Miguel Cotto Joins the Roc Family, Fighting June 6 in NYC, Foe TBD

Miguel Cotto, the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer, announced that he would be joining Roc Nation’s boxing department on ESPN’s First Take program on Thursday morning. The move shows that the Jay Z crew is dead serious about being a mega-player in the boxing space, if their signing of Andre Ward didn’t already show that.

Cotto then took questions at an intimate lunch in NYC, at the tony 21 Club on 52nd St. and told media that he will fight June 6, in NYC, venue and TV and foe TBA.

The fighter said that he aligned with Roc because they showed him the “respect” that others didn’t, and he was referring to his long time partners at Top Rank. His stern face spoke volumes and he declined to delve in deeper that that relationship.

Cotto was joined by Roc Sports president Juan Perez, and Michael Yormark, the president of Roc Nation, which handles sports and music, were present, along with David Itskowitch, the COO of Roc Nation Sports boxing.

Yormark said that the offer to Cotto, which he termed a multifight, multi-year deal, but didn’t disclose terms, made sense to the fighter because it will serve him after his fighting days end. (A source told me that the rumored $10 million signing bonus is just that, a rumor.) The fighter said he doesn’t know how long he will fight, but promised the Roc execs that he will work hard, and make them happy.

He said that Amir Khan is in the mix to be his June 6 foe, and word is that K9 Bundrage has the inside track. Cotto holds a middleweight title, but said he isn’t sure if he will fight at 160 next, or anytime soon. He will do, he said, what is best for his family.

So, will Cotto fight on HBO next or Showtime..or with someone else? An HBO source said that they have an alliance with Top Rank, and will they be inclined to partner up with Roc, after Roc snared Cotto? TBD. Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza told me that he’d be open to having Cotto on Sho, depending on the foe he faces.

Cotto said also that he’s open to fighting Canelo Alvarez, maybe this year, so that could give you a hint about who will be working with Roc.

Cotto made it clear that a philanthropy element loomed large for him in choosing the Roc deal, and there will be Cotto Promotions fighters on Roc/Cotto cards, six of them, in Puerto Rico within the year. (Cotto is keen on fighting child-hooh obesity.) There will be a musical side to the deal as well. Cotto smiled, yes he smiled, when I asked if like Oscar and Manny, he would be singing. No, he said, “I know my limits.”

Someone asked about Gennady Golovkin, and Cotto didn’t close the door on that. That would be a “big fight,” he allowed; but he’s about doing the best for his family, he stated.

The Roc gang said they will be doing a Fox Sports 1 show end of April, and this Cotto show June 6, and will announce TV “platforms” in the coming weeks. Also, their other top gun Andre Ward will fight in “late spring,” said Itskowitch.

All in all, it was an all business Cotto in NYC. I made him smile, twice!, once when he admitted he didn’t dig the cold at all. He struck me when he told the execs that they would be happy with this signing. We can assume their investment in him was not miniscule, so folks will be watching to see how they recoup their monies. I’m guessing, from reading the lay of the land, that a Cotto-Golovkin fight could indeed be part of that.

Talk to me, readers, what do you make of this event, another big bang in a most interesting year in boxing 2015 to this point.

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COMMENTS

-King Beef :

Straight business move!! Although I think I would have waited to see what they do with Ward 1st. Curious to know if there was any displeasure with TR concerning his recent negotiations.


-Carmine Cas :

Strictly business, not surprised to see this happen. Curious to see what Uncle Bob has to say


-stormcentre :

Won't matter to Cotto what happens with Roc - whether or not they manage Ward alright. Not at this stage of Cotto's career. So long as they push that golden-welcome payment through into his electronic kitty; Miguel's gonna be a happy chappy. He knows what time it is and how cashed up and desperate Roc is to make waves. Plus, Roc aint going to cash out on Cotto straight away (like TR might), so now MC has got a built in reason for not fighting some (dangerous) folks. Neat little commercial and strategic move.


-The Commish :

Strictly business, not surprised to see this happen. Curious to see what Uncle Bob has to say
Knowing Arum, he'll probably say something like, "Ahh, the guy is at the end of his career, anyway. He turned down everybody we put in front of him. Good luck to Roc Nation in trying to move him." It was a business move on Cotto's part, and a great business move. Al Haymon has said he will never do business with Roc Nation (even if his own guy is a sure shot to win), so that leaves out an awful lot of potential challengers for Miguel. Assuredly, he took a nice signing bonus and he will be paid well for his June 6th fight at MSG. Overall, it was a good move for Cotto. -Randy G.


-stormcentre :

So, it seems, Cotto is not left out in the cold after all. :)


-oubobcat :

Knowing Arum, he'll probably say something like, "Ahh, the guy is at the end of his career, anyway. He turned down everybody we put in front of him. Good luck to Roc Nation in trying to move him." It was a business move on Cotto's part, and a great business move. Al Haymon has said he will never do business with Roc Nation (even if his own guy is a sure shot to win), so that leaves out an awful lot of potential challengers for Miguel. Assuredly, he took a nice signing bonus and he will be paid well for his June 6th fight at MSG. Overall, it was a good move for Cotto. -Randy G.
Cotto is a very smart businessman and no doubt this was a business move. True, he won't be fighting Haymon fighters in the future. But one fight that will always be out there is the Canelo fight and though it didn't happen as we all hoped in May it is a fight that is still inevitable. And Cotto probably won't face any Top Rank guys at first (meaning June) but I wouldn't rule their stable out for future opponents in the future. I think Cotto fights Bundradge in June and on Showtime. Its a very winnable fight for Cotto and he and his people are well aware of that. Then look for him possible back in December and maybe against Andy Lee if Lee beats Quillin this April (or is in a competitive fight). I think that is the blueprint to start and then the Canelo fight happens (win, lose or draw any of these fights for Cotto) in May 2016.


-amayseng :

Let me know when he is fighting GGG. Other than that don't care.


-Pazuzu :

Let me know when he is fighting GGG. Other than that don't care.
You're gonna be waiting a looooong time, brother. I don't think Cotto has any interest in facing GGG at all. If all the cards fell right in Bobcat's scenario above, GGG's shortest path to the MW crown would probably be through Andy Lee.


-amayseng :

You're gonna be waiting a looooong time, brother. I don't think Cotto has any interest in facing GGG at all. If all the cards fell right in Bobcat's scenario above, GGG's shortest path to the MW crown would probably be through Andy Lee.
Bingo therefore I don't care who Cotto signs with or his next meaningless fight and I'm a Cotto fan


-deepwater2 :

Top rank did promote him after Trout and Floyd beat him and guiding him to the middleweight crown by taking on a broken down boxer so I'm not sure what Top Rank did that was so bad but hey that's boxing for you. I'm sure Andy Lee will lose his belt against Quillin even if he wins the fight. He has to best Quillin by knockout or else he losing the belt. So Quillin, Jacobs, and maybe Lemiuex will hold belts . I see a few matchups against c level fighters at the garden for Cotto and no unification. Cotto sells out the garden no matter who he fights so they will be in no rush to take a big risk.