Los Angeles – Boxing champ Miguel Cotto's next fight, it is said, is one of the biggest of the year.
It also is reigniting the classic boxing rivalry between Puerto Rico vs. Mexico.
The WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion faces Saul 'Canelo’ Alvarez on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas, in a bout where they will compete for the Middleweight World Championship.
“Victory is in our hands, I’m putting in my part to make it happen,” said Cotto during Wednesday’s media day.
Cotto has been away from his hometown of Puerto Rico training hard with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at his Hollywood gym, the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
The boxer compares the bout to the 1999 fight between Puerto Rican boxer Felix Trinidad against Mexican-American fighter, Oscar de la Hoya (whose company Golden Boy Promotions currently has a multi-fight contract with Canelo). Trinidad won by majority decision.
“This fight represents practically the same thing… its our chance to put this fight where it deserves to be,” said Cotto.
One thing that may be at Cotto’s disadvantage is his age.
Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO’s,) a former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion, is 25-years-old. Cotto (40-4,33 KO’s) turned 35 on Oct. 29.
But the Puerto Rican champ told the press that despite being 10 years older than his contender, he feels more ready then ever, and the most “centered” he’s ever been.
“Everyone will see, when things get complicated on both the Canelo and the Cotto side, they’ll see if experience overpowered youth."
The gym where Cotto has been training is merely blocks away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It has recently been a pit stop for celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Gina Rodriguez, singer Yandel, Mario Lopez and Jay-Z, who have all dropped by to visit and have their picture taken with the champ.
But Cotta is more focused on winning than on the recent celebrity attention, noting: "I'm a boxer, working, no matter [what], we are working here for the victory, that’s what you will see Nov. 21st."
Jay-Z is definitely in Cotto’s corner.
The company he founded, Rock Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, which focuses on elevating athletes careers, has partnered with Cotto promotions for all of his fights.
"Jay-Z just come around wishing good luck for us and to support the fight,” said Cotto.
Cotto, has been training with International Boxing Hall of Famer and Seven-Time BWAA Trainer of the Year Award Winner Freddie Roach. Under his wing, Cotto has won all of his last three fights, and he believes this one against Canelo will be no different.
“I'm here just to follow Freddie’s instructions, until the night of the fight, and we are going to do the work,"Cotto said.
Roach, who made a boxing superstar out of Manny Pacquiao, talked about his training for Cotto for his bout with Canelo.
“The biggest thing for him [Cotto] was not being flat footed anymore," Roach said, "looking for the knockout, the one-punch knockout, the biggest thing was getting him on his toes boxing, lateral movement, angles, becoming more of what he used to do when he was younger.”
Despite the fame and attention he's acquired, the Cotto says that at heart he's just a family man, trying to make his children proud.
"My legacy is the way my kids can look into my life, to be better persons,” said the fighter, adding “they are my hope, everything I do in my life is for them and you know, I know they are proud of their father, but I need to keep working for them.”
The Cotto vs Canelo fight will air live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT, Nov. 21.