In a pretty big surprise move, Emanuel Steward is out as Miguel Cotto's trainer for his December 3 rematch with Antonio Margarito, and Pedro Luis Diaz is in as the new lead man in the Puerto Rican's corner. From a Cotto press release:
I met Pedro Luis as an amateur several years ago and had the opportunity to share time with him in several international competitions. I was instantly amazed as to the vast boxing's technique and conditioning knowledge that he transmitted to his fighters. I feel that together with Phil, Pedro Luis is a perfect fit to bring my best potential for my next fight in December and lead me to victory!
I want to take this opportunity to express my wholehearted gratitude to Emanuel Steward, who I consider a friend and mentor. Because of calendar conflicts and other matters, we were unable to work together for this next fight. He is one of the best trainers I have ever met in boxing, and I will be forever appreciative for the two fights we worked together. We have both kept the doors open to maybe join forces in the future if the circumstances and timing are adequate.
The timing issue is likely that Steward will be working with Wladimir Klitschko for a December 10 fight against Jean Marc Mormeck in Germany, and Wladimir is currently Steward's prized fighter, his top dog whose needs come before those of other fighters in Steward's care.
This does mark the second fighter in the last month to drop Steward from his corner, though. Chad Dawson and Steward couldn't work out differences in location for Dawson's October 15 fight with Bernard Hopkins, and Dawson replaced the Hall of Famer with John Scully and Winky Wright.
It's not much to do with Steward in either case, so I don't think you can look at this as Emanuel falling in the training game. The Dawson thing was Dawson's decision; he didn't want to go train at Kronk, and Steward didn't want to go to Connecticut. The Cotto case is more likely just the Klitschko interference, and it wouldn't be any surprise to see Cotto working with Steward again in the future, unless he and Diaz really mesh well. Steward and Cotto seemed to be working together pretty well from most standpoints, though wins over Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga were expected and probably could have been achieved with or without Steward's tutelage.
Does this change your outlook on Cotto vs Margarito at all? Do you think this hurts Miguel's chances at victory?