By Tim Nielson: Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31 KO’s) says he’s not thinking about whether WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) is the same fighter he once was in the past as he the two of them head into their fight on June 7th at Madison Square Garden in New York. Cotto’s main focus is to get in the best shape he possibly can for the fight, and come out and beat the 39-year-old Martinez to take his WBC 160lb title.
If Cotto, 33, can win this fight, it’ll be his 4th division world title that he’s captured. He’s not sure yet whether he’ll opt to defend the belt or not. It’ll depend on which fighters he’ll need to face. What Cotto doesn’t want is to tie himself down fighting meaningless contenders and not being able to take the important fights that he wants to take. If Cotto was still in his early to mid-20s, he’d likely not be bothered by the defending against all comers, but he’s nearing retirement now, and he wants to maximize his earnings for each remaining fight that he has left during his career.
“I worry about my preparation and my condition in the ring,” Cotto said. “I will fight with everything I have, and I don’t know if we’ve already seen the best of Sergio Martinez. That does not bother me. As always, I will provide a great show, and it’ll be a great fight.”
This is a risky fight for Cotto, because if Sergio’s injuries to his knee and hand have healed properly, Cotto could be in for a ton of trouble. Sergio was considered the best fighter in the middleweight division until recently when he struggled to defeat Martin Murray last year in April. Martinez revealed afterwards that his surgically repaired knee from his previous fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had given him problems, and he had also suffered a fractured hand.
Martinez once again had surgery on his knee, and he’s been out of the ring for the past year now in rehabbing the injury. He’s painstakingly rehabbed the knee to get it back to full strength, so he should be as good as new. However, Sergio has been out of the ring for an entire year now, and he is 39 now. If he’s not at the level he was before the knee injury, then we could see him taste defeat against the hard hitting Cotto on June 7th.