Cotto to defend titles at Barclays Center
Two Middleweight Belts on Line against Australia’s Geale
Miguel Cotto has made a habit of boxing in New York in advance of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
In fact, the 34-year-old pugilist, and only fighter of Puerto Rican descent ever to have won world championships across four weight classes, has become a perennial warm-up act for one of our city’s most well-attended processions up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Only this time, he’ll be doing so right here in Downtown Brooklyn.
In a rare, one-fight only special event at the Barclays Center, Cotto will defend his WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight titles against Australia’s Daniel Geale Saturday night in our borough’s thriving new home for professional boxing.
“I am happy and excited to be back in New York and fighting at Barclays Center,” said Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs), who will be making his 12th Big Apple appearance and first-ever in Brooklyn this weekend.
“This is another chapter in my career and I’m committed to train as hard as always and bring a big victory,” he added, just shy of a year removed from his impressive 10th-round stoppage of Sergio Martinez last June at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all the Puerto Rican fans on June 6 and to being part of another exciting boxing night in Brooklyn.”
While the P.R.D. parade is scheduled for June 14, Cotto has become an unofficial master of opening ceremonies for the annual fete, having fought in NYC in June at virtually every local boxing venue, including MSG, Yankee Stadium and the Hammerstein Ballroom.
The biggest difference this time is not only his first pro fight in Brooklyn, but that he and Geale, a former two-time world champion in his own right, will be the main, and only event, on the Barclays card.
The Roc Nation Sports promotion will be televised live via HBO at approximately 10:30 p.m., after the home of the Brooklyn Nets and Islanders hosts a special pre-fight performance by Grammy-nominated artist Big Sean.
“We are delighted that Miguel Cotto has chosen Barclays Center and Brooklyn to continue his storied career in New York City,” said Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark.
“Cotto’s Puerto Rican heritage combined with Australia’s own Daniel Geale is going to create a tremendous global audience for this June 6 fight. This announcement further cements Barclays Center as the leading boxing venue in this country.”
“Last June, Miguel Cotto became a middleweight champion, joining a select handful of elite fighters to have won major titles in four weight classes or more, and becoming the first Puerto Rican champion to do so ,” noted Peter Nelson, the vice president of programming for HBO Sports. “For Cotto’s first title defense, he faces former two-time world champion Daniel Geale at Barclays Center, the iconic Brooklyn landmark whose mystique elevates every event fortunate enough to call it home. As Cotto continues the next phase of his historic career, we are thrilled to present this middleweight championship fight live on HBO.”
Though he’s unlikely to receive much support from what figures to be a heavy, pro-Cotto crowd, Geale (31-3, 16 KOs), who hasn’t fought since out-pointing Jarrod Fletcher in New South Whales last December, is eager to play the role of spoiler Saturday night.
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited,” said the 34-year-old Aussie. “We’re so excited as a team that this fight is taking place. We’ve put a great training camp in for this fight and I’m feeling as good as I ever have. There’s no excuses. I’m going in as the best fighter I can possibly be. I’m hoping Miguel Cotto is the best fighter he can be as well. I want the fans to enjoy a great fight and I believe it will be a great fight. I can’t wait to walk away with another title.”
In other Barclays Center-related news, the New York Islanders announced Wednesday that they will play their annual Blue and White Scrimmage Game at their new home on July 8 at 7 p.m.
Fans will have the opportunity to see the organization’s top prospects compete in an intra-squad game, followed by a skills competition.
Tickets to the scrimmage are $10, and 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the Brooklyn Events Center Foundation.
Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m., and can be purchased online by visiting www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Tickets will also be available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center, beginning Saturday (if tickets are still available).
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