Exclusive ESB Interview With Miguel Cotto
22.08.07 - By Pepe Salazar: Monday, August 20th was the first day of training camp for WBA welterweight king Miguel Cotto. He still took time to speak with ESB. Miguel Cotto is an extremely well mannered and very respectful young man. As one speaks with him, the impression that comes across is that of a much focused individual. All of his answers are very clear and right to the point.
Article posted on 23.08.2007
ESB: First of all congratulations on an already great careerÖ.
MC: Thank you.
ESB:Ö and thank you for speaking with us.
MC: No. Thank you for speaking with me.
ESB: You are just coming off a great victory against Zab Judah. Is he the best fighter youíve faced and, was that your most difficult fight?
MC: Yes, Judah is the best I have fought, and yes, that was my toughest fight. That one and the one against Ricardo Torres.
ESB: Ricardo Torres?
MC: Yes. That was a very hard fight.
ESB: Now you are scheduled to fight Shane Mosley. Is he now the best boxer you will have faced, and, do you expect that to be your toughest fight?
MC: On paper Mosley is the best I will have faced, but as far as that one being my toughest fight I have no way of knowing. I would be glad to answer that question as soon as the fight is over, because one never knows whatís going to happen in the ring.
ESB: Even though you are facing Mosley, do you still think about who youíd like to face afterwards?
MC: Well, I have to concentrate on Mosley and I canít get distracted. I only want to say that my door is always open to any fighter who wants to face me. After the Mosley fight, I hope the other top fighters will have their doors equally open for me.
ESB: Any specific names? Mayweather? De La Hoya?
MC: Anyone. No specific names. I have a very important challenge in facing Mosley next, but I will always face whoever my promoter Bob Arum can get to face me.
ESB: You have become very popular with all boxing fans, and a superstar in Puerto Rico. Was facing fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Quintana different from facing other fighters?
MC: I take every single fight as seriously as all others. Carlos Quintana is a good person with his own good boxing career, but the moment he became my opponent in the ring it was all down to business.
ESB: Your trainer is your uncle Evangelista Cotto. Is it difficult balancing the 2 relationships with him?
MC: Weíve gotten it exactly right. My uncle has always kept his relationship with me as his nephew separate from his role as my trainer.
ESB: So thereís never any overlapping of the two?
MC: Well, I think heís better at this than me. Me, very often when I meet him at the gym, Iím sincerely glad to see my uncle, and I greet him as my uncle. Still, the moment we start training heís just my trainer and itís all business.
ESB: Do you have any superstitions?
MC: No. None.
ESB: You donít have any kind of ritual you do before a fight? You donít have a lucky this or lucky that, like a piece of cloth or something?
MC: No. I donít believe in any of those things. I have a responsibility to show up for every fight properly prepared and in the best shape of my life. Itís all hard work and training for me.
ESB: You are known for being your own man and not trying to be the next anyone, but, when you were growing up, was there someone you wanted to be like?
MC: Iím the youngest of 3 sons, and I was a typical kid brother looking up to my 2 older brothers. My brothers were always training and boxing and have had their own boxing careers. I was just trying to be like them when I started boxing.
ESB: Can we start thinking of Miguel Cotto as one of the best ever? Or at least as one of the best Puerto Rican boxers of all time?
MC: That is not up to me, so I donít worry about it and I donít even think about it. When historians and boxing experts end up with a pronouncement about this Iím sure they will not ask my opinion. My business is limited to the business I get done in the ring.
ESB: The general public thinks they know you, that you are more of a private person than the other recent Puerto Rican fighters that have become stars. Is there something you want people to know that they donít already know about you?
MC: No. Not really. I read all the time that people think that Iím too serious, that some people even think I donít smile enough. I then realize that I have no control over what people think of me. I know who I am, and I have always been the same person. It seems like few people know the real me, but it doesnít bother me. I donít intend to change anything to try to influence peopleís perception of me.
ESB: Is there anything you want to add?
MC: No. You asked me very clear questions, and Iíve given you equally clear answers. I appreciate the opportunity.
ESB: Thank you and good luck with the big fight.
MC: Thank you and have a nice day.
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