Cotto and Margarito weigh in for their rematch
Margarito will fight for champion Cotto's World Boxing Assn. junior-middleweight belt Saturday at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
Cotto weighed in at 152 1/4 pounds and flashed a thumbs-up to the crowd.
Cotto suffered an 11th-round technical knockout loss to Margarito in their first fight in 2008.
The junior-middleweight limit is 154 pounds, but when Cotto's promoter first broached the topic of a rematch Cotto made a bold champion's demand.
He wanted the weight limit to be a “catch weight” of 150 pounds, a limit that would certainly weaken the bigger Margarito.
Margarito was left famished in November 2010, when he fought Manny Pacquiao at 150 pounds and suffered a lopsided unanimous-decision loss. Margarito also suffered a fractured orbital bone in the Pacquaio bout and hasn't fought since.
So Margarito rejected Cotto's offer of 150 pounds.
“We heard from them, 'You're going to walk away from all this money over four pounds?' ” Margarito’s co-manager Sergio Diaz said.
Diaz recalls when the fighters' promoter, Bob Arum, called to ask if Margarito would take the fight at 152 pounds and agree to weigh in again on fight night at no more than 160 pounds.
“I'm sorry,” Diaz told Arum. “No.”
Cotto began exploring other opponents, but boxing fans were more interested in a revenge match against Margarito. And Arum was willing to sweeten the pot to get Cotto in the ring again with his nemesis.
“Money talks,” Arum said.
So Margarito agreed to a 153-pound weight limit for the rematch. He trained in the high-altitude of mountains above Mexico City, and easily made the weight on Friday.
--Lance Pugmire, reporting from New York
Photo: Miguel Cotto, left, and Antonio Margarito, right, flank promoter Bob Arum during their weigh-in. Credit: Mary Altaffer / AP