Inactive for nearly two years, Miguel Cotto has ditched Roc Nation and has signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
Puerto Rican boxing great Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) has found it hard to stay active over the past couple of years. After leaving Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Cotto found himself signed to a preposterously expensive three-fight, $50 million deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2015. That relationship has ended, and Cotto has changed promoters once more.
With Cotto set to fight Japanese slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) on August 26th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, the 36-year-old is now under the Goldebn Boy Promotions banner.
“Miguel Cotto is not only a legend in the ring, but on the entire island of Puerto Rico, which has one of the richest boxing traditions around the globe,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya (quotes via official press release). “Our new partnership will include Miguel’s upcoming fights; working with Miguel Cotto Promotions’ talented stable of fighters; and revitalizing boxing in Puerto Rico.”
Cotto vs. Kamegai will air on HBO instead of HBO pay-per-view, with the vacant WBO junior middleweight (154 lbs) title at stake. Canelo Alvarez had previously held that title after beating Liam Smith last year, but now he’s got Gennady Golovkin in his sights at 160 lbs in September.
In addition to the fight announcement, De La Hoya also revealed that their Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series will now expand into Puerto Rico, through a co-promotion deal.
“We are happy to be partnering with Cotto and Kamegai for this event, but I do want to announce that our efforts to bring boxing back in a big way to Puerto Rico is one that will become a reality in the near future. I am happy to announce that with Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, we will take our ESPN series to the island and bring back the excitement of boxing. Obviously, we couldn’t do it without Cotto’s help and his wonderful team. We are excited to take boxing back with ESPN internationally. As you’ve seen, our Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series has had amazing fights and incredible ratings-we are giving the fans what they deserve.”
There were plans for to complete his Roc Nation deal with a February pay-per-view fight vs. James Kirkland, but Kirkland withdrew due to injury and the card was (mercifully) cancelled. When Cotto vs. Kamegai was targeted for June, talks fell through and Cotto ultimately agreed to split with Roc Nation. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, “they simply could not agree on the money Cotto should be paid for the fight, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Cotto, the source said, wanted way more than Roc Nation Sports was willing to guarantee for such a marginal fight that likely would have lost money.”
Cotto hasn’t fought since losing to Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision in November 2015. His other Roc Nation-promoted bout was a knockout win over Daniel Geale in June of the same year. Not only does he finally have his return date scheduled, but he’s expected to compete again on December 2nd, perhaps against fellow Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux at middleweight. Should Cotto topple Kamegai, he will become world champion for a sixth time (spread across four divisions), and for the second time at junior middleweight.