(Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME) NEW YORK (Sept. 24, 2012) – Four-Time and Three-Division World Champion Miguel Cotto and World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout held a kickoff press conference on Monday in front of hundreds of boxing fans at El Museo Del Barrio in New York to announce their Dec. 1 world championship showdown at Madison Square Garden, which will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
One of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Cotto (37-3, 30 KO’s), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 while winning 16 of the 19 world championship bouts in which he has fought. Puerto Rico’s most exciting fighter and one of its greatest of all time, Cotto has fought some of the most talented fighters in boxing, including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito.
The undefeated “No Doubt” Trout (25-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., has made three successful defenses of his WBA title. The 2004 U.S. amateur champion is a former alternate for the U.S. Olympic team and is considered one of the most avoided young champions in the sport.
Also in attendance on Monday were Miguel Cotto Promotions Vice President Hector Soto, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, MSG Sports Executive Vice President Joel Fisher, SHOWTIME Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinzoa, Cotto’s trainer Pedro Diaz, Vito Mielnicki of Trout’s promoter Greg Cohen Promotions and Trout’s manager Bob Spagnola.
Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday:
“The fans here make me proud of the Puerto Rican heritage in New York.
“Austin Trout is a world champion. I always go for the best fights possible and Austin was the best option for us. I’ve learned a lot in camp from Pedro (Diaz) and I know he’s going to get me ready to win another world title.
“People here [in New York] make me feel at home; people here make me feel comfortable. They root for me and they give me the support I need to beat anyone.
“He’s a world champion, he’s undefeated. He’s a dangerous fighter and he was the right opponent for me, but I’ll still walk out of the ring with another belt on December 1st.”
“My mom has always been such a big support. My dad isn’t here anymore so it’s always good to have family with me when I train and fight.
“The crowd here in New York is electrifying. I get a different feeling when I fight here.
“Camp just began two weeks ago. I’m going to train hard to beat my opponent and be champion of the world.”
“I know the Puerto Rican fans are going to be out in full-force, but on December 1st, there is going to be a new star in boxing. They’re going to see why I’m here, why I’m the champion. I have two things in this sport right now – my belt and my undefeated record and I plan to keep both of them.
“I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and I’m run with it. It’s very honorable to be on that list of people Cotto has fought because he’s fought the best, but it’s going to be even better to be on that list of the people that have beaten Cotto.
“He can have whoever he wants in the crowd because it’s only me and him in the ring. I’m not worried about the crowd and fighting in New York. I’ll do my job no matter where I fight.
“I’ve been in hostile waters before down in Mexico and it gave me experience for this fight. There’s only one man who’s going to be in the ring with me.
“We’ve wanted this fight for years. We knew we had to knock off some people first to get it, but I’m very grateful to say the least.
“I’m one of the most avoided fighters in boxing, so I thank him for the opportunity to fight him on this stage. This weight class is stacked and I’m going to clean it up.”
“It’s a dream come true to fight at Madison Square Garden. I’m a Knicks fan and I’ve been there for a Knicks game and it was electric.”
“Miguel has fought here seven times; he defended his title six times. On December 1st, he’s going to win another world title.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA:
“Miguel Cotto is one of the most legendary and exciting fighters in Puerto Rican history. Every fight he has at Madison Square Garden is electric, and his return on December 1st won’t be any different.
“This fight solidifies SHOWTIME as THE place to watch fights on TV.
“Puerto Rico has produced some of the best boxers in the world. The people of Puerto Rico respect Miguel because of the passion he has for fighting. When he fights, you know he’s going to give it his all.
“He’s held a world title every year since 2004. He now looks to solidify his Hall of Fame career on December 1st against World Champion Austin Trout.”
“Miguel Cotto fighting in NYC is a celebration. We are proud to be in business with Miguel Cotto Promotions – this fighter is a true icon in the sport of boxing. He is a warrior who has fought the biggest names in the sport and will fight anyone, anytime.
“A few months ago, Miguel fought Floyd Mayweather and turned in a performance that many people thought Cotto won. Coming off that fight, Miguel could have taken a soft opponent, but he agreed to take on one of the toughest world titlists in this division. Austin Trout is young, strong and athletic. He defended his title on June 2nd on SHOWTIME and we’re thrilled to have him back defending against a legend like Miguel Cotto.
“I’m also excited to announce that a new edition of our sports documentary series ALL ACCESS will be dedicated to this marquee matchup. ALL ACCESS: Cotto vs. Trout will take viewers behind the scenes as the fighters prepare for this event. It will reveal aspects of Miguel Cotto’s unique training camp for this fight and introduce sports fans at-large to the American champion, Austin Trout.”
“The boxing media and the fans will have an opportunity to see Phase 2 of the Transformation [of Madison Square Garden] on December 1st as it will be our first big night of boxing in the arena.
“Madison Square Garden, as you know, has a rich boxing tradition and has hosted hundreds of champions throughout the years and we are excited to welcome Miguel back to his home away from home for this match against Austin Trout on December 1st.
“Miguel, as you are aware, has a great fan base in New York and has had great success at the Garden.
“We have been lucky enough to build a great relationship with Miguel and his team over the years and we’re looking forward to seeing him step into our ring for what will be another exciting night of championship boxing at MSG.
“We have met hundreds of fighters throughout the years who have said that it has been their dream to fight at Madison Square Garden where all the legends of the sport have fought. This will be Austin’s debut at The Garden and would like to welcome him to the Garden’s boxing tradition.”
“Our fighter is young and hungry. On December 1st, Austin will become the next American superstar – a star will be born.”
“I hear it from everybody, ‘Who is Austin Trout?’ We had a journey to get here. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities to fight in chosen fights. When we got a chance to fight for a world title we had to go to Mexico to get it.
“Coming to Madison Square Garden is a dream come true for every fighter and by the end of the evening you won’t have to ask, ‘Who is Austin Trout?’”
“Showdown: Cotto vs. Trout” is a 12 round battle between Four-Time and Three-Division World Champion Miguel Cotto and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout taking place on December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Greg Cohen Promotions, sponsored by Corona and will be telecast live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Tickets priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale on Tuesday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com