This Saturday night (August 26, 2017) in Carson, California, Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (40-5) takes on Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2) with the vacant WBO 154 pound world title on the line. The fight airs on HBO, but it’s the same day as the elephant in the boxing room, and that is Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor.
Cotto has not been seen since November of 2015 when he lost via unanimous decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. For this match with Kamegai, Cotto has signed on with Golden Boy Promotions after a prolonged period with ROC Nation and an attempt to sign a super fight against Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez all came to nothing.
After the layoff, Cotto can still count on his fan base from Puerto Rico, but it is unclear how much drawing power he has left. Fighting opposite Mayweather was unexpected, as that bout was announced after Cotto-Kamegai. But Cotto must get by Kamegai and move on quickly to his next fight if he is to remain any type of box office attraction.
Kamegai is coming up on five years fighting outside of his native Japan, and he has managed a 3-3-2 record in fights in the United States. He is coming off a 2016 that saw him go 1-0-1 following a pair of crowd-pleasing fights versus Argentina’s Jesus Soto Karass, but he has no one on his resume with the pedigree Cotto has.
Cotto enters the fight favored, and he will be looking to show that he still has elite talent. Over the years, Cotto has banked good paydays, as he has fought the biggest names out there. He makes no secret about the fact that he is looking for big paydays as he nears the end of his career. Cotto did not come back for one fight, as his deal with Golden Boy is for multiple fights, so he must get by Kamegai to keep his name in the mix for bigger fights.
Golden Boy has a full 10-fight boxing card planned, including a second world title fight, with undefeated WBC world super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (29-0) also taking on Ronny Rios (28-1). The undercard counts on undefeated GBP talent such as Eilio Sanchez (14-0), Joet Gonzalez (16-0) and Tenochtitlan Nava (6-0) to name a few. Check back closer to fight time to see if additional odds have popped up at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
StubHub Center – Carson, California – HBO
Super Welterweight – 12 rounds
Yoshihiro Kamegai +400
Miguel Cotto -500
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