It’s Ugly Today In Cotto Land For Miguel And Evangelista

None of this is very pretty, and despite what Miguel Cotto might assert, it is kind of our business: The welterweight star and his uncle/trainer Evangelista got into a series of violent exchanges that will result in Evangelista no longer training his nephew, landed Evangelista in the hospital and may lead to criminal charges for both.

In one sense, it isn’t our business, true. On that level, it’s a family matter. On the other, though, it is the Cottos who mixed family and business. If you’re a boxing fan, your ticket purchases, pay-per-view purchases and television subscriptions directly pay the Cottos. And the chance that Miguel Cotto could spend some time in jail means we, as fans, may not be able to buy tickets to or watch the June 13 fight between Cotto and Joshua Clottey. What’s more, trainer switches and the like are totally fair game for discussion.

My first reaction was to make a joke, which was, “I’m guessing Evangelista regrets training Cotto to be such a good fighter.” But it’s gallows humor for a situation that disappoints me, as a guy who really likes Cotto. For a boxer who has such a cool mercenary-like approach in the ring, it’s remarkable that his family drama has repeatedly threatened to hurt his career.

On the plus side, while Evangelista is a good trainer, he’s not a great one, and Cotto probably will be better off, on both a personal and professional level, for the break. Miguel has shown steady improvement over his career, but he had a flawed game plan in his loss to Antonio Margarito. And a lot of mixed boxing/family relationships have improved after some professional ties are severed. Maybe something positive, some of it our business and some of it not, will come out of this.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.