Miguel Cotto isn't prone to trash-talking, period, but the Puerto Rican pugilist is even less chatty when he nears fight time. The 32-year-old hitter offered up no incendiary blasts aimed toward Austin Trout, the 27-year-old New Mexican who holds the WBA junior middleweight title, on a Monday conference call to hype Saturday night's clash at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto told the media that he feels rejuvenated, strangely enough, following a loss. The fighter gave 35-year-old Floyd Mayweather all he could handle in Mayweather's last outing, in May, and in that UD loss, Cotto showed all that his skills are at or near peak level. "Sometimes you win when you lose," is how Cotto put it on the call. On Saturday, Cotto promised, "you will see the best Miguel Cotto ever."
If you aren't attending the bout, promoted by Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy, you can watch on Showtime.
Brooklyner Danny Jacobs, fresh off his Oct. 20 TKO1 win following a comeback from cancer at the Barclays Center, gloves up in a support bout. The undercard begins at around 5:15 p.m., for the record.
Several times, Cotto gave a shout-out to the terrific fans at MSG, who have regularly packed the place to see him, going back to 2005 (a KO9 win over Muhammad Abdullaev). He has fond recent memories of the building; it was at MSG last December he gave a holiday beatdown to Antonio Margarito, payback for the whacking Margarito gave Cotto in their 2008 scrap.
Cotto (37-3 with 30 KOs) has beaten Abdullaev, Paul Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Michael Jennings, Joshua Clottey and Margarito at MSG, and Trout didn't sounds like he's sensing he'll be added to that list.
Trout, a 25-0 fighter who hasn't fought anyone in Cotto's ballpark, admitted as much when he hopped on the call after Cotto was done. "Miguel Cotto is the best fighter I've faced," he said. But he told the media that he has daydreams about beating Cotto. Trout isn't known for having excessive pop, with 14 KOs to his credit. He will seek to quiet the pro-Cotto crowd, which has a tendency to cheer when their guy does anything, even use the spit bucket.
A win here, and he will no longer be one of the most anonymous belt-holders among the higher weight divisions in the game. A Trout win would be one of the top upsets of the year, but it is hard to imagine Cotto disappointing the masses.
But, the fight game is, after all, the theater of the unexpected, so we shall see.