Three-time world champion Miguel Cotto returns to the Big Apple risking his WBO welterweight title against IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on June 13 at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be broadcast live on HBO and marks the fourth time in the past five years Cotto will headline a show at The Garden on the eve of New York’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Tickets to Cotto vs. Clottey, priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, can be purchased at the Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.thegarden.com. “Clottey is a defensive boxer and a tough fighter,” said Cotto. “His record proves he belongs at the elite level of the welterweight division. But I will be ready to give everything I have against him and to do all that is necessary to defeat him. On June 13th, the world will witness a great fight between Clottey and me. It’s going to be a war inside the ring at The Garden.”
“I have always wanted to fight Miguel Cotto. It’s been a goal of mine for a long, long time. I can’t believe the opportunity is finally here,” said Clottey. “A victory over Cotto will give me the break in boxing I have been searching for. My time has finally arrived.”
“This is the fight that fight fans have been waiting for,” said Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank. “Two great champions – Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey – will face off in the ring at historic Madison Square Garden. What a night this will be.”
Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, will be headlining his sixth event at the “Mecca of Boxing” since his Garden debut in 2005. No boxer in this millennium has sold more tickets in this hallowed venue. His 2007 world title victory over Zab Judah in front of a capacity crowd of 20,658 produced The Garden’s first boxing sellout since the 2001 Felix Trinidad-Bernard Hopkins world middleweight championship fight. A three-time world champion in two different divisions, Cotto captured the vacant WBO welterweight title in his last fight, February 21 at The Garden, stopping top-rated contender Michael Jennings in the fifth round. He began his world championship run in September 2004, knocking out undefeated contender Kelson Pinto to win the vacant WBO junior welterweight title. He successfully defended that belt six times during his two-year reign before vacating it to challenge Carlos Quintana. Cotto stopped him in the fifth round in December 2006 to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown. Cotto successfully defended that title four times, going the distance only once, before losing it to Antonio Margarito on July 26 via an 11th-round TKO.
Clottey (35-2, 21 KOs), a native of Accra, Ghana, now living in the Bronx, NY, returns to the ring from his biggest career victory, a 10-round technical decision over former three-time world champion Zab Judah on August 2. Leading on all scorecards when the fight was stopped, Clottey had battered and bloodied Judah who had no answer for the onslaught. Known for his aggressive style and good punching power, Clottey enters this fight riding a two-year, five-bout winning streak which includes victories over Judah, former two-division world champion Diego Corrales, undefeated contender Shamone Alvarez and two-time world title challenger Felix Flores. The only blemish since 2001, a 12-round decision loss to WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, a fight Clottey was winning until he broke his right hand in the fourth round.