Cotto V Kamegai: The Return of ‘Golden Boy’



Cotto V Kamegai: The Return of ‘Golden Boy’

(Los Angeles) And there he was, standing alone as if a young Latino Bob Arum flanked only by his shadow from years past. As he'd done so valiantly in the ring during a storied career, Oscar De La Hoya, “The Golden Boy”, has put his glamorous promotional company back under boxing's brightest spotlight.

Despite myriad (and very public) personal issues and legal issues with Arum, Al Haymon and Richard Schaefer to name a few, De La Hoya stood in LA Live's Conga Room and proudly presented himself as “The savior of boxing” while announcing the August 26 bout between Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33KO's) and Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24KO's) for the vacant WBO super welterweight title.

The fight will take place from Carson, Calif's StubHub Center and air live on HBO World Championship Boxing starting at 9:45 p.m. EST/PST.

His star fighter and franchise of Golden Boy, Canelo Alvarez, has been 90% of the company's drawing power of interest. His signing of Cotto changes that, while allowing the beleaguered promoter to point the company in a new and broader direction.

But the real coup of this deal for Golden Boy, is in landing the [brand of Cotto], for the true purposes of re-energizing boxing in Puerto Rico, something that did not happen (as hoped) during his tenure with Jay-Z and ROC Nation. Because of their shared Latino ties this becomes more plausible. A key element of the partnership will see the boxing series “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” broadcast a number of cards from Puerto Rico in the coming months and years.

Understand that this is the first time in 15 years that ESPN will put on a show from Puerto Rico, which is huge for boxing.

“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 De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “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, a superfight veteran and a first ballot Hall of Famer fighter, had been in limbo since a fight with James Kirkland fell apart earlier this year. The future first ballot Hall of Famer has held world titles in the super lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions. Canelo Alvarez is the only active fighter in the sport who can boast a resume on par with the still wildly popular Cotto; and in pairing with Golden Boy, its not totally out of the question that we'd see him face the winner of Canelo V GGG on September 16.

Cotto's notable star-studded losses to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather cannot over shadow tremendous achievement in the ring. Over the last 15 years, he's beaten high level and elite fighters such as Kelson Pinto, Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Ricardo Torres, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Sugar Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.

After the Kirkland debacle, the Cotto braintrust needed a fighter not named Jermall or Jermell Charlo (please), to offer a style friendly situation he can corral. Enter Kamegai, a very popular videogame-like slugger from Japan. If you want to know what he's all about, YouTube his amazing pitched battle with Robert Guerrero. Though he offered some cute remarks through his translator today (“I can't speak English, but I can speak action in the ring” was one), Kamegai's kamikaze style will get him nosedived in a most exciting way against Cotto. Miguel, as is his custom, was very polite and cordial while keeping things brief with the media in doable English.

This is just a guess (you know how we do at NY Fights), but given De La Hoya's clear desire for maximum exposure– along with the full support of a network in HBO now adamant about the action fight, I can see Mexico and Puerto Rico teaming up again for Miguel Cotto V Juan Manuel Marquez on the horizon.

Score this round 10-8 for Golden Boy.
Tickets for Cotto vs. Kamegai will be priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges and go on sale on Thursday June 1st at 10am PT. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, call 877-234-8425.

Cotto vs. Kamegai, a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and sponsored by Tecate “BORN BOLD.” The event will take place Saturday, August 26 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing starting at 9:45 p.m. EST/PST.

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.