The 41-year-old Puerto Rican former professional boxer will be enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, alongside Roy Jones Jr. and James Toney.
Cotto, Jones and Toney highlight the Boxing Hall’s Class of 2022, as revealed on Tuesday.
They’re joined by female champions Holly Holm and Regina Hamlisch, alongside publicist Bill Caplan, journalist Ron Borges and historian/producer Bob Yalen.
When they’re all inducted on June 12 in Canastota, New York, the group will be accompanied by the previous two classes. Because of the pandemic, fighters from those classes — such as Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and Wladimir Klitschko — have yet to be enshrined.
Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) retired at age 37 following an upset loss to Sadam Ali. One of the most accomplished boxers from Puerto Rico, Cotto routinely fought before sellout crowds at Madison Square Garden, thrilling the masses with his ferocious body punching.
Cotto won titles at 147 pounds and 154 before he upset Sergio Martinez for the middleweight championship. Cotto competed with three Hall of Famers during his career: a win over Shane Mosley and losses to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Cotto was also defeated by future Hall of Famer Canelo Alvarez.
Cotto’s loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008 is a welterweight classic. He later avenged the defeat.
The 46-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a former UFC middleweight champion who made a career out of doing the impossible, defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision (75-77, 77-75, 77-75) in a shockingly impressive boxing performance on Saturday night at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.
A heavy underdog, Silva hadn’t competed in boxing since 2005 and had just two pro boxing matches coming in. Chavez Jr., the son and namesake of Mexico’s most popular boxing superstar, is a former WBC middleweight champion.
“I love fighting,” Silva said in his postfight interview. “Boxing was my dream for many years. I needed to show my respect for boxing. I need to come here and do my best.”
The bout was contested at 182 pounds with eight three-minute rounds. Chavez Jr. missed weight by 2.4 pounds Friday, forfeiting $100,000 of his purse to Silva. The event was dubbed “Tribute to the Kings” with the headliner pitting Chavez Sr. against Hector Camacho Jr., the son of his biggest rival, in an exhibition boxing match.
Silva’s fight against Chavez Jr. started slow, but Silva started to gain confidence in the third round and looked like the vintage version of the MMA all-time great. He started dropping his hands and taunting Chavez Jr. in the third round, a stunning display, considering the enormous gap in boxing experience. Silva carried that confidence and started hurting Chavez Jr. in the fourth round with combinations and a long, straight left. Silva, a southpaw, showed off a solid, snapping jab as well.
Chavez Jr. had some moments with body shots and left hooks, but never really hurt Silva. In the seventh, Silva opened up a cut near Chavez Jr.’s right eye, which started bleeding worse in the eighth round.
“I think it could have been a draw,” Chavez Jr. said. “I failed to throw more punches. He didn’t do much damage. There were a few rounds that went back and forth.”
Silva outlanded Chavez Jr. 99-53 in total punches and 60-41 in power punches, per CompuBox. Afterward, Canelo Alvarez, the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, came up to Silva and gave him a “salute,” Silva said.
“I don’t believe it,” Silva said. “Canelo come talk to me. I’m so happy.”
Silva has been talking about doing a boxing match for a decade or so, but had been under contract with the UFC. Silva always said a boxing bout with Roy Jones Jr. was a dream and goal of his. Maybe now it can happen at both of their advanced ages.
Silva (2-1) is one of the greatest champions in MMA history. The Brazil native held the UFC middleweight title for seven years, the longest reign in promotion history. “The Spider” owns the longest winning streak in UFC history (16) and the most finishes in UFC title fights (nine). Silva asked for his release from the UFC last November, and it was granted. He has just one MMA victory since 2012.
Chavez Jr. (52-6-1) has lost four of his past six fights. He is indefinitely suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission for refusing to take a drug test before a fight with Danny Jacobs in 2019.
Chavez Jr., 35, has never quite lived up to the lofty family expectations, though he does own wins over Marco Antonio Rubio and Andy Lee. He has dropped high-profile bouts to Canelo Alvarez and Jacobs.
The 23-year-old Honduran American boxer will make his first title defense as the undisputed lightweight champion against George Kambosos Jr. on June 19 at Miami’s loanDepot Park, Triller Fight Club has announced.
The card will be co-headlined by a women’s super middleweight bout between Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Elin Cederroos, with all four world championship belts on the line.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), 23, who became the undisputed champion last year by taking four belts from Vasiliy Lomachenko, is No. 5 in the ESPN pound-for-pound rankings.
He’s No. 1 in the ESPN lightweight rankings, while Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory IBF challenger from Australia, is ranked 10th.
Triller is a relative newcomer to the boxing promotion business. The tech company made headlines in November by promoting the exhibition between former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., and in February it won the right to promote the mandatory defense of Lopez, one of boxing’s rising stars.
The 47-year-old Mexican American former professional boxer and boxing/mixed martial arts promoter says he’s planning to return to the ring.
Twelve years after his last fight, the 11-time titlist confirmed he’s ready to end his retirement.
“The rumors are true, and I’m going to start sparring in the next few weeks,” de la Hoya said.
de la Hoya (39-6 30 KOs) added that he won’t be engaging in an exhibition fight like fellow retired champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
“It’s a real fight,” he said. “I miss being in the ring, I love boxing. Boxing is what gave me everything I have today, and I just miss it.”
After winning a gold medal for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Games, de la Hoya had a meteoric rise in the professional ranks, winning the WBO junior lightweight title by stopping Jimmi Bredahl in 10 rounds in 1994, in only his 12th professional bout.
de la Hoya would eventually win major world titles in six different weight classes.
During this stretch, “The Golden Boy” was considered one of the best fighters in boxing and its biggest pay-per-view and gate attraction. He was as marketable outside the ring as he was good inside of it. There are very few fighters who can appear on the cover of Ring Magazine and Newsweek.
de la Hoya’s career came to an ignominious conclusion when he quit on his stool after the eighth round of a fight against Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. A few months later at age 36, de la Hoya announced his retirement.
“Look, my last fight with Pacquiao, I weighed in at 145 and obviously that was a shell of myself,” said de la Hoya of his ill-fated decision to move down to welterweight to face Pacquiao after seven years of campaigning at junior middleweight.
Now, as he’s set to return, de la Hoya understands that many will question his decision.
“Look, it’s been a long time, yes,” said de la Hoya, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014. “But actually my jab feels faster than ever. I have to make sure that my conditioning is perfect, my health is good. And that’s going to take place in the next few weeks. So we’ll see.”
de la Hoya, who has battled drug and alcohol addiction in the past, said he started to get back into shape a couple of months ago, and as he began to feel better and better, the old itch came back.
de la Hoya said he looked around the current landscape of boxing and didn’t like what he saw.
“All these fighters are not of the level that was 15, 20 years [ago], all these fighters are demanding so much money, all these fighters are demanding the moon,” said de la Hoya. “And they’re forgetting that you must train hard, you must work hard. So that’s a huge advantage for me because I know what it takes to train hard, I know how to train smart. I know how to fight smart in the ring.
“These guys are in it just for the money — that’ll be the big difference. I will fight for the glory, and these guys only fight for the money. And guess what? The glory will always win.”
For now, the plan is to compete between 154-160 pounds. As for who he will be targeting?
“Any top guy, any top guy out there,” said de la Hoya.