When Miguel Cotto enters the ring at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night to face Sergio Martinez, he will represent a proud Puerto Rican boxing tradition. With a population of about 3.6 million, the tiny island nation is perhaps the greatest pound-for-pound boxing country in history.
Puerto Rico has produced top boxing stars in every decade since the 1930s. Carlos Ortiz was the top lightweight champion of the 1960s and Wilfredo Gomez emerged in the late 1970s as one of the great pound-for-pound punchers in the sport's history.
In the past 20 years, nobody has sold anywhere near as many tickets at Madison Square Garden as Cotto and Felix Trinidad. "Junito" will pack the house again this weekend when he takes on Martinez.