Golden Boy Promotions are preparing a treat for the boxing purists on Saturday night. With public masses tuning into Mayweather vs McGregor, Cotto’s challenge for the vacant WBO super-welterweight title has a distinct bohemian feel to it’s appeal…
Miguel Cotto vs Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO super-welterweight title.
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California, USA
When: Saturday August 26th at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT or 3AM UK time.
TV: HBO, Boxnation.
Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KO’s) is a seasoned veteran in the ring, and as he approaches the twilight of his glittering career it’s time for one final thrust into the limelight. The 36-year-old has been in with the who’s who of the super-lightweight, welterweight, super-welterweight and middleweight divisions, picking up world titles in four-weight classes.
With five losses on his record to only the best of the best (Canelo, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Trout and Margarito), Cotto’s resilient fighting style and dogged determination has won him fans all over the world, and with spiteful body punching and intelligent ring craft the Puerto Rican is ready for a return to the squared circle after nearly two years out.
A staggering 23 out of Cotto’s last 24 fights have had at least one world title at stake, with the WBO super-welterweight strap up for grabs on Saturday night as he invites the challenge of Japan’s power-puncher Yoshihiro Kamegai.
Last September, Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KO’s) picked up a career-best win against a durable Jesus Soto Karass, going to war for eight rounds before eventually forcing Karass to declare “no mas” from his corner.
Having had a long journey to this title shot, Kamegai is ready to take it with both hands. In 2014 he lost a close decision to former champion Roberto Guerrero, and has since fought his way back into title contention.
Talking to Fightnews.com, Cotto portrayed his desire for another shot at world honours and confirmed his focus for the challenge of the Japanese fighter.
“I’ve only come here with one thing on my mind, and that’s just getting ready for Kamegai. And I’ve been doing a great job here in L.A., and I have no time and no space in my mind to think about another thing, you know? I’m just ready for Kamegai. I’m just thinking about the Kamegai fight, and whatever or whoever has another fight on the same day, they have to think about their fight.”
It’s win or retire for both Cotto and Kamegai coming into this fight. With 16 and 12-year careers respectively as professionals, father-time is waiting patiently for the pair as they approach their fighting sunsets. With gruelling scraps littering their records, both have had to go to the well on countless occasions, setting this fight up nicely to be one final push for world honours.
Although Cotto was 35 when he fought Canelo, his ring smarts and toughness made the scorecards look way off, and with Cotto proving to be the more active fighter in the fight, it is clear there is still gas in the Puerto Rican’s tank. Canelo was however the more accurate that night, with Kamegai having to box a smart fight if he is to have the same success as the Mexican.
Cotto’s left hooks have always been his most dangerous weapon. Against an opponent like Kamegai who has proven to enjoy fighting fire with fire, it’s likely that Cotto is going to get a lot of success with his left hand – providing he can rely on his typically sturdy and durable chin.
Kamegai is a very busy fighter, and despite the question marks surrounding Cotto’s ability to box on the front foot for all 12-rounds, the 34-year-old challenger will have to time his attacks well if he is going to put a dent in “Junito.”
Despite Cotto’s 21-month hiatus from the sport, his ring-craft and intelligence will prove crucial in negating the swarming style of his Japanese opponent. Kamegai may do well on the scorecards early on in the fight, however Cotto’s composure should allow him to win the majority of the rounds at a canter. A late stoppage for Cotto is possible, however a wide points win is probably the more likely with Kamegai yet to taste a KO defeat. Miguel Cotto by UD.
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