There’s no question that boxer Miguel Cotto’s swift knockout of Daniel Geale in Saturday night’s World Boxing Championship makes him the one to beat. But does it make him kosher?
Cotto sports a tattoo of the Orthodox Union’s kosher symbol, a circle with the letter “U” in the middle, near his right collarbone. Elie Seckbach of the boxing website ES News reports that Cotto chose the emblem as a tribute to a Jewish friend in New York.
When asked to weigh in on Cotto’s choice of body art, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator and Chief Operating Officer of the OU’s Kashrut division Rabbi Moshe Elefant said that the OU works to protect the copyright of its symbol, but Cotto’s tattoo doesn’t present any major issues.
“It’s certainly not something we promote,” said Rabbi Elefant, citing the Biblical prohibition of tattoos. “We try to protect the OU symbol so it’s not misused, but I don’t think anyone’s going to confuse [it] and assume that he is a kosher food product and that they can eat him.”
In boxing lingo, an “orthodox stance” refers to a position often used by right-handed fighters where the left foot rests in front, a position employed by champions such as Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Cotto, however, is left-handed. Perhaps this unorthodox approach, combined with his unorthodox tattoo, will give Cotto an extra edge in the highly-anticipated match against Canelo Alvarez coming up later this year.
Cotto could not be reached for comment.