According to a Top Rank press release, Miguel Cotto (25-0, 21 KOs) will defend his WBO junior welterweight title against Gianluca Branco (36-1-1, 19 KOs) of Italy on a Top Rank championship fight card in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 4, 2006.

Todd duBoef, President of Top Rank, made the announcement today at a press conference on the Caribbean island. Cotto said he was thrilled Top Rank was returning to Puerto Rico.

Branco is rated #2 by the WBC #2 and  #6 by the WBO. Cotto is coming off a knockdown drag-out war and stoppage of tough-as-nails contender Ricardo Torres. Cotto is 5-0 in world title fights.

“It's been over a year since I've fought at home. I know our fans will respond and come out on March 4. I don't know much about Branco, but at this point in my career all of my challengers are tough,” Cotto said. “I'm expecting a tough fight.”

The Cotto vs. Branco championship bout will be televised by HBO.