Miguel Cotto has a special guest — a Wounded Warrior, Arturo Cordova of the U.S. Marines – to introduce before a Top Rank press conference gets underway Wednesday noontime at Madison Square Garden. Cotto, the WBO world welterweight champion, is about to take on rugged challenger Joshua Clottey of Ghana in the main event at MSG on Saturday night. Several months ago Cotto was invited to meet soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The visit had a profound effect on Cotto. He became involved in the Wounded Warrior Project which provide programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life. “Miguel went to Washington, D.C. to meet the soldiers and he has been active in helping them ever since. He wants to help,” said his personal publicist, Bryan Perez. Corporal Arturo Cordova will be introduced at the Wednesday press conference. He was severely wounded while in Iraq in August, 2005. Laurie Baker, an aide in the Wounded Warriors program, will accompany him to the press conference.
Cotto has been mobbed by fans in all of his New York appearances – first at an open workout at the Bronx followed by a visit to an AT & T store where there was a long line of fight fans. Cotto has been working out each day at the Trinity Boxing Club on Greenwich St. Clottey has been training at the Kingsway Gym on West 28th St. First bell on Saturday will be at 6:30 pm. There are two Team Cotto fighters on the undercard, super featherweight Alberto Cruz, 4-0, and super bantamweight Jayson Velez, 8-0. The Ivan Calderon vs. Rodol Mayol world title fight will be at 9 pm, followed by Russian Olympian Matt Korobov vs. Loren Myers. The HBO telecast will get underway at 10:35 pm local time. On Sunday, Cotto will be on a float with his family at the annual Puerto Rico Parade in New York.