(This article was translated and edited from elvocero.com a Puerto Rican daily)
The Puerto Rican boxer was exalted yesterday in an emotional and mile-long induction ceremony to the Hall of Fame, where he was accompanied by other great luminaries of world boxing
In a historic and emotional occasion, former Puerto Rican world champion Miguel Ángel Cotto was officially inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.
Cotto became the eleventh former Puerto Rican world champion to be exalted to the great hall, which also includes referee Joe Cortez and veteran sportswriter Mario Rivera Martinó.
The Cagüeño (Town of Caguas), who was champion in four different divisions, was selected as part of the Class of 2022, which also includes Roy Jones Jr., James Toney, Holly Holm and Regina Halmich.
The Class of 2020 was also celebrated on the day, made up of Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Márquez, Shane Mosley, Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker and Barbara Buttrick; and the Class of 2021, made up of Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Laila Ali, Andre Ward, Anne Wolfe and Marian Trimiar.
Cotto, who had just received a tribute at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night during the function that Top Rank presented at the Hulu Theater, was very moved on the occasion that he dedicated to his family and especially to the figure that Directed by: his deceased father, Mr. Miguel Cotto Carrasquillo.
“Family, you have been the inspiration of my life”, expressed Cotto briefly and in the last turn of the exaltation. “They are the ones who have made me work for my dream. I love you with my life, everyone and my children. Thank you for doing it and loving it as much as I do,” he added.
The former fighter, who is considered one of the three best Puerto Rican world champions of all time, closed his career with a record of 41-6 and 33 KO’s. He won titles in the junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions.
The covid-19 pandemic caused three classes to meet on the same day in Canastota.
Also that the first eight women to enter the enclosure of the immortals were found: Barbara Buttrick, Lucia Rijker, Christy Martin, Ann Wolfe, Laila Ali, Mariam Trimiar, Regina Halmich and Holly Holm. There were a total of 27 inductees, 17 of them fighters.
Cotto joined Sixto Escobar, Pedro Montañez, José “Chegüí” Torres, Herbert Lewis (Cocoa Kid), Carlos Ortiz, Wilfredo Gómez, Wilfredo Benítez, Edwin ‘Chapo’ Rosario, Félix “Tito” Trinidad and Héctor “Macho” Camacho as the Puerto Ricans in the enclosure of the immortals.
The ceremony was kilometric because the organization of the Hall of Fame gave all the exalted the opportunity to express themselves on the podium, although each participant was limited to two minutes to offer their messages.
However, there were their exceptions. Bernard Hopkins —who recounted his life and work— was one of them, as was Andre Ward, who was also carried away by emotion.
The 11-time world champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who led the class of 2021, was no exception, and even took the opportunity to make an entrance as he himself has always known how to do it: as a spectacle.
Showtime’s star announcer, Jimmy Lennon Jr., was in charge of introducing Mayweather Jr., who dedicated his boxing immortality to his family, especially his father Floyd, who was his trainer throughout his career, the which concluded with a perfect mark of 50-0 and 27 KO’s.
The pay-per-view king said that “when you put a queen like my mother, and a king like my father, a figure like this is born. Thanks to them”, he expressed with a big smile. “Thanks for everything. Thank you to the Hall of Fame, and remember that I will always be the ‘TBE’ (The Best Ever, the best of all time)”.
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