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Miguel Cotto returns on Klitschko-Williams undercard

BY Editor ON October 28, 2004
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NEW YORK (Oct. 29, 2004) – Undefeated, hard-hitting Puerto Rican sensation Miguel Cotto will be featured as the top undercard of the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams world heavyweight championship fight on Saturday, Dec. 11, live on HBO Pay Per View from The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  Cotto will make the first defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title against former world champion Randall Bailey.

The bout will be presented by Top Rank, Inc. in association with K2 Promotions and featured live as part of the Vitali Klitschko vs Danny Williams pay-per-view telecast, which is being produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View.  It begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and carries a suggested retail price of $49.95.

"I am a champion and it is an honor to be fighting on the same card as the heavyweight champion of world,” said Cotto.  “On December 11, I will be fighting for my people and all the boxing fans who give me the extra strength to keep winning.”

"I am excited that we are able to add a championship fight of this caliber to the show," said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.  "Miguel Cotto has established himself to be a main event fighter on any other show."

"We believe Miguel Cotto is the best 140-pounder in the world and everyone will see that on December 11," said Bob Arum, president, Top Rank.  "This show is a perfect opportunity for him to show boxing fans that he is the future of our sport.”

"Miguel Cotto is one of the sport's brightest young stars," said Mark Taffet, HBO Senior Vice President of Sports Operations & Pay-Per-View. "He's a great addition to the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams card for pay-per-view boxing fans."

Cotto (21-0, 17 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, captured the WBO 140-pound title with a sensational sixth-round TKO over previously unbeaten Kelvin Pinto on Sept. 11, 2004, on HBO. In a fiery, punishing performance, Cotto dominated the crowd-pleasing slugfest against his amateur nemesis. Regarded by many as boxing’s top young superstar, Cotto scored three knockdowns and staggered the Brazilian who defeated him twice in the amateurs several times before Pinto’s corner threw in the towel at 2:28 of the sixth.

Cotto won his first belt on Feb. 1, 2003, when he scored an 11th-round TKO over former world champion Cesar Bazan to garner the World Boxing Council (WBC) Intercontinental super lightweight crown. Before turning pro on Feb. 23, 2001, the prolific body puncher compiled an amateur record of 95-23 and was a four-time Puerto Rican national champion. Cotto represented his country in the 2000 Olympic Games.

Bailey (28-4, 27 KOs) is an offensive-minded slugger with explosive punching power. His career spans over 8 ½ years and includes winning the WBO junior welterweight world title in May 1999.  He made two successful defenses of that title before losing in July 2000. He also won the WBA interim super lightweight world title in February 2002.  His experience against very good opposition—including bouts with former world champions DeMarcus Corley (L12), Diobelys Hurtado (KOby7), Ener Julio (L12), and Carlos Gonzalez (KO1)—coupled with his championship experience and knock-out ratio, will prove a stiff challenge for the young champion Cotto.  Bailey feels this is the chance to prove he is still worthy of a championship.   “I just want to be a world champion again and I plan on taking advantage of the opportunity. I’m a hard hitter, can box, have a pretty good defense, and still have power in the later rounds.”

In an excellent main event between two of boxing’s hottest heavyweights, Klitschko (34-2, 33 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBC heavyweight title against Williams (32-3, 27 KOs), who is coming off an impressive, shocking fourth-round knockout over former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Klitschko won the then-vacant WBC belt with a one-sided eighth-round TKO over Corrie Sanders on April 24, 2004, on HBO. Williams overcame a slow start to completely dominate and ultimately stop Tyson in the fourth round on July 31, 2004, a victory that catapulted the hard-hitting Brit to his first world title appearance.

Tickets are priced at $650, $400, $200, $100 and $50 and are on sale now at the Mandalay Bay Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets.  To order tickets by phone, call (702) 632-7580.  The HBO Pay-Per-View telecast will be available to over 50 million pay-per-view homes. For more event information log onto www.HBOPPV.com.

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