NEW YORK — Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto and Mexican Antonio Margarito both came in under the limit at Friday's weigh-in for their eagerly-awaited rematch.
Cotto tipped the scales at 152-1/4 pounds while Margarito was a quarter of a pound heavier at 152-1/2 on the eve of their WBA super-middleweight bout at a sold out Madison Square Garden.
The contest is looming as one of the most anticipated fights of the year after the pair waged a brutal war in their previous clash in 2008, for the WBA welterweight title, which Margarito won with an 11th round knockout.
Cotto, 36-2 (29 KO), has lost just one fight since, against Manny Pacquiao in 2009, and currently holds the belt.
After beating Cotto, Margarito (38-7, 27 KO) lost his next fight to Shane Mosley and was then banned for a year after it was discovered that he had used illegal hand wraps before that bout.
He was badly beaten by Pacquiao after returning to the ring and suffered a serious eye injury which almost prevented Saturday's fight from going ahead.
The New York State Athletic Commission initially rejected Margarito's initial application to fight but finally agreed to grant him a boxing license after he underwent further medical examinations by an eye specialist of its choice.
"He can hit my eye as much as he wants," Margarito said at a pre-fight news conference.
"He (Cotto) hits like a little girl. Super flyweights hit harder. He will never beat me."
Cotto snapped back by criticizing Margarito's use of the illegal wraps.
"You are an embarrassment to boxing," he said. — Reuters