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January 22, 2018

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Ron Kantowski finds 32 reasons to watch Saturday’s fight



WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, left, fights Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden on June 5, 2007. Cotto won.

Fans greet Cotto

Watch and listen as fans greet Miguel Cotto Tuesday at the MGM Grand. Cotto fights Antonio Margarito Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

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Miguel Cotto fights Antonio Margarito at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, which means all of Puerto Rico and Mexico will be watching. Unless, of course, the Mexican National Team is playing soccer. In that case, they’ll be watching the fight live in Tijuana while DVRs from Chihuahua to Tapachula will be getting a serious workout.

Here are 32-0-0 reasons — Cotto’s record — to watch Saturday’s World Welterweight Championship:

1. That record. Most fighters have an Ali vs. Leon Spinks moment, at least early in their careers. Not Cotto.

2. Margarito (36-5) has a pretty good record, too. But he had two Ali vs. Spinks moments early in his career, when he was like 11. And one last summer against Paul Williams (not the singer, the fighter).

3. Cotto moves forward and punches like the Blue Bomber in Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots.

4. Margarito moves forward and punches like the Red Rocker in Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots.

5. Cotto is a Puerto Rican.

6. Margarito is a Mexican.

7. Just add Tecate and a little Puerto Rican rum and you’ve got all the ingredients for a fight.

8. When boxers from Puerto Rico and Mexico leave the ring, it’s usually after 12 rounds of nonstop action. Or on a gurney.

9. The new Batman movie is sold out at the IMAX. You can still get a ticket for Cotto vs. Margarito.

10. As far as anybody knows, Cotto has fathered only one child outside of wedlock. That’s way below the boxing and NBA average.

11. In a 12-round decision over Joshua Clottey, Margarito threw a Compubox record 1,675 punches.

12. In 2004, a security guard tried to have Cotto removed from the MGM Grand because he thought he was a minor. (OK, maybe that’s not a reason to watch the fight, but I still think it’s interesting.)

13. Cotto owns eight gas stations in Puerto Rico for the day he retires from beating people up.

14. That seems like a better way to provide for your family than a singing career, which was Joe Frazier’s plan.

15. Cotto did not wear drab navy overalls with an oval patch above the breast pocket that said “Miguel” to the official news conference. He wore a crisp tan suit befitting a champion.

16. Margarito wore a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, which would have been cool, too, if he were fighting Jimmy Buffett.

17. And don’t forget those wacky glasses with the black rims.

18. These guys don’t talk trash. They take it out with their fists.

19. Sugar Ray Leonard says Margarito reminds him of Tommy Hearns. He’ll Kronk you upside the head with both fists.

20. The Wall Street Journal wrote a big story on it. So what if it was on Page 5. Blame the economy.

21. On Monday, I had the fish of the day while Cotto, sitting at the same table at Wolfgang Puck’s, had a bowl of chicken soup. I have never sat at the same table with Mike Tyson. Or even Wladimir Klitschko.

22. There was room for Cotto’s entire posse at the same table.

23. And no one shouted “Pound for Pound!” like that “Crocodile” dude, disturbing the other customers.

24. Although Cotto and Margarito, like Floyd Mayweather Jr., have been known to “make it rain,” it’s usually with their punches.

25. Cotto doesn’t stack $100 bills on his countertops when he’s not training; Margarito doesn’t ride around a palatial estate on a Segway.

26. Cotto will fight anybody you put in front of him: Shane Mosley ... Zab Judah ... the WNBA’s Detroit Shock.

27. Margarito’s dad sells mattresses, which is what you do in Mexican border towns because they usually don’t have steel mills.

28. Cotto’s dad built an addition to the family home all by himself after he returned home from his job in the Puerto Rico National Guard.

29. Margarito wears you down.

30. Cotto knocks you out.

31. Unless Sugar Ray Robinson rises from the dead and asks Jake LaMotta to put up his dukes, this is the best fight out there.

32. They’re showing it free at Sam’s Town. $1 Heinekens at the casino bar.

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