Monday, July 28, 2008

Margarito stalks, then punishes Cotto on way to title

Antonio Margarito was turned down when his promoters tried to book a fight with p4p champion Floyd Mayweather and after he knocked out the reigned champion Miguel Cotto Saturday night it appears for good reason. The “Tijuana Tornado” stalked the champion for 11 rounds before his corner threw in the towel bringing an end to one of the best title fights in recent memory. Cotto actually won 4 of first 5 rounds and clearly was out boxing Margarito throughout the fight but never hurt the challenger. If fight was scored only on shots that make the head go back and “ooohh” crowd shock value then Cotto would have had a unanimous decision, but those punches, although clean and seemingly hard, didn’t faze the tornado, who kept coming and was taking the fight to the champ, not the other way around. By round nine, Cotto’s face was a bloody mess and he was on his horse running away, as if he were counting the minutes until the fight was over. Boxing was a sport in dire straights and the end of last year but it has had three great fights (2 of them epic) to help stave off the charge of Mixed Martial Arts, at least for now. This one was worth the PPV cost and will be looked at for quite some time but I was a little disappointed in the anointed P4P champion as he seemed to be running away from the fight after the sixth round. He scored with flashy, well timed counter punches throughout the fight but in retrospect they had little effect and he was the one who’s face was a bloody mess. Boxing owes a debt of gratitude to Antonio Margarito for stopping Cotto before this one had a chance to go to the scorecards, because if it did it would have been a draw or Cotto decision and that would have put the sport right back where it started.

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