For fighters or athletes in general, the hardest part is when you come to the end of the road. This Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Miguel Cotto will walk into the ring for the last time in his illustrious career. It’s only fitting for him to hang them up at the Garden as it’s his home away from home.
With a large Puerto Rican population in NYC, Cotto has sold more tickets at the Garden than any other fighter in history. It was a tradition for many years for him to fight there on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade. Folks would flock to his fights, with their flags in hand, showing support to one of their own. It was always an electric atmosphere without an empty seat in the house. The mood was festive, the crowd was loud, and whether you were a fan of the sport or not it was the place to be as a Puerto Rican native. Saturday night at the Garden on a beautiful June day, was Cotto Day! For one night it was his city with an island behind him.
He had great success there only losing once to Austin Trout. I’ll never forget the night he fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley and the crowd was standing on their feet for the last 4 rounds, arguably the best performance of his career. Getting his revenge on Antonio Margarito was probably the sweetest night for most in the crowd. Walking Zab Judah down imposing his will and getting the stoppage.
So many memories for him and the many that flocked to see him fight! The Mecca of Boxing, as Madison Square Garden is affectionately known, and Miguel Cotto go together like co-defendants. Against Saddam Ali, this Saturday the “Mecca” and Cotto will be together for one last time, but the memories will withstand the test of time…
By: Wilson Urena
You can follow Wilson on Twitter @EastwickBoxing