Cotto avenges his first loss by teekayoing teak tough Margarito

4 Dec

Alan Dawson – London

Miguel Cotto produced a boxing masterclass by winning a shut-out victory over ‘Super’ WBA super welterweight world championship challenger Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, December 3. Cotto won every minute of every round by circling Margarito and showing a superior skillset throughout. Antonio was stopped on his feet prior to the tenth, as the referee halted the contest under advisement of the ringside physician.

Direct link to article.

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Cotto
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Margarito
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Official verdict: Tenth round technical knockout.

In New York, Margarito was public enemy numero uno yet the hatred felt for the Mexican did not faze Antonio, who seemed to revel in his role as the villain. The story’s hero was, of course, Miguel Cotto, who had the crowd in raptures when ring announcer Michael Buffer introduced the popular Puerto Rican.

Throughout the first round, Cotto boxed like he had done in his first fight with Margarito. He moved laterally around his target, peppering Margarito with combination-punching. One pre-fight talking point will have been about how, in Cotto’s mindset, Margarito fought him with gloves loaded with a plaster of Paris-like substance. However, how would the champion react if/when Margarito was able to summon up the same power and strength he had shown Miguel three years ago? From the opening two rounds alone, it was impossible to tell as Antonio couldn’t root his boots in order to plow a power punch into the Puerto Rican’s kisser as Cotto was constantly on the bounce.

A further conversational point had focused around the health of Margarito’s right eye that had been fractured and required multiple surgeries after the pulverisation handed to him by Manny Pacquiao last year. He had only been granted a license to box in NYC last week after being given a medical all-clear, but the whole ordeal presented Cotto and his team with an obvious target and, as early as the third round, a laceration to the side of the right eye opened up with a coloured swelling over it.

The third round had drama aplenty as, even though he had built up a formidable ascendancy by boxing-and-moving, Cotto elected to trade with Margarito – much to the delight of the blood-thirsty crowd. Margarito smiled when he was punched, shook his head as if to say he wasn’t hurt, but the marks on his mush told a different story.

Margarito landed his most powerful punch of the fight in the fourth when a hard right hand crashed into Cotto’s jaw. Cotto, though, responded like a champion by hitting his enemy with hateful left hooks. In the fifth round, Cotto – with his confidence growing with every minute – pummeled Margarito with five-punch combos. Cotto was wary about Margarito’s power… when he was backed against the ropes, whilst maneuvering away from danger he kept a glove close to his chin and temple in order to provide a cushion from incoming shots.

In the sixth round, the message behind every jab landed on Margarito’s right eye had revenge attached to it. A late starter, Margarito – like he did in the first bout – had begun to turn the tide by hounding Cotto with abuse and had his best successes when Cotto was trapped against the ropes. For Antonio, though, he would need to further work on cutting the ring off and closing/taking away the gaps that Cotto could move in to in order to gain a ten score, yet Cotto, too, was wise to this.

By the end of play in round seven, Margarito’s eye had swollen like it had done versus Pacquiao and the ring doctor was forced to check in on the proud Mexican, asking if he was okay and testing him by asking how many fingers was he holding up. In the eighth, Cotto continued to use lateral movement, yet was moving to his left, which was now Margarito’s blind side. Midway through the round, he double-jabbed Margarito’s problematic eye.

Jabs, left hooks and straight rights all connected with the eye that was becoming close to inspiring the doctor to deem the Mexican unfit to continue. Cotto had a perverse dedication to ruining Margarito’s face. Like the third round, there was a further toe-to-toe tussle with huge machismo shown by both fighters. Cotto crunched Tony with an uppercut, rocked his head back with a cross and threw fists with a reckless abandon.

The eye was so bad by the end of the ninth that Margarito was not allowed out to continue in the tenth. Cotto had stopped his nemesis, his enemy, the man he feels has most wronged him… he gave Margarito a boxing lesson and, in so doing, avenged the first loss on his record. It was a powerful performance and a skillful display, the Margarito loss in 2008 can be put behind him so he can now move on to other talent in a saturated 154lb weight class.

Cotto rose to 37-2-0, 30ko with the win, while Margarito dropped to 38-8-0, 27ko.

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6 Responses to “Cotto avenges his first loss by teekayoing teak tough Margarito”

  1. gentlemanjeff December 9, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Cotto still took enough punches that he should have looked similar to how he did in the first fight. I think Margarito was using loaded wraps.

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