• Floyd Mayweather Jr v Miguel Cotto

Mayweather targets Hall of Fame triumph

ESPN staff
May 3, 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jr has summed up the importance of Saturday's World Boxing Association (WBA) light-middleweight title fight with Miguel Cotto, insisting victory over Cotto takes him closer to a place in boxing's Hall of Fame.

Mayweather and Cotto are getting their media duties out of the way ahead of this weekend's bout, which sees Mayweather step up to 154lbs for only the second time in his career.

Always box-office, regardless of whether he is inside the ring or out, Mayweather sparked headlines on Wednesday when he reiterated his belief that Manny Pacquiao uses performance enhancing drugs. It is a claim Pacquiao adamantly denies.

By contrast, Mayweather speaks in highly respectable terms about Cotto, the man acting as the direct threat to the American's undefeated record. In Mayweather's eyes, Cotto is the type of fighter and name that adds credibility to his legacy.

"Miguel is a true warrior, a tough champion, and to go down in the Hall of Fame as one of the best, you have to face the true champions out there," Mayweather said.

Being the naturally smaller man, it is expected that Mayweather will have a speed advantage over his Puerto Rican rival this weekend. However, Mayweather prefers to take a more cautious view of an opponent who once went to a 12th round with Pacquiao.

"I may come out and not be that fast," Mayweather said. "He may come out and be fast. You don't know what they've been working on in their camp. They may have been working on just a certain thing just to get his speed up."

Cotto, who has knocked out 30 of his 37 career victims, beat Antonio Margarito in his most recent outing following a bad-blooded build-up between the pair. He says there are no such issues with Mayweather, although Cotto did promise to show the world how to beat him this weekend.

"He's been a gentleman the whole way with me," Cotto said of Mayweather. "I've been a gentleman with him. That's the way it should be. You get paid to fight in the ring, not outside the ring.

"He was a guy who was above me on all levels. But now we are in the same boat and the preparation we had in our camp is going to be what gives us the victory on Saturday.

"Nobody has found the way to beat Floyd Mayweather so far. You're going to see how a person can beat Floyd Mayweather on Saturday."

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