The simmering feud between WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and his trainer and uncle, Evangelista, boiled over Wednesday when the two got into a fistfight at a Caguas, Puerto Rico, gym where Cotto trains, according to a newspaper report.
Primera Hora, a Spanish language newspaper, reported that Miguel and Evangelista got into a verbal dispute not long after Miguel arrived at the gym around 3:15 p.m. local time. Miguel Cotto fired his uncle and Evangelista responded with a punch to his nephew's face.
According to the report, after Miguel left the gym, Evangelista followed the boxer to his home and the argument continued, and Evangelista Cotto threw a brick at his nephew that missed the fighter and went through the passenger window of Miguel's car, a 2009 Jaguar.
Cotto spokesman Bryan Perez said the WBO champion would release a statement Thursday and declined further comment. Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels said neither founder Bob Arum nor president Todd duBoef were available for comment because they were observing Passover. Samuels, however, said Arum was aware of the incident.
Veteran trainer Miguel Diaz works as an assistant trainer for Cotto, but was not in Caguas for the reported incident. He said he had not been able to reach either Cotto and said he had no details.
"It's no secret that there was a lot of tension between them," Diaz said. "I knew that, but I didn't ever expect to hear they would fight each other."
Diaz said Miguel Cotto wanted to train in Tampa, Fla., for his June 13 fight in New York against IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey. Diaz said Evangelista Cotto wanted to remain in Caguas, where he has a lot of fighters, but it is unclear if that disagreement precipitated Wednesday's reported fight.
Among those who broke up the fight was Miguel Cotto Sr., the fighter's father and trainer's brother.