Miguel Cotto wanted his revenge over Antonio Margarito, and in the wee hours of Sunday morning at Madison Square Garden, he got it.
Cotto dominated his adversary, peppering him with powerful combinations and targeting the surgically-repaired right eye of Margarito. Right as the bell rang for the 10th round, doctors from the New York State Athletic Commission advised referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight, and he did. Cotto earned the 37th win of his career against just two losses, and of course avenged the controversial loss to Margarito back in 2008. Margarito fell to 38-8.
The question coming into the fight was whether or not Margarito's punches would have as much power this time around as they did in 2008, when many believed Margarito's gloves were loaded. It didn't seem so, since the fight went almost identically to their first fight. Cotto bagged the early rounds, using his speed and movement and effectively keeping the fight in the middle of the ring. Their first fight turned in Margarito's favor in the middle rounds, and tonight, Margarito did have some moments in rounds five, six and seven. He kept pressuring, coming forward and, at times, backing Cotto up to the ropes. Margarito was able to land some of his signature powerful short uppercuts, but Cotto was able to deal with them.
In the third round, Cotto cut the right eye of Margarito, and for the rest of the fight it was an issue for the Mexican. Cotto targeted it and found success, firing off flush left hooks. By the Cotto-dominated the ninth round, the eye was just about fully shut. When Maragrito went to answer the bell for the 10th round, the doctors had made their decision. Margarito and his camp were visibly upset, pleading that the fighter could continue. It wasn't to be.
There was no love lost between the two and that continued after the fight. In his post-fight interview with HBO's Max Kellerman, Cotto was asked if Margarito's punches felt the same this time as they did back in the original fight. Cotto answered by saying he was still awake and that he was on his feet. Margarito still derided Cotto's punches as girly.
The war of words may have continued and may keep going into the future, but there's no debating that Cotto got his revenge.
We'll have more on the fight's fallout in the coming days, including what's next for both men (hint: Margarito should call it quits).