Posted 07-27-2008 at 12:55 AM by NFFC
This fight was a fight that boxing fans have waited for for a long time. Called "The Battle", unbeaten Miguel Cotto (32-0 26 KO's) put his unbeaten record and Welterweight Championship on the line against relentless pressure fighter Antonio Margarito (36-5 26 KO's). The fight finally happened tonight in front of 12,500 people at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
At the start of the fight it became clear that Cotto's strategy was to keep moving, box and evade Margarito's powerful punches. In the first round this worked beautifully, as Cotto successfully landed the harder punches. Round Two however was slightly different. Cotto chose to trade at times, playing into Margarito's hands. Round Two went to Margarito. As expected, Cotto outboxed Margarito, Margarito out-fought Cotto. In rounds three to six Cotto went back to the strategy of outboxing Margarito, and again he landed the harder cleaner punches, the left hook being particularly successful. It was interesting to see both fighters targeting the body too, with Margarito occasionally straying low. After six rounds I had it five rounds to one in favour of Cotto, 59-55. However the second half of the fight would be much different to the first.
Margarito's pressure style began to wear Cotto down after the sixth round, and the wild uppercuts and hooks that had missed earlier in the fight were suddenly landing In the seventh he hurt Cotto badly with a series of punches that left Cotto holding on. In the ninth Margarito began to outwork Cotto convincingly as he began to tire. Then in the 11th round the end came, as Margarito hit Cotto with a flurry of punches which forced him to go down on one knee. All of a sudden, Cotto looked done, and as soon as Margarito came forward again and caught Cotto in the corner he went down again as if to surrender. Then the towel came in. Margarito won and became the new Welterweight Champion.
In summary, the fight started well for Cotto as he landed the cleaner, harder shots, the left hook being a particularly good punch for him. However Margarito refused to lie down, and wore Cotto down after that. Cotto gradually became slower, and the tactic of hit and move became less effective. At the end Miguel Cotto's face was bloodied and battered, and he immediately went back to his dressing room, too upset to give interviews. Margarito was left to look forward at a possible De la Hoya matchup, or a highly anticipated rematch. For Cotto, he has to rebound as good as he possibly can, and I think he will take the re-match if it is offered. This fight runs Vasquez-Marquez very close for fight of the year, as every round had twists as turns, as Cotto dominated the first half, Margarito dominated the second half, stopping a bloodied Cotto in the 11th round.