NEW YORK, NY – Miguel Cotto declared himself a fighter reborn and refocused on Tuesday at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, two months after exacting revenge on Antonio Margarito.
The two clash May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
This was the second leg of their three-city press conferences after kicking things off yesterday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"Thanks to God I'm feeling very good. I didn't stray too far off the gym. I kept myself working out at all times. I find myself in excellent conditions," Cotto said while sitting on a chair that resembled one set aside for royalty.
The WBA junior middleweight champion looked refreshed and calm. Gone was all that angst that hung over his head in the days leading up to the second Margarito fight.
Beating Margarito definitely has brought back that firm belief that Cotto once had but that was missing after their first go around on July 26, 2008.
"After the last (fight) with Margarito, he took from me some things - my confidence in myself, a lot of things,” said Cotto. “When I beat him in December, those things came back to me. I feel better right now."
Cotto, a four time champion in three different weight classes, had two choices. Fight Manny Pacquiao, who beat him back on November 14, 2009, or go up against the undefeated Mayweather, who has yet to lose in 42 bouts.
No longer fighting under the Top Rank promotion, Cotto decided to take the latter, which he called a better business move for him. He didn't want to fight the Pac Man at 147 pounds.
Despite spending most of his time answering questions on whether or not he will face Pacquiao, Mayweather that tried to keep his focus on Cotto.
Mayweather said that picking Cotto for the upcoming fight was not based on any performance instead saying it is a fight that "had to happen."
He added that in beating Cotto, he would be adding a missing piece to his puzzle, one that would make him one of "the best fighters to ever lived" while taking a shot at Pacquiao, asking the Filipino great to 'take the test" if he wasn't trying to mask anything.
Mayweather had originally set aside the May 5th date as an ideal meeting with Pacquiao that t boxing enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating, but both fighters are have disagreements over issues like a drug test and the split of the monetary payout.
The prospects for that mega fight, as Mayweather put it, "absolutely not going to happen....he has to leave Bob Arum."
Mayweather said Arum kept everything in-house and is only fighting Cotto now that he is no longer aligned with the promoter.
"At one particular time they said I was scared of Antonio Margarito. Like I said everything happens for a reason. I'm glad that God didn't put me in a fight with Margarito, a guy who was cheating," Mayweather said. "Once again they said I was scared of him. Come to find out he was cheating. They don't want to say, 'You know what Floyd was right for not taking the Antonio Margarito fight.' A fight that could have messed me up for the rest of my life ended my career."
While Mayweather stopped short of guaranteeing knocking down Cotto, he did allude to the fact that Cotto has been knocked down a few times over his stellar career.
"I just feel like if a guy's been hit to the canvas before, it's in the back of the mind that he can go down again."
Adry Torres, who has covered MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball games and related events, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @adrytorresnyc.
Adry Torres, who has covered MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball games and related events, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @adrytorresnyc