Cotto in June 2010
|Real name||Abner Joel Cotto Román|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
August 10, 1987 |
Caguas, Puerto Rico
|Wins by KO||9|
|Representing Puerto Rico|
|Pan American Games|
Abner Cotto Román (born August 10, 1987) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer who currently competes in the lightweight division. He is a member of the Cotto family, which has produced a professional world champion and multiple amateur medalists. As an amateur, Cotto represented Puerto Rico in international competition. The pugilist compiled several national championships and recognitions, including his division's silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.
Cotto was the third of four brothers born to Simón Cotto and María Román. He is part of a family that has several members involved in the sport of boxing. Among his relatives there are pugilists, including his second cousin, multiple-division world champion Miguel Cotto and Pan American medalist José Miguel Cotto. Two of his uncles, Miguel Cotto Sr. and Evangelista Cotto are former boxers and work in other aspects of the sport. Other members of the family practice other sports, such as professional wrestler Carlos Cotto. Following this tradition, he became involved in the discipline at the age of ten, receiving training from Efraín Román in Aguas Buenas' municipal gymnasium. He won championship in numerous minor categories, eventually conquering Puerto Rico's South Central Regional title. In 2004, while still incapable of competing in the adult division due to his age, Cotto was selected by the Puerto Rican Boxing Federation to form part of the national team's back up group. After receiving this position, he participated in the Torneo Internacional José "Cheo" Aponte, advancing to the finals, where he lost to Olympian Carlos Velázquez but injured his arm.
National championships and Pan American Games
In early 2005, Cotto won the amateur national championship at the featherweight division. Consequently, the pugilist was included in a team that participated in an international tournament held in the Dominican Republic. Upon returning from that competition, he competed in an eliminatory to determine the roster for the Pan American Championships. After winning the first contest against Velázquez by walk over, Cotto defeated Wilfredo Bone by points, 48:19. In the finals he defeated Marcos Jiménez with scores of 43:18. In May 2005, Cotto completed his secondary education graduating from Josefa Pastrana High School. Despite his lack of international experience, he won the bronze medal in the Pan American Championships that took place in September 2005. This was followed by preparatory workouts in the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe. In the later, he was matched against Khedafi Djelkhir of France, with the contest being declared a draw. Between January 25–28, 2009, Cotto defended his national championship, defeating Velázquez in the process. After participating in a tournament held in Aruba, he participated in the Copa Romana held in the Dominican Republic, winning a bronze medal.
In March 2007, Cotto participated in the first classificatory for the 2007 Pan American Games, finishing second and classifying for the event. The following month he won a silver medal as part of a preparatory event held in Trinidad and Tobago, receiving a trophy for "Best Fighter" in the process. On July 9, 2007, Cotto's wife, Francesca Lavergne, gave birth to his first offspring, Alysha Cotto Lavergne. Only a week later, he debuted at the Pan American Games by defeating Miguel Escandón of Colombia with scores of 22:9. In the quarterfinals Cotto was matched against Luis Del Valle, a Puerto Rican who represented the United States, winning by points (13:9). In the semifinals, he defeated Davi Sousa of Brazil, 19:14. With this victory Cotto advanced to the finals, where he lost to Idel Torriente 5:7, after choosing to fight despite being affected by a cold. Cotto then participated in the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships, intending to gain a spot in the roster that participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, he lost his first contest to European Youth Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (26:9). On November 10, 2007, Aguas Buenas' municipal sports hall of fame dedicates its induction ceremony to Cotto. After competing in a tournament held in Martinique, Cotto participated in the American Olympic Qualifications. He defeated Jesús Cuéllar of Argentina (9:8) in his debut and Miguel Marriaga of Colombia (19:18) in the quarterfinals, but didn't qualify for the Olympic Games after losing to Robson Conceiçao (24:6) in the semifinals. On July 20, 2008, he joined Miguel Cotto's team and traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, following an invitation from Evangelista Cotto, who was interested in managing the pugilist as a professional. This marked the end of Cotto's amateur career, who signed a professional contract in March 2009, concluding with a record of 235-20. Due to his success as an amateur, the municipality of Aguas Buenas named its municipal gymnasium "Gimnasio Abner Cotto", in his honor.
A work group dubbed "Team Abner Cotto" and composed by trainer Efraín Román, assistant trainer Armando Alamo and Evangelista Cotto as manager was subsequently assembled. Cotto began his professional career performing for his cousin's promotion, Promociones Miguel Cotto. His first fight took place in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he defeated Edwin Gómez by knockout in 26 seconds. A month later, Cotto defeated Nelson Agosto in the first of four scheduled rounds. On June 26, 2009, he was paired against Jonathan González, winning by knockout in the second round. In his next fight, Cotto won his first decision over Alberto Amaro repeating the result months later against Guadalupe Guzmán. He closed 2009 by dissolving Jorge Luis Pérez Adorno's undefeated record, defeaing him by technical knockout in two rounds. On September 25, 2010, Cotto won a decision over Enrique Quiñónez in six rounds. He closed the year by defeating Alberto de Jesús Trinidad by technical knockout in three rounds. Cotto opened 2011 with a decision victory over Carlos Claudio.
On October 26, 2011, Cotto won the Puerto Rican National Lightweight Championship, earning a decision over Fernando Torres. In his first fight of 2012, he decisioned Hevison Herrera to secure the World Boxing Council's FECARBOX and World Boxing Board's Americas regional championships.
|Puerto Rican Lightweight Championship
October 28, 2011 – Present
|WBC FECARBOX Lightweight Championship
February 18, 2012 – April 20, 2014
|World Boxing Board Americas Lightweight Championship
February 18, 2012 – Present