something, Bernard. When I heard that Jack Mosley, who I like very much Ė when I heard his comment, it was music to my ears. Why? Because I heard the same kind of music a month ago with Emanuel Steward and Kelly Pavlik before the Taylor/Pavlik fight.

And what does that music mean? That music means Ė is that Taylor, in the case of Stewart and Shane, in the case of Jack, are afraid because they know, they know the kind of fighter that Pavlik is and that Miguel is.

And so they say things to demean the fighter in order to get their fighter more confident because theyíre worried. Obviously Emanuel was worried about (Jermaineís) confidence, with reason and Jack is obviously worried about Shaneís confidence. And so they say things to demean the opponent.

When Shane has fought a whole host of guys who were relatively easy opponents, you never heard Jack demean the opponent, did you? Iíve never heard Jack demean an opponent ever.

I never heard Emanuel demean an opponent ever. So they do it for a purpose. Remember that.

Michael Woods: Miguel, yes, something else that Jack said is that youíre a dirty fighter. That every time you get in trouble, you go low, you hit low. Whatís your reaction to that?

Miguel Cotto: Well, Iím a fighter and you have to do what you have to do for winning. And if you have to do things like pass and (unintelligible) on purpose, that was on purpose. But if you had to do it with Ė on purpose, you have to do it.

Michael Woods: Are you saying it was on purpose against [Zab] Judah or it wasnít?

Miguel Cotto: It wasnít on purpose.

Michael Woods: Bob, Jack also insinuated that the latest rehash of allegations of Shane doing steroids came from you guys, whether Team Cotto or Top Rank or what. I mean, thatís prettyÖ

Bob Arum: Well, thatís preposterous. It was old news when it came out and it was something that had taken place the prior year before this fight was ever even thought of. I mean, it was quoting testimony and a hearing that took place a year ago before this fight was even contemplated.

I mean the idea that we had anything to do with it or Team Cotto is absurd. We didnít even Ė we donít know any of these people, any of these investigators, anything.

I mean, and I said immediately when this occurred that we werenít concerned for this fight because Shane is a clean kid and wouldnít cheat and the use of banned Ė of a substance which may or may not have been banned at the time was something that he explained before a grand jury and that explanation is something that everybody should accept.

In other words, itís a non-issue.

Karl Freitag: Yesterday on the conference call also they were talking about how Shane is going to outthink you and Shane is faster than you and Shane is stronger than you. I mean, what Ė like, you donít have any advantages at all.

What in this fight Ė advantages Ė do you see yourself having?

Miguel Cotto: Iím (unintelligible) very good and Iím never late and use any Ė another thing that (unintelligible) than my (unintelligible) and my body. Iím always going to the fight with my whole energy, you know. And thatís the advantage I have over Shane Mosley.

Francis Walker: Miguel, youíve had wars with Paul Malignaggi and Ricardo Torres, however against Mosley, youíre fighting a guy who has a lot of speed, movement, along with power and is a very good body puncher like yourself.

Will we see you try to fight more of a tactile boxing match or are you looking forward to a straight up war with Shane?

Miguel Cotto: I donít think at the age of 36 years old Shane can handle Miguel Cotto.

Francis Walker: Okay. So you were more worried about Zab as opposed to Shane because Zab perhaps was younger? Do you think Zab is a stronger fighter than Shane at 147?

Miguel Cotto: Yes, I think he was Ė he was a more dangerous fighter than Shane.

Francis Walker: If there are any mistakes that Shane has made, what were they and does Shane still make those same mistakes that you hope to exploit on November 10?

Miguel Cotto: Iím just going to do my thing. I never think about what Shane Mosley is going to bring on November 10. Iím just going to do my thing the best way I can.

Diego Martinez: Mosley said that he was going to knock you out yesterday. What do you think when you hear something like that?

Miguel Cotto: I had 30 guys say the same thing, and none of them has been able to do it yet. So I donít think this is going to be the exception.

Jerry Glick: I have a question for you about the fighting in New York. Youíre going to be fighting in front of a large, most likely, a large Puerto Rican crowd and how much do you think thatís going to help you having that much cheering power behind you?

Miguel Cotto: My people always help me, you know. They are for me, they have supported me and I know theyíre going to do the same this night.

Jerry Glick: I think theyíll support you as much as they supported Tito.

Miguel Cotto: I donít know. Iím not Tito. Iím Miguel CottoÖ

Jerry Glick: I think youíre going to do just as much.

Miguel Cotto: I just can tell you about Miguel Cotto.

Jerry Glick: Now Mosley made a point to the fact that heís coming down from 154 and youíre coming up from 140. Heís the bigger guy. Heís a few inches taller and he does have a little bit more reach.

Can you talk a little bit about how youíre going to handle that?

Miguel Cotto: Heís coming from 135. Iím coming from 140.

Jerry Glick: Oh are you?

Miguel Cotto: You tell me with that, who is bigger here?

Carlos Gonzalez: Over the last few fights youíve shown that you take big leads on guys, but you still keep going after them. Youíre relentless, even though you could probably sit on your lead and win some decisions.

If you find yourself against Mosley with a big lead, do you think youíre going to try to just outbox him at the end?

Miguel Cotto: I will never do that. People like to see me go after guys. Thatís the way I fight. Thatís the way everyone enjoys the fight. And I will always do that.

Iím just going to keep coming at them. Thatís my style. Thatís my pressure. And if he can send a (unintelligible) for him but if he canít then Iíll be the winner.

Jason Gonzales: Miguel, at the 30 day weigh in, you were ten pounds over the welterweight limit, which is fantastic, but is there ever the thought that you could possibly be over-trained?

Miguel Cotto: No Iím Ė I just Ė thatís my (unintelligible) my body is claimed for the way (unintelligible) for the way it was. And Iím ten pounds over the limit 30 days before.

Jason Gonzales: With you just turning 27, Miguel, Shane being 36, could you possibly see this fight kind of, like, playing out like the Kostya Tszyu/Ricky Hatton fight back a few years ago?

Miguel Cotto: I donít know. Every boxer is different. Every fight is different. And Iíve got to tell you this fight is going to be different than any one.

Huron Torres: The question was, youíre accused of being a dirty fighter by Jack Mosley and also the fact that they say that youíre chin is questionable.

Miguel Cotto: Every boxerís going to get hit in the ring. Everyoneís going to get hurt some time during a fight.

Itís just a question of what youíre going to do with it. Are you going to respond or are you going to fall?

And I think that I responded every time Iíve been hurt in the ring. And the question I have for them, what will happen to Shane Mosley when he gets hurt in the ring? Will he respond to it? I know I have.

And the question about the dirty fighting Ė this is a fight, this is professional fighting. You do what you have to do to win and so things that happen in the ring are going to happen. And whatever it takes, thatís what I Ė you know, whatever it takes in the ring, Iíll do Ė and a Ė to get a win and I will do it.

Bob Arum: Well you know weíre Ė as I say, we got a lot of things planned for the Big Apple. Press conference is going to be held on Wednesday at BB Kings.

The press room is set up at the Affinia Hotel which is right near Madison Square Garden.

The weigh-in will be, of course, on Friday in the early afternoon. And thatíll be at Madison Square Garden.

We expect tremendous buzz in New York. The World Series, of course, is over. The football Giants have a bye week this week and theyíre not playing the Dallas Cowboys until the day after this fight.

So thereís going to be a lot of interest in New York and rightly so, focusing on this fight, and we at Top Rank are confident that our champion will win and itíll be a big, big win for him because Shane Mosley has been and still is a great, great fighter. And a win victory over Shane Mosley is something very special.

Article posted on 01.11.2007

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