Take that, Margacheato. Miguel Cotto fought a smart, contained fight, and avenged his 2008 loss to the Mexican in the main event at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. It was no Tijuana alley fight; Cotto stuck, and moved, and Margarito was a step behind the Puerto Rican. His troubled right eye was nearly totally closed by round seven. After the ninth, the docs and Margarito's corner debated whether he could go another round and the docs won. Ref Steve Smoger halted it after the doctors' say so.
Cotto (age 31; from PR; 36-2 with 29 KOs entering) was 152 1/4, while Margarito (age 33; 38-7-0-1 with 27 KOs; from Mexico) was 152 1/2 in this battle for Cotto's WBA crown.
The weight limit was 153 pounds or less, for the record.
Margarito featured corn-rows, for the record. He is 0-0 with corn-rows.
In the first, Cotto threw a left hook right away. Cotto moved, but smartly, not excessively. He put his punches together and was calm and effective. Cotto round.
In the second, Cotto went low and was warned. Margarito grinned his evil Grinch grin after a Cotto right landed. Cotto round.
In the third, the right eye looked swollen. Then it started bleeding. Cotto took another round, landing the cleaner shots.
In the fourth, it was a tight round. Margarito was a more effective aggressor.
In the fifth, it started to look like the first fight. Would Cotto tire himself out moving too much? I had it 3-1-1.
In the sixth, Cotto had a nice rhthym. He took another round. But what would happen in the late innings?
In the seventh, Cotto was in a nice mode. Marg chased but couldn't catch. That eye was closed.
In the eighth, Cotto fought another contained round. He stayed smart and on message.
In the ninth, Margarito knew he had little time left, that the docs might pull the plug. But Cotto was maintaining his edge.