There was tension in the air at today's final presser between the teams of Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, tension that even some lighthearted jokes couldn't exactly diffuse.
The first jibe was from Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez's agent and the man whom Lou DiBella credits with first bringing Martinez to his attention five years ago. Turning to Cotto's camp, Lewkowicz had some choice words, particularly for Cotto's trainer Freddie Roach, who recently predicted a 4th round knockout win for Cotto.
"Considering a great trainer like Freddie Roach," Lewkowicz began, using the classic "no offense, but" approach, "Every time he predicts something, we should put money on the other side. And then after he is wrong, the excuses! He looks like a husband who got caught cheating by his wife."
Lewcowicz put an end to the jokes, but the infamously short-tempered Roach was apparently not amused, and he ended his remarks in more respectful fashion, expressing his admiration for Cotto, and saying that it was "nothing personal." All the same, he predicted that Martinez would knock Cotto out between rounds 6 and 9.
When it came Roach's turn to take the podium, he was quick and succinct in his remarks. He said that Cotto was motivated and had a great camp, and then: "I'd like to wish Martinez a little luck--you're gonna need it." Looking over at the jovial Lewkowicz he added, "Sampson, I'm glad you think I'm funny. I like your hairpiece," and returned to his seat.
Next, the fighters themselves took the mic. Likely to his chagrin, Martinez stood and spoke first, through the translation of Lewkowicz.
"I come prepared. I come to box. I come to fight. I come to be in a war. And I come to win, like I do every time. On Saturday," he assured the gathered press, "We finish with the talking, and we see the reality."
Cotto, never much of a talker, had only a few words to say.
"It's good for us hearing that Sergio is ready for a war too, because that's what people want to see, and what will happen Saturday."
Make sure to stay tuned to Bad Left Hook for all of your Cotto-Martinez news up to and through this weekends big pay-per-view event.