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MSG: A second home for Miguel Cotto

Boxer Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico greases up

Boxer Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico greases up his body before a workout at Trinity Gym in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Cotto is preparing to defend his WBA super welterweight title against Mexico's Antonio Margarito on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Madison Square Garden. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Madison Square Garden, sometimes referred to as the Mecca of Boxing, has a new name, according to Top Rank boss Bob Arum.

“You can rename Madison Square Garden the Mecca of Miguel Cotto,” said the longtime promoter.

The Cotto-Antonio Margarito welterweight fight set for Saturday night at the Garden, was sold out of tickets at 10:42 a.m. Thursday morning, producing a box office gate in excess of $3 million. It’s the second complete sellout of the Garden for Cotto, who has sold more tickets at the arena than any other boxer over the last 11 years.

His first sellout came in a welterweight title defense against Zab Judah on June 9, 2007. The Judah fight was one of many successful bouts at the Garden for Cotto. Cotto has wins over former IBF junior welterweight champ Paul Malignaggi, Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Michael Jennings.

Cotto has actually made the entire state of New York his second home. The 31-year-old Puerto Rican beat Yuri Foreman in front of over 22,000 at Yankee Stadium in 2010.

“Selling out Madison Square Garden is an event, selling it out in advance is a mandate. New York is Cotto country,” said Arum. “I don’t think any fighter has sold more tickets in this building than Miguel.”

Even Margarito (38-7-1), who is making just his second visit to the Garden as a boxer, understands how Cotto (36-2) feels fighting in the Garden.

“I know Cotto thinks he has a big advantage having the fight here [New York],” said Margarito. “That’s his security blanket.”

New York Sports