Miguel Cotto vs Kamegai Face Off Opposite of Mayweather vs McGregor

Miguel Cotto has the unfortunate luck of having a fight this Saturday, August 26th, the same day as Mayweather vs. McGregor

The fight, airing on HBO, is Oscar de la Hoya and Golden Boy’s attempt to steer some of the attention away from the Las Vegas towards their pitch to boxing’s purists.

Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) is the only four-division world champion in Puerto Rico’s robust boxing history. His opponent this weekend is Japanese 154-pound contender Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs). 

Kamegai twice fought Jesus Soto Karass, with the first fight ending via split draw and the second ending in a TKO with Karass retiring after the 8th round. Cotto is coming back from a unanimous decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2015. 

Yoshihiro Kamegai vs. Jesus Soto-Karass: WCB Highlights (HBO Boxing)

Highlights from Yoshihiro Kamegai win by TKO in round 8 over Jesus Soto-Karass on September 10, 2016. Subscribe to HBO Boxing YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Snapchat: hboboxing HBO Boxing on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBOboxing HBO Boxing Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing Official Site: http://itsh.bo/HQslC8.

Both are looking to secure the vacant WBO super welterweight title and steal some of the thunder away from the Mayweather vs. McGregor pay-per-view.

After going on an all out blitzkrieg against the Mayweather fight during the world tour, Oscar de la Hoya is literally hoping that his words and stance as the brand of choice for boxing’s very critical core base will provide the ticket sales and numbers on HBO. The May Mac fight will be shown on Showtime PPV at the same time.

What is more curious is that the normally fervent Puerto Rican fan contingent has yet to push the Cotto fight en masse. Cotto is the shining star in the Puerto Rican flag, having had an illustrious career replete with titles and big-name battles. 

His fight against Mayweather in 2012, where he lost the WBA super welterweight title, was legendary as he took the fight to the Money Man intensely. Although he lost by unanimous decision, it showed that Puerto Rican fighters are relentless and it halted a previous three-fight knockout streak he had over Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga, and Antonio Margarito.

Usually the fanfare by his countrymen is at a fever pitch when he fights. However, popular opinion has seemingly swayed the Boriqua contingent’s interest towards the supposed fight of the century. Could this be a sign that fight fans have collectively shifted their interest in boxing’s stalwart athletes in favor of mixed martial artists?

If the ink dedicated to the Cotto fight and the lack of any real conversation by Puerto Rican fans is any indication, then the answer is a resounding, yes! 

Tomorrow will tell the tale, but the barking by Oscar de la Hoya might have seemed petty to most. Mixed with the epic trash talking fest of the self-professed “King of Boxing”, Golden Boy might have picked the wrong time to make a point, or banked too heavily on the support of fans who are more loyal to spectacles than their countrymen.   

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.