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Miguel Cotto plans to return June 7 at Madison Square Garden, with or without Sergio Martinez

Miguel Cotto believes a fight with Sergio Martinez is closer than before for June 7, but the Puerto Rican star intends to return on that date with or without the middleweight champ.

Al Bello
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Miguel Cotto says that a much-discussed June 7 fight with Sergio Martinez is closer than it was before, but he'll return to the ring on that date at New York's Madison Square Garden whether the opponent is Martinez or someone else.

"Whether we come to an agreement or not with Sergio Martinez, we are going to return on June 7 at Madison Square Garden. Right now we don't have another name [in the running for that fight]. We are still in negotiations, trying to square away everything that remains for the event. After we settle all of that, then we can say that the fight is on. It's much closer than it was two weeks ago so we can say that it is closer [to a deal] than far away," Cotto told Alfredo Berrios.

Cotto (38-4, 31 KO) last fought in October, steamrolling Delvin Rodriguez in his first fight under new trainer Freddie Roach. Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO) hasn't fought since last April, when he was lucky to sneak past Martin Murray at home in Argentina. He'll turn 39 in February and the prevailing thought right now is that the champ is living on borrowed time, though there is some belief that the time off to really heal up will do him some good, and if he's in good shape, he could be a nightmare matchup for the rejuvenated Cotto, using his length, speed, and southpaw stance to give the Puerto Rican fits.

It would appear that this fight is going to happen. Canelo Alvarez was another Cotto option, but he'll be facing Alfredo Angulo on March 8 on Showtime pay-per-view. Martinez is the biggest money fight out there for Miguel, and it's an opportunity to add a belt (and the real championship) at 160 pounds to his title belts at 140, 147, and 154.

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