© Jim Everett / Saddo Boxing
"Two World Championships...One Night"
Monday in New York City, Top Rank held a press conference to announce “Two World Championships…One Night” which features WBA Welterweight Champion, Miguel Cotto, 31-0 (25), against Contender star, Alfonso Gomez, 18-3-2 (8). The co-feature will be the highly anticipated rematch between IBF Welterweight Champion, Kermit Cintron, 29-1 (27), who will look to avenge his only loss against Antonio Margarito, 35-5 (25). Both championships will take place on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ .
Top Rank’s Bob Arum spoke highly of the fighters participating in the championship doubleheader, “It’s truly a privilege for me to be able to announce this outstanding card, I truly believe that the welterweight division is the best division in boxing," he said. "Because the people in it come to fight, not pose, not hold out their arm and are afraid to get hit, not do a dance that they practice on 'Dancing with the Stars', but guys who come to fight.”
Arum also spoke for his fighter Antonio Margarito, who did not attend the press conference, “I represent the challenger, the former WBO Champion is never in a bad fight. He fought Kermit Cintron a number of years ago, won that fight and hopes to repeat on April 12. One thing about Tony is he is always in a good fight, he is the consummate warrior and he will give his best on April 12.”
Kermit Cintron is eager to erase the images of his 2005 loss to Margarito, “I’ve been waiting for this fight for the longest time finally getting my opportunity to avenge my loss," he said. "I thank Bob Arum to have the balls to put Margarito in front of me on April 12th.”
Cintron has had a difficult time with the media criticizing his first performance against Margarito after he broke down at the end of the fight. He was cut over the eye in round three and then was knocked down twice in round four and twice in the fifth round.
“When April 12 comes and I win against Margarito, I’m going to be so happy and I’ll be able to say on national television to everyone that has questions about me, all the criticisms, I can say shut up to everyone in the world who follows boxing and has questions and criticisms against me,” stated an enthusiastic Cintron.
When asked what will he do differently this time around Cintron replied, “I’m going to be a smarter fighter this time around. On April 12th, you will see the Kermit Cintron from 2005 is not the same Kermit Cintron of 2008.”
For Alfonso Gomez, the opportunity to face Miguel Cotto was a pleasant surprise “I was being realistic about my opportunities in 2008, looking at Chavez Jr, Zab Judah and then maybe Miguel Cotto,” he said.
Gomez addressed the media in both Spanish and English, “I’ve come through a lot to get here. I have been preparing for this fight for 17 years since I first started boxing. I visualize myself standing at the podium talking to the media about fighting for a world title. I visualized myself beating Arturo Gatti even though I had all odds against me.”
Gomez praised Cotto and looks forward to competing against the best in the division. “The trials and tribulations that I had to go through to get here only called for me to fight the best welterweight out there and that’s Miguel Cotto," he said.
"I hope he comes well prepared because I’m going to be 100% ready for this fight; this is my chance to shine. I know Miguel Cotto is a great champion, he’s strong, he hits tremendously to the body and he comes to win but I come to win too and I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to be there just feeling his power, feeling his punches, hearing the people shouting, hearing my corner yelling at me and at the end hearing the announcer saying and the new world champion.”
Throughout the press conference, Miguel Cotto was reserved and attended to his son. He could be seen conducting television interviews while watching his son out of the corner of his eye. It was refreshing to see this superstar of the welterweight division unphased by all his fame and the media and focused on affectionately taking care of his son.
After thanking Top Rank and HBO, Cotto spoke only briefly, “I don’t care if I’m the favorite fighter in the fight or not, I’m always prepared for the fight," he said. "I hope Alfonso comes in good for this fight because I’m coming in more than 100% for this match.”