at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
New York – Miguel Cotto says losing to Floyd Mayweather in his last fight helped “rejuvenate” his career after the Puerto Rican pugilist gave the undefeated American all he could handle.
Now, the 32-year-old goes up against another undefeated US boxer Saturday night when he takes on WBA junior middleweight champ Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden.
“Mayweather was an excellent fight,” Cotto said. “I didn't win, but sometimes when you lose you win. That was my case in this fight.
“I felt rejuvenated after this fight. Everybody is going to see on Saturday.”
Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) will have the crowd at Madison Square Garden on his side. He has been fighting there since 2005 and in December put on one of the most impressive showings of his career there by punishing Mexican Antonio Margarito in a rematch of their 2008 fight.
Cotto has also beaten Paul Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Michael Jennings and Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden.
“That's a special venue. That's a special night for me,” Cotto said, adding in reference to Trout: “And I know he is going to figure it out as soon as he gets in there.”
Trout (25-0) is aware that he is heading into a hostile environment.
“But I embrace the notion,” he said. “I'm not intimidated at all.”
“The crowd can only do one thing, and that's make noise. They can't help him get up, they can't help him punch harder, they can't help him punch faster.”
Trout once asked Cotto for his autograph early in the promotion campaign for this fight. But don't let that fool you, he adds.
He says he has even daydreamed about fighting Cotto, and the dream always ends the same way – with Trout raising both hands in victory.
“Austin Trout the fighter is always thinking in the back of his mind 'I could beat both of those guys,' or 'I could beat that guy,'“ he said.
“So in the back of my mind I've always sized up anybody I've been a fan of... to be the best you have to beat the best.”
He added: “In the daydream – which I feel I can make a reality – it's a win by knockout.” – Sapa-AFP