Miguel Cotto-Emanuel Steward Union to Continue
Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward said that he plans to be with Miguel Cotto "for at least his next four fights" -- this, after having worked for the first time with the Puerto Rican star for his June 5, ninth-round knockout that dethroned WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman at the new Yankee Stadium.
"Miguel told me to sign up for the next four fights with him," said Steward, "and that he would run them by me, so that I could pick them."
Fighting in his highest weight class ever, the 29-year-old Cotto earned $2 million to Foreman's $750,000, after delivering a left to the body 42 seconds into the ninth round that crumpled Foreman to the canvas.
There Foreman remained, as referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stepped in to wave an end to the action.
In victory, Cotto earned the WBA junior middleweight crown to become the sixth Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title over the course of three weight classes.
Cotto never bled from his left eye, as he did profusely during three of his previous four bouts -- a July 2008 11th-round knockout loss to Antonio Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs), June's 12-round, split-decision victory over Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs), and November's 12th-round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) -- all of which occurred as a welterweight (147 pounds).
There was no adversity in Cotto's corner, despite working with the third trainer of his past five bouts in Steward. And there was no sense of mourning during Cotto's first bout without his father and advisor, Miguel Sr., who died in January.
"We had a good camaraderie and a good relationship. Our whole thing was like having one big salsa party. That's what the entire training camp was about," said Steward. "And afterward, we went back to the hotel and we were doing the salsa in the hotel. Lots of people. The whole team."
Steward has in mind the men he would have Cotto fight next.
"If I could select his next three or four opponents, they would maybe be Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito and then maybe the winner of the fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and John Duddy," said Steward.
Chavez (40-0-1, 30 KOs) and Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) will meet in a non-title middleweight bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
"But let me make this clear: I'm not choosing the opponents. Miguel might have a different idea, but I would like to see him fight those guys. I think his confidence would be a big difference in rematches against Pacquiao and Margarito," said Steward.
"It would be picking up where we left off with this new style, which is really his old style of the way that he used to fight," said Steward. "Throwing combinations and doing what he used to do -- dancing and throwing punches and moving. It would be just going back to what he used to do."
BoxingScene.com recently reported that Cotto was pleased with the adjustments Steward made to his style.
"Emanuel is definitely going to remain with our team. He helped me to improve as a boxer," said Cotto. "He helped everyone in the [training] camp."
Steward has made a recent career out of bringing fighters back from devastating losses.
After training Oliver McCall to a second-round knockout over Lennox Lewis (42-2-1, 32 KOs) in September 1994, Steward guided Lewis to a fifth-round stoppage of McCall in February 1997.
And following Lewis' fifth-round knockout loss to Hasim Rahman in April 2001, Steward mapped out Lewis' fourth-round knockout of Rahman in their return bout seven months later.
Steward's first fight with his other present champ, Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KOs) was a fifth-round knockout loss to Lamon Brewster in April 2004.
Since then, however, Klitschko is 12-0 with nine knockouts, including a July 2007 sixth-round knockout of Brewster, one of eight Americans he has vanquished during his winning streak.
The Ukrainian-born, 6-foot-7 behemoth's run began with a fifth-round technical decision over American DaVarryl Williamson in October 2004.
With five seconds left in his last bout in March with Philadelphia's Eddie Chambers, Klitschko scored his fourth consecutive stoppage with a 12th-round left hook that permanently floored his challenger.
In vanquishing Chambers, Klitschko defended, for the eighth time, the IBF crown that he won from American Chris Byrd in April 2006 and for the fourth time, the WBO belt that he earned from Sultan Ibragimov in February 2008.
Chambers joined Byrd, Brewster, Williamson, Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, Tony Thompson and Rahman among the list of eight U.S. fighters Klitschko has beaten during the winning spree.
Like Chambers, Byrd, Brewster, Brock, Austin, Thompson and Rahman were knocked out.