Miguel Cotto has been in some wars in the boxing ring. It’s one of the reasons for his popularity, he virtually always makes for exciting fights. Because of the punishment he’s taken, Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) no longer finds himself near the top of many boxing pundits’ pound-for-pound lists. But he’s as tough as they come, and as long as he’s an active fighter, Cotto will be a test for anyone who opposes him.
He hasn’t kept as busy or as notable a schedule as he did in the mid-2000s, a run that validated his career with wins over the likes of Shane Mosley, Paul Malignaggi and Zab Judah. Cotto will once again call Madison Square Garden his home this Saturday when he looks for revenge against Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO). Before we move on to previewing their brawl, here’s a look back at Cotto’s last three fights.
March 12, 2011 – Miguel Cotto TKO-12 Ricardo Mayorga
Cotto was about a 10-1 favorite heading into the fight, and while he didn’t dominate as many thought he would, came away with a late knockout victory. The bullish Mayorga, as he has throughout his whole career, came forward and made it a brawl. After a rousing start by both men, Cotto was able to take over the fight in the middle rounds and showed his superior skill, hitting some signature hooks to the body to wear down the Honduran. In the final round, Cotto connected with a flush left hook, forcing a stoppage. It wasn’t incredibly impressive, but it was exciting.
June 5, 2010 – Miguel Cotto TKO-9 Yuri Foreman
Cotto moved up to the 154-pound limit for a shot at titleholder Yuri Foreman, a fight billed as the Stadium Slugfest – boxing’s return to Yankee Stadium. The nickname for the fight didn’t exactly bear out, as Cotto proved to be far and away the better man. The fight took a strange turn as Foreman’s knee gave out in the seventh round, and in the eighth, his corner threw in the towel. But referee Arthur Mercante Jr., as he had authority to do, said the fight should go on if Foreman wanted. Foreman fought valiantly on, but could only go as far as the ninth round before Cotto nailed a left hook to the body, putting Foreman on the canvas and finally forcing Mercante to stop it. It was a rare fight where both fighters won, as Cotto improved his record while Foreman won some fans with his toughness.
November 14, 2009 – Manny Pacquiao TKO-12 Miguel Cotto
Cotto earned a shot in Nov. of 2009 with the sport’s best, Manny Pacquiao. Cotto did have some moments early, but Pacquiao’s speed and accuracy started to take their toll. Pacquiao floored Cotto in the third and fourth rounds and was able to dominate the rest of the way. It was the type of loss that led many to believe Cotto might call it quits, but there was really no shame in it at all. Pacquiao was truly at the top of his game then, and Cotto did almost go the distance.
In the eyes of many, Cotto’s loss to Pacquiao is the only true L on his resume because of the controversy behind his loss to Margarito in 2008. Whether or not Margarito fought that fight with loaded gloves, Cotto has a chance to avenge the loss. His career will likely not last that much longer, but people should realize that on Saturday night they’re watching a fighter who has only lost in his professional life to the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet and a guy who possibly cheated.
Miguel Cotto is a pretty special talent, and we should all appreciate him while we have the chance.