By Alex Dombroff
Photos: Ed Mulholland
Click the photo above for more photos…
Miguel Cotto didn’t use his post fight forum to call out other fighters, or blast Antonio Margarito for using loaded hand wraps. Instead, he simply expressed happiness. Happiness for a win, happiness for a chance to call himself a world titlist again, and most of all, happiness to be one step removed from his loss to Margarito. Cotto took that step by knocking out British challenger Michael Jennings in five rounds Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. With the win Cotto claimed the WBO welterweight title; a distinction in a division that also hails Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, and Andre Berto as world champions. Despite the confusion at the top of the division, a win and moving forward were the most important things for Cotto. “I took eight weeks off,” said Cotto. “Until I felt good mentally and physically. A fight like this will give me more confidence to get back to where I was.”
The challenger was obviously disappointed, but understood he was overmatched by a better fighter. “He hit me with some good body shots,” said Jennings. “I wanted to carry on, but the referee stopped it. He was a lot stronger than the guys I’ve boxed before. He was better than me on the night.”
Cotto fielded several questions pertaining to his loss to Antonio Margarito, and more specifically, the charges of cheating that have swirled around the Margarito camp since his loss to Shane Mosley last month.
Cotto, however, chose to focus on his own credentials, including his win over Jennings, and more emphatically, how he goes about his business in the ring. “I’ve been saying all along I’m a clean fighter. I do my best,” said Cotto. “I don’t know what they did. What they did, that’s on them.”
When asked about potential opponents and specifically a fight with Joshua Clottey that has been rumored for June of this year, Cotto deflected the questions. “I’m open to anything,” said Cotto. “I want to take the best fight available.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef shed a little more light on the situation, saying that the team has always followed a routine when it comes to selecting fights for Cotto.
“What we’ve done with Miguel his whole career,” said duBoef. Miguel takes a vacation, 10 days or 2 weeks. Then, we sit down, we discuss a list of potential opponents.”
On the potential of returning to Madison Square Garden, where Cotto has fought five times in the last four years, duBoef seemed to indicate it made sense for the partnership to continue.
“This has been our home with Miguel,” said duBeof. “Lots of time, lots of creation. Obviously it makes a lot of sense for us to come back, but we’re going to sit down and talk.”
The most entertaining part of the press conference came when Shane Mosley was mentioned as a future opponent for Cotto.
duBeof quickly interjected, “I believe we already beat Shane Mosley,” referring to Cotto’s close decision win over Mosley in November, 2007.