The Mexican kept coming forward, like a Terminator. he ate shot after shot, but his chin, sturdy beyond belief, kept him on his feet. Then in the eleventh round of a classic tussle at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday evening. Antonio Margarito imposed his will on Miguel Cotto, and forced the Cotto corner to throw in the towel after Cotto hit the deck twice. Blood streamed from Cotto's left eye, and he tasted it, and his first professional loss. The end came at 2:05, via TKO.
Cotto came in with a 32-0 (26 KOs) mark while Margarito came in with 36-5 (26 KOs) record. Both men weighed in Friday at 147 pounds. Cotto's WBA welterweight bout was on the line.
Cotto looked super confident in the first. He moved smartly, and banged away at Margarito, who didn't get untracked. In the second, Margarito warmed up. They traded, and Margarito landed a sharp right. Cotto landed hooks, but his nose leaked blood. They both landed 35 shots in the second. In the third, Margarito was all forward motion. Marg drew a warning to keep em up, his second. Thirty seconds later, it happened again. Cotto looked like a seriously slick boxer.
In the fourth, Cotto made the slower handed Margarito miss often. The Mexican's jab wasn't a potent weapon. The Puerto Rican's accuracy was impressive. Margarito would've been well served to work the body, as Cotto's slipping was on message. In the fifth, Cotto's jab kept Margarito at bay. A sharp combo snapped Margarito's head back. He made Margarito miss like Pernell Whitaker at the end of the round.
In the sixth, Cotto kept his senses, a la Money Mayweather, while backed on the ropes. He backed up, as usual, but not in a manner to put off the judges, in my opinion. He worked in some uppercuts in the round. While lefty, he smacked home a left. In the seventh, Cotto's D was impressive. Then Margarito came on at the 1:40 mark, and he had Cotto holding on. "Now we have our classic," Max Kellerman said. Superb round of action. Margarito landed 40 to Cotto's 23.
In the eighth, Cotto moved better than before. Both men had good wind, but Margarito is almost like a Terminator with his resolute forward movement. Has anyone checked his chin for a foreign object? Cotto moved mostly to his left, by the way, away from Margarito's left hook. Of course, Tony's right is none too shabby as well. In round nine, Cotto landed better, but would the judges reward him as he moved backwards? He was slipping so well, were the judges sophisticated enough to see this? In round ten, blood came from Cotto's nose. But Cotto moved so well, he confounded Margarito. Until the 10 second mark, when Margarito landed a left-right-left that stunned the Puerto Rican.
In the 11th, Margarito was again unphased as he ate shots. He had Cotto on the ropes and the crowd gasped. He went down, to one knee, at 1:32. Blood streamed from his eye. He held on for dear life, and then took another knee. The towel was thrown in, and Margarito exulted.
Stay tuned for Ron Borges' in depth ringside report.