Childhood & Early Life
He was born on October 29, 1980, in Providence, Rhode Island, US, to Miguel Cotto Sr. and Juana Vasquez. Many of his family members, such as his father, were into boxing. His brother, José Miguel Cotto, is a professional boxer and four-time regional level champion. His cousin, Abner Cotto, also a professional boxer, presently contends in the lightweight division. His uncle, Evangelista Cotto, is a former boxing trainer.
As a kid, he was enrolled in boxing to help him lose weight. He took training from the most famous boxing gym in Puerto Rico, the ‘Bairoa Gym’ in Caguas, where he developed into a top-class amateur boxer.
His amateur boxing career saw him represent Puerto Rico at several international events, both in the lightweight and light welterweight divisions. He won the silver medal in lightweight at the 18th ‘Central American and Caribbean Games’ held in in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in August 1998.He also won the silver medal in lightweight at the ‘Junior World Boxing Championships’ held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 1998. He participated in the 1999 ‘Pan American Games’ and in the 2000 ‘Sydney Olympics Games,’ and after being defeated in the latter, by Uzbekistan’s Mahamadkadir Abdullayev, Cotto ended his amateur boxing career with a record of 125-23 and began his journey as a professional boxer.
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In 2001 he commenced his career as a professional boxer. That year, he faced a severe accident while driving his car to the gymnasium, resulting in a broken arm.
On February 1, 2003, he beat César Bazán from Mexico to win the vacant ‘WBC International’ light welterweight title at the ‘Mandalay Bay Events Center,’ Paradise, Nevada, US. He not only thrived to retain that title, fighting against Rocky Martinez, but also won the vacant ‘WBO–NABO’ light welterweight title on June 28 that year, at the ‘Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez,’ Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
After he succeeded in retaining the ‘WBC International’ light welterweight title, beating Panama boxer Demetrio Ceballos on September 13, 2003, at the ‘MGM Grand Garden Arena,’ Cotto was ranked ‘numero uno’ in the division, by the ‘WBA.’ He went on to retain the title against Colombian boxer Carlos Maussa on December 6 that year and against boxer Victoriano Sosa from the Dominican Republic on February 28, 2004.
He faced South African fighter Lovemore N'dou on May 8, 2004, at the ‘MGM Grand Garden Arena.’ Not only did he succeed in retaining the ‘WBC International’ light welterweight title, but he also won the vacant ‘WBA Fedelatin’ light welterweight title.
He beat Brazilian boxer Kelson Pinto, whom he had faced twice in amateur encounters, on September 11, 2004, to win the vacant WBO light welterweight title at the ‘José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum,’ San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He continued his winning spree by successfully defending his ‘WBO’ light welterweight title for six times in a row, prior to vacating the title in late 2006 in pursuit of moving up in the welterweight division.
He challenged Puerto Rican professional boxer Carlos Quintana for the vacant ‘WBA’ welterweight title. The fight took place on December 2, 2006, at the ‘Boardwalk Hall,’ Atlantic City, New Jersey, US, resulting in Cotto’s win by technical knockout.
He remained the ‘WBA’ welterweight champion in his next four defenses but lost the title to Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito on July 26, 2008, at the ‘MGM Grand Garden Arena.’
On February 21, 2009, he competed for and won the vacant ‘WBO’ welterweight title, beating boxer Michael Jennings from the UK, at the ‘Madison Square Garden,’ New York City, New York, US. That year, on April 8, a heated and violent discussion between Cotto and his uncle led him to fire the latter from the team’s staff. He then named the team's nutritionist, Joe Santiago, as his new trainer.
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He successfully defended his ‘WBO’ welterweight title against Ghanaian boxer Joshua Clottey at the ‘Madison Square Garden,’ on June 13, 2009, but lost it to Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines on November 14 that year, at the ‘MGM Grand Garden Arena.’
Cotto then moved to the light middleweight division and won the ‘WBA’ light middleweight title, beating the reigning champion Yuri Foreman from Israel, on June 5, 2010, at the ‘Yankee Stadium’ in New York City.
He garnered the ‘WBA Super Champion’ status and retained the ‘WBA Super’ light middleweight title, fighting against Nicaraguan boxer Ricardo Mayorga, on March 12, 2011, and against Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito, on December 3, 2011. He was stripped of the title on May 5, 2012, by US boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., at ‘the MGM Grand Garden Arena.’
He fought ‘WBC,’ ‘The Ring’ and lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez from Argentina on June 7, 2014, for all three titles, at the ‘Madison Square Garden.’ He won the unified ‘WBC,’ ‘The Ring,’ and lineal middleweight titles and with this, became the first boxer from Puerto Rico to become a “quadruple champion.”
He could retain his ‘WBC,’ ‘The Ring,’ and lineal middleweight titles, fighting against Australian boxer Daniel Geale, on June 6, 2015, but lost ‘The Ring’ and lineal middleweight titles on November 21that year, to Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez.
Meanwhile, the ‘WBC’ announced on November 17, 2015, that Cotto will not be identified as their ‘Middleweight World Champion’ anymore and the reason cited by them was "After several weeks of communications, countless attempts and good faith time extensions trying to preserve the fight as a WBC World Championship, Miguel Cotto and his promotion did not agree to comply with the WBC Rules & Regulations, while Canelo Alvarez has agreed to do so." Cotto, on the other hand, stated publicly that the actual reason for this was his denial to pay their sanctioning fees, which according to him was quite high.
Cotto returned to the light middleweight division, and on August 26, 2017, he beat Japanese boxer Yoshihiro Kamegai to win the vacant ‘WBO’ light middleweight title, at the ‘StubHub Center,’ Carson, California, US. He was, however, dethroned by US boxer Sadam Ali, on December 2 that year, at the ‘Madison Square Garden.’ Following the fight, Cotto retired from the ring, ending his 17-year-old professional boxing career.