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Cotto Summoned Great Reserve, Discipline In Taking Margarito Apart...LOTIERZO

BY Frank Lotierzo ON December 06, 2011
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Cotto Margarito 111203 006aThis past Saturday night WBA junior middleweight title holder Miguel Cotto 37-2 (30) did more than extract revenge over former welterweight title holder Antonio Margarito 38-8 (27), he added another year to his career and kept himself alive as a viable marquee opponent for some of the younger up and coming junior middleweights. Cotto is no longer the fighter he once was physically, but he has evolved as a fighter and showed that he is very versatile and takes what his opponent gives him.

When he fought Margarito back in 2008, without knowing that quite probably Margarito had the advantage of loaded hand wraps, he literally tried to blast his way through him. And much to his dismay he found that Antonio is a savage in the ring with a cast-iron chin. A lot of fighters with the toughness, heart and mindset of Miguel Cotto would've more than likely repeated the mistakes of the first fight during the rematch. Granted, Cotto boxed well during the first five rounds of their first fight, but even at that he stayed inside too long and tried to land that one big finishing shot on Margarito hoping to get him out of there, thus he left himself open for Antonio's return. And once Margarito started to close the distance and could stay on top of him, Miguel slowly but surely succumbed to Antonio's pressure and probable hardened hand wraps around his fists.

Well apparently, Miguel really studied the tapes of their first fight and knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish, or at least try to during their rematch. It seems as though his first priority was to never let his back touch the ring ropes. By not going to the ropes he would keep Margarito from getting set to punch with any authority. And if we know anything about Antonio, it's that he must have his feet set and in position in order to get any leverage and power on his hooks and uppercuts. In order for Cotto to pull this off, he had to use his feet and keep Miguel turning, especially in the corners. Cotto did this beautifully and even on occasion gave Margarito a different look and circled to his right, further leaving Margarito in quicksand and forcing him to reset and start pursuing aimlessly again.

The footwork exhibited by Cotto was a sight to see and obvious to all watching the fight. This time Margarito, partly because he's lost a step or two, wasn't walking Cotto down. And when Margarito did land a good punch or two, Cotto smartly tied him up and halted whatever momentum Antonio was trying to build. Add to that Cotto's punching accuracy and insistence on throwing very fast straight one-twos, Margarito was becoming befuddled as the fight progressed.

Cotto also adjusted by not running, instead he clinched and smothered Margarito and fired off quick shots to blunt his pressure and aggression. He also spun Margarito off of him beautifully the few times Antonio did penetrate his one-twos, and that not only preserved him, it frustrated Margarito. Another brilliant thing that Cotto did against Margarito during their rematch was that hasn't been mentioned is, he seldom went to the body, something that took a lot of discipline for him being that he's a terrific body puncher and Margarito is open to the body. By Cotto not going to the body, he was better able to protect himself because his hands were always up. Had Miguel gone to the body more, he would've been vulnerable up top, which Margarito would've fed off of had he been presented with the opportunity.

All in all Miguel Cotto fought the most complete and smartest fight of his career since his bout with Shane Mosley in 2007. Against Mosley, Cotto wisely ceded that Shane was stronger than him and would welcome punching it out with him. Therefore Cotto moved back and took advantage of Mosley trying to push the fight and walk him down by laying back and countering him, which is what he did to Margarito this time, only he got off more and took the lead frequently against the slower and more physically damaged Margarito. And this was paramount because Margarito is better fighting as the attacker than Mosley.

This past weekend Miguel Cotto showed again why he's a real fighter. He approached the return bout with his most bitter rival so purposefully and blocked all the personal trappings out of his mind. He knew what he had to do once Margarito was in front of him in the ring and he did it to perfection. Sure, Margarito may not be the fighter he was and has no doubt slowed some, but Cotto took what he knew would be there and dominated the fight and won every round with the exception of the fourth. Now he's avenged one of his two defeats and will no doubt participate in another marquee boxing event.

Good for him. There's a lot of fighters around today who talk a great game and then fold like a two dollar suit in a hurricane under the bright lights. Not Miguel Cotto, he always gives his best effort win or lose. He's a certain Hall of Famer and has been worth every penny for every fan who has purchased a ticket to his fights or bought them on PPV.

