Former four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) hosted a media workout today at the Wild Card Boxing Gym ahead of his 12-round fight against Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) for the WBO World Junior Middleweight title that will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. Also participating in the workout was the highly talented 122-pound contender Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs), who will take on Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) in a 12-round co-main event for Vargas’ WBC Super Bantamweight time.
The workout also featured many fan favorites from the Aug. 26 undercard. Here is what the fighters had to say regarding their respective bouts at today’s workout:
MIGUEL COTTO, Former Four-Division World Champion:
“Every time that I get fit for a fight, I just find that I work hard. It was not our plan to have 24 months off, but the time off just gave me time to use the opportunity to spend with my family. I don’t think the time off prolonged my career. I’m going to be here until December 21. After this fight, I’m going to rest. Then were going to see what we have.”
RONNY RIOS, Super Bantamweight Contender:
“Training camp is the same as always, relaxed, and I’m enjoying it, having fun as I go. But, I’ve been training hard. I expect Rey Vargas to be coming forward the first couple rounds, and I expect a full attempt to fight.”
“I know they’re going to prepare for my jab and body work. The biggest challenge is the last week of the fight. You just want to be in there, when you’re in the ring, everything slows down, everything feels like it’s moving in slow motion.You want to fight the best and get to a certain level. It was a big surprise learning we were going for a title. I gotta go out there and make a statement. I don’t want to just go out there and fight; I want to make a statement.”
JOET GONZALEZ, Featherweight Prospect:
“I’m just training hard. This is my last week to train hard. I’m eating good, eating clean. It’s easy to make weight. I gotta be smart. I know he’s [Deivis Bassa] a veteran as he’s got a lot of experience. I know I’ve got to be ready. I want to prove who I am, who Joet Gonzalez is. I’ve got a great team behind me, and I’m excited.”
EMILIO SANCHEZ, Featherweight Prospect:
“Camp is going great. I’m working on my defense and offense, and my diet’s going well. I try eating healthy, but it’s hard sometimes. I’m sharpening my defense, those are the skills I’m working on. It motivates me that my family and friends are there cheering me on. After this fight, I’m hoping to be the main event at the Belasco and fight better opponents.”
TENOCHTITLAN “T-DOG” NAVA, Featherweight Prospect:
“Training has been going great. Lots of cardio. What’s different is I’m having more fun. I’ve been sparring a lot with the other fighters. This fight is going to be super exciting.”
ALEXIS ROCHA, Welterweight Prospect:
“I’m fighting six rounds already which is very fast for my age. I thank Golden Boy for everything they’re doing for me. We’re just staying sharp, mentally, physically-I feel ready.
“My job is just to go in there and break the body down. I’m strict on my diet right now. Overall, I’m just focusing on what I’m going to do. My brother [Ronny Rios] and I train together. It’s definitely easy to train together. After this fight, I want to prove I’m one of the best prospects coming up.”
JAVIER PADILLA, Bantamweight Prospect:
“I know nothing about my opponent [Ricardo Arias]. I just do my training. I listen to my coaches and do what they say. I’m hoping to prove I’m a worthy fighter from this fight.”
RUBEN RODRIGUEZ, Super Lightweight Prospect:
“I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity for me to show what I can do. It is really great being on such a great card. It’s a great experience for me. I’m just seeing what I can do, just trying to show I’m on top.”
Cotto: Kamegai is the best opponent for me now
Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), the only boxer from Puerto Rico to earn five world titles in four weight divisions, will look to capture his sixth world title when he takes on Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) for the WBO Junior Middleweight title. Cotto will make his triumphant return to the ring after a layoff of nearly two years and will appear on HBO for an astounding 23rd time. The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
The future Hall of Famer spoke about the importance of his extensive career, his partnership with Golden Boy Promotions, and his father in developing his family-first outlook.
Here is what Miguel Cotto had to say in an exclusive Q&A Session:
“I have proved my whole career that I have been ready for anyone. I am a good boxer and I have no doubt that I can match anyone. As I look at my career, I have no regrets, everything has worked out and I am proud of the legacy I have built. I think one of the more satisfying fights I’ve been in was my victory against Antonio Margarito — I got my revenge against him then.”
“In my time off, I feel like I’ve become a more mature, more focused, complete fighter. Our partnership with Golden Boy Promotions is part of that — Oscar De La Hoya and his company have always been there to support me and my team, and I am glad I get to share the last leg of my career with them in the best way possible. We have already seen the positives of working with them, and we are excited for the partnership we have developed that goes beyond this fight.”
“I became the man I am today because of my father. He taught me the way you have to be, to put your family first in your life. I have no doubt that my father, mother and whole family are proud of me. The discipline that my family has taught me is the same that I want to show my kids, that they too can achieve their goals and dreams just as I have. I think above being a great boxer, I take a bigger pride in being a great father.”
“Kamegai is the best opponent for me right now in my career — he is a warrior in the ring. When we were looking through our options, he was one of the first names that popped up. I don’t really worry about what or how my opponent trains – all that matters is how well our team prepares. Freddie Roach has always been good to me, has been critical to my preparation over the years, and our team has always enjoyed working together like a family. I will be prepared for Kamegai on August 26 mentally and physically. It will be a great fight.”
Cotto vs. Kamegai, a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and sponsored by Tecate “BORN BOLD,” Casa Mexico Tequila and Fred Loya Insurance. Rey Vargas vs. Ronny Rios is a 12-round world championship fight for the WBC Super Bantamweight Title, and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event will take place Saturday, Aug. 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets for the almost sold-out Cotto vs. Kamegai are still available and priced at $200, $100, and $50, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, call 877-234-8425