Want to watch some high-level boxing without dropping a ton of money on Saturday? Miguel Cotto and Yoshihiro Kamegai have got you covered.
While Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. bring a fantasy fight to reality, multi-division champion Cotto will take on Japanese brawler Kamegai in a WBO Junior Middleweight title bout that could set up the end of Cotto’s career.
Cotto has always been known for his ultra-aggressive style. Kamegai isn’t tentative, either. It’s the set up for a quality fight that will have boxing purists making a hard decision as to what they’ll watch on Saturday night.
Here’s a look at all the information you’ll need to catch the fight and a prediction for who will come out on top.
Date: August 26, 2017
Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Box Nation (Region Restricted)
How Cotto Got Here
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
At 36 years old, Cotto’s glory days are behind him. Those glory days included fighting the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Zab Judah. His hard-charging style made him a multi-division champion in some of the prime weight classes of his generation.
Now, he’s focused on putting in a few more quality fights before calling it a career.
The Puerto Rican has a firm date in mind for his retirement and it’s right on the horizon.
“I think that 16 years is enough, and I have other things to do in my life,” Cotto said, per Dan Rafael of ESPN. “You know, I’m taking care of my family better, and that is the biggest and only reason that I have to stop boxing and quit boxing and retire after Dec. 31st this year.”
Just how much Cotto has left to give in the ring will be an interesting subplot against Kamegai. He hasn’t been in the ring since losing to Canelo Alvarez in November 2015.
With the possibility of setting up a big fight against the likes of Alvarez as his retirement fight later in the year, an impressive win against Kamegai would set the stage nicely.
How Kamegai Got Here
Richard Vogel/Associated Press
While this amounts to a tune-up bout for Cotto, this is the biggest fight that Kamegai has been a part of. The 34-year-old doesn’t have nearly the same experience as his opponent on Saturday, but he has been involved in a few slugfests, most notably a unanimous decision loss to Robert Guerrero.
One advantage the underdog will have is that he’s been the more active fighter of late. While Cotto has taken nearly two years off between fights, Kamegai is coming off back-to-back fights with Jesus Soto Karass.
In those bouts, Kamagei fought to a draw and earned a stoppage victory.
He’ll look to assert some volume and aggression on Cotto, which at the least should make it an interesting fight with plenty of exchanges.
John Locher/Associated Press
Whether Cotto can still compete with the likes of Alvarez and the elites in his division is unclear, but it would take quite a bit of skill erosion for Cotto to be in danger of losing to his opponent on Saturday.
Kamegai is unrefined and doesn’t have the technical prowess to put Cotto in compromising situations. A firefight suits Cotto’s style just fine, and Kamegai will find that out the hard way. It’s a likely reason that Cotto chose to fight him in the first place.
“Kamegai is the best opponent for me right now in my career—he is a warrior in the ring. When we were looking through our options, he was one of the first names that popped up,” Cotto said, per Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook. “I don’t really worry about what or how my opponent trains – all that matters is how well our team prepares.”
Cotto knows that Kamegai is going to pose just enough danger to let him know where he stands before the final fight of his career without actually being a threat to win the fight. Expect Cotto to shake off some cobwebs early, but he’ll slowly take command of the fight and leave no doubt by the end.
Prediction: Cotto via unanimous decision