Comment on this article

BHarper85 says:

Totally agree with the article. What Cotto did on Saturday night was an absolute thing of beauty. He fought the perfect fight. The sticking and moving, slipping, blocking and ridiculously excellent ring generalship were sights to behold. It was the sweet science at it's finest. Say what you want about Margarito's current state after his beating at the hands of Pacquiao, but I think Cotto would have given trouble to any welterweight or junior middleweight that night. That isn't to say he would've necessarily won but he would've made any top-flight fighter work for a victory. The revenge factor was really just icing on the cake. Cotto might be around for a while longer than initially expected. Maybe Saturday night was just his swan song to definitively validate his HOF career. But maybe it was a sign of a fighter who has transformed himself from into a wily veteran who will use his experience to make up for eroding physical skills. Only time will tell, but it'll be an interesting thing to watch.

teaser says:

anyone want to see Cotto-Mayweather ? I think right now is the time ...Floyd is a little slower of foot and Cotto could give him a good fight ....maybe not enough to win but enough to make it interesting ...it's one of those fights that should have happened years ago....I just love seeing good fights !! (spoiled by the 4 kings I guess)

FighterforJC says:

Uhm, Cotto did not "take Margarito apart." That would mean that Cotto built up his offense throughout the rounds to the point where he was hitting Margarito at will and with increasing regularity and violence. That did not happen. Cotto was a step ahead of Marg all night, thumbed his eye early on which began the swelling and did nothing differently for the remainder of the fight, save for the last two rounds in which Cotto went on full on survival mode and turned into an octopus.

Radam G says:

Well, Cotto did fight a masterfully bout with his hit and split syet. I give Cuban trainer, Doc Diaz, all the luv for this. He had Cotto fighting in a pro-amateurish style, and it worked wonderfully. And Tony Margarito and trainer Grandpa Garcia did not plan for that. They did not have a back up plan, so Cotto slightly dominated, or in the words of TSSU Reader FJC, "stayed [just] ahead of Margarito."

Talking about how great Cotto looked is quite hypocritical, IMHO. He simply did what he could and had to do to get the win. And, of course, he caused the closing of Margarito's eye by "thumbing" and throwing a slap-whip hook -- in the style of GOAT Ali and the greatest P4P of all times, Willie "Da Super Wiz" Pep. This type of hook is used to swell a pugilist up around the eye lids, then to hit him with a powerful right cross and bust his face wide open. Luckily for Tony, Miguel was not able to get many of those crosses on the right angle of the eyelid to bust open the skin. Holla!

amayseng says:

cotto definitely took margacheato apart...

it was a boxing clinic....

if i was cotto i would come out with an interview stating how i was devastated they

stopped the fight stealing 3 rounds from me of punching margacheato in his ugly face.


and yes, i would also like to have seen cotto go to the body and get him out of there.

that was my prediction, round 9 stoppage through body shots

FighterforJC says:

cotto definitely took margacheato apart...

it was a boxing clinic....

if i was cotto i would come out with an interview stating how i was devastated they

stopped the fight stealing 3 rounds from me of punching margacheato in his ugly face.


and yes, i would also like to have seen cotto go to the body and get him out of there.

that was my prediction, round 9 stoppage through body shots


You mean thank the doctors for saving him the humiliation of acting like a b***h and dry humping Margarito for the last two rounds?

mortcola says:

You mean thank the doctors for saving him the humiliation of acting like a b***h and dry humping Margarito for the last two rounds?


Awwww, Poor Miguel. F4Sanity may be right....Miguel was in TERRIBLE DANGER of being obliterated by something that didn't happen all fight. And even though he landed loads of punches, slipped almost everything, took what landed, and tied up and pushed off when needed, the really perceptive (and schizophrenic) among us just KNOW that Miguel was secretly weeping and was sending psychic wishes to the ref and the orbital-bone-fairy to make Margarito go away. I love it! My fear is that F4aGrip is gonna peak soon and we'll have to send him to a safe facility where they have wi-fi so he can keep it coming. The man just needs a big world to hate, and an internet connection to share it.

ali says:

anyone want to see Cotto-Mayweather ? I think right now is the time ...Floyd is a little slower of foot and Cotto could give him a good fight ....maybe not enough to win but enough to make it interesting ...it's one of those fights that should have happened years ago....I just love seeing good fights !! (spoiled by the 4 kings I guess)

I agree with u if the Pac fight is not made I think Mayweather vs Cotto would be big and a very entertaining fight....

DaveB says:

I too would have liked Cotto to do more body punching. I definitely don't think it would have open him up for counterattack if it had of been done right. You have to pick your shots down there not just go downstairs exclusively leaving yourself open. I really believe if Cotto had of done that he would have gotten Margarito out of there on his butt the same way Mosley did. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had the eye not been a factor but it was and that was a big part of the fight. But all the same I'm happy Cotto won.

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