Boxing champion Miguel Cotto honored in Jersey City as part of Hispanic Heritage Month
By Michaelangelo Conte | The Jersey Journal
Boxing champ Miguel Cotto was honored at a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Jersey City Friday where the 39-4 fighter was lauded as the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four weight classes.
Boxing champ Miguel Cotto was the star attraction at a gala in Jersey City on Oct. 10, 2014, at Puccini's restaurant celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Cotto, the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four weight classes, received several honors. The gala was sponsored by several officials, including Jersey City Councilman Daniel Rivera, Assemblyman Carmelo G. Garcia, and Hudson County Freeholder
"Cotto's tenacity and courage in and outside of the ring serve as an inspiration to so many people," said Assemblyman Carmelo G. Garcia (D-Hudson), a co-sponsor of the event held at Puccini's Restaurant.
Garcia added: "He's given Latinos a sense of pride and a reason to cheer. For these reasons and more it's fitting we honor this boxing legend during Hispanic Heritage Month."
In addition to celebrating the career achievements of Cotto, the event also helped raise money for the Christian Boxing Academy and Copa Maribel, a local organization that raises money for cancer patients and their families through softball tournaments.
Also honored at the event was Beberly Devers of North Bergen, the youngest World Champion Salsa dancer. The 6-year-old has been dazzling audiences from New York City to Israel and has appeared on a number of television shows.
"I respect him so much because I teach kids and his motto is 'Focus on your goal and if you focus on it, you can do it,'" Jersey City Councilman Daniel Rivera said of Cotto. "Since he was a little kid he always said he wanted to become champion and he did it. Especially for the youth, that is a powerful message. Just stay focused on your prize."
Speaking of Devers, the councilman said, "Oh my God that little girl, that girl right there, she wants to be a Latin Salsa professional dancer and she is doing it at the age of 6 years old. She is going to be amazing and she is going to grab for the stars."
Several Hispanic American elected officials from Hudson County joined forces to sponsor this event, including Garcia, Rivera and Hudson County Freeholder Junior Maldonado. Others supporting the event included Jersey City Puerto Rican Day President Luis Labron, Nick Jayme, Luis "Mosquito" Gonzalez, Samuel Santana, Chris Felix and Steohe.
At the event, Cotto spoke briefly on his pride at being honored during Hispanic Heritage Month and said he was pleased to celebrate his heritage with so many Jersey City Latinos.
The 33-year-old boxer fought his first professional fight in 2001, winning by TKO.
On June 7 he fought WBC and The Ring middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in Madison Square Garden. He knocked Martinez down three times in the first round and once in the ninth round before Martinez threw in the towel.
The win at the Garden made Cotto the first Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles in four different weight classes — middleweight, junior middleweight, welterweight and junior welterweight.
Michaelangelo Conte - The Jersey Journal
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