By Miguel Maravilla
Former four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico and Japan’s Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) held the final press conference Thursday afternoon at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, where they square off this Saturday for the vacant WBO world junior middleweight title on HBO. Also present was WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) of Mexico, who goes up against Santa Ana, California’s Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) in the HBO co-feature bout.
Miguel Cotto: “It’s a pleasure for me to be here we have been enjoying every session at the gym doing our work at the gym as hard as we can. We are ready a little more than 48 hours for the fight. I am happy to be back Saturday we will do our best as always. The winners will be the fans all over the world.”
Yoshihiro Kamegai: “I want to thank everyone for making this fight possible. I am extremely pleased to be back at Stub Hub, where there have many great fights. I am extremely pleased to be fighting for the WBO belt because it’s been held by champions like Marco Antonio Barrera and Oscar De La Hoya. I look forward to fighting legendary champion Miguel Cotto.”
Cotto Trainer Freddie Roach: “Training went well things have come together. We have watched film on our opponent, we came up with a good strategy for this fight. It will be an action packed fight. A great fight two guys going to war. Miguel is one-hundred percent ready and this is one of the best camps we have had. We will see you Saturday.”
Promoter Oscar de la Hoya: “Miguel Cotto has been and will always be an amazing champion for the sport of boxing. He is Puerto Rico’s first four division champion and he will be fighting a fighter who is exciting to watch who has been in fights of the year candidates. This fight will be for the WBO title it has the makings to be a candidate for fight of the year.”
Cotto returns to the ring for the first time since his decision loss to Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in November of 2015. This fight will also mark Cotto’s second fight in L.A. as he fought here back in 2001 in his sixth pro fight.
Kamegai is coming off an eighth round stoppage over Jesus Soto Karass this past September in a rematch of their previous 2016 fight of the year candidate.
Cotto vs Kamegai will be a scheduled 12 round championship fight for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.
Rey Vargas: “This is the second time coming into my opponents home. The first time was in England and I won the title. I am here to defend my title for the first time we know we have a good opponent. We are in the big leagues now and I am here to show that I belong at this level. Fighting on HBO, Saturday you will see an electrifying fight.”
Ronnie Rios: “I want to thank HBO for putting up a real card Saturday. If you want to see a circus act tune into Showtime. If you want to see a real fight tune into HBO. I want to thank Rey Vargas for this fight. We are here to make the most of this opportunity. Tune in Saturday to watch a good fight.”
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla