His brother, Jose Miguel Cotto, is also a professional boxer whom many think is destined to become a world champion. Jose Miguel is undefeated in 27 bouts.
Cotto was taken as a little kid to the famous Bairoa Gym in Caguas, where Juan Carazo and Alberto Mercado also trained. There, he was able to develop into a top amateur fighter who won several international competitions and represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After being eliminated from those games in the first classificatory round, Cotto decided to turn professional.
As a professional, Cotto has a record of 26-0 with 22 knockout wins. He has been able to beat some strong competition, such as former world title challenger John Brown (by a 10 round decision, at the Oscar De La Hoya-Fernando Vargas fight undercard) and former world champion Cesar Cobrita Soto, by a knockout in round 11.
In 2001, Cotto suffered a dangerous injury that threatened his boxing career: As he was driving to the gymnasium at 5 am in the morning one day, he apparently fell asleep and had an accident, breaking his arm and requiring hospitalization.
On September 13, 2003, Cotto beat former title challenger Demetrio Ceballos by a knockout in round seven at Las Vegas. With this, he was ranked number one by the WBA in his division, which is lead, as of 2004, by Kostya Tszyu.
Cotto himself began 2004 by beating Sammy Sosa's cousin, the former world title challenger Victoriano Sosa, by a knockout in round four. This was after a mishap filled previous week to the fight, which included Cotto having to wait for four hours for his luggage bags to arrive (after a 2am local time arrival) at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and almost being removed from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where the fight was held at, by a security guard who thought he was an unaccompanied minor.
On April 8 of 2004, he defeated the former world title challenger, Lovemore Ndou, over twelve rounds, by the unanimous scores of 117-111, and 115-113 (twice), once again, in Las Vegas.
On the early morning hours of June 9 of that year, Cotto and his family were involved in another car accident, this time with his wife as driver.: driving from Aguas Buenas to Caguas on a darkened road after picking up their children, their car skid off the road and landed upside down. According to police reports, she saw a black bag on the road. Fearing the bag might contain a dead body or anything else, she avoided it but lost control of the car, leading to the accident. Neither the driver or the passengers involved in the accident were hurt, and Cotto was able to fly to New York the next day, where he would take part in a series of promotional activities with fellow boxer and friend, Ivan Calderon.
For his next bout Cotto would face the highly skilled Brazilian Kelson Pinto for Pinto's WBO junior welterweight title. Pinto was not a stranger to Cotto, as amateurs they had met in the ring before at the Sydney 2000 Olympics with Pinto beating the then 19 year old Cotto. This fight was being televised by HBO from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cotto became world champion by knocking Pinto out in six rounds.
On December 11, he retained the title for the first time, beating former world champion Randall Bailey by a sixth round knockout, as part of the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams undercard in Las Vegas.
Eleven days later, on December 22, the Puerto Rican boxing commission named Cotto Puerto Rico's fighter of the year for 2004.
On February 26, 2005, Cotto made his second successful title defense by knocking out former world champion Demarcus Corley in the fifth round at the Ruben Rodriguez coliseum in Bayamon.
Just a few days after retaining the crown versus Corley, Cotto received another personal blow, when his stablemate and friend, former 2004 Olympian Joseph Serrano, was shot to the head upon leaving the Bairoa gym. Serrano has (so far) survived the shot, he is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.
On June 11, 2005 he faced the last man to beat him as amateurs. Future gold medalist Mohamed Abdulaev from Uzbekistan. As amateurs, Abdulaev eliminated Cotto from the first round of the 2000,Sydney Olympics. But this time they met as professionals in New York City's Madison Square Garden. During that fight Abdulaev's right eye was swollen shut, realizing it would impair him from seeing any of Cotto's dangerous left hooks he complained to the referee of not being able to see, and after the ringside Dr. viewed the eye the fight was halted in the 9th round, and Cotto retained his WBO Junior Welterweight title.
On September 24, he retained his title, after being dropped in the second round, when he knocked out Ricardo Torres of Colombia in seven rounds at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
On March 4, 2006, Cotto defended his WBO Junior Welterweight title by knocking out Gianluca Branco, who had to give up during the eighth round of their bout due to a shoulder injury.
On June 10, 2006, Miguel Cotto faced the 25 year old, undefeated, Junior Welterweight, current WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title and WBC International Light Welterweight title holder, Paul "The Magic Man" Malignaggi in Madison Square Garden. Miguel Cotto won by unanimous decision against Malignaggi who was left with a swollen right cheek bone, a bleeding nose, and a cut around the left eye. Malignaggi, with his first loss, took it well, not being a sore loser. He was asked if there was to be a rematch with Cotto, and he stated that he would fight him again after he had had a few more matches if Cotto didn't go up in the weight.
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