By Jaime Feal
Super Welterweight Championship Bout (153 lbs.)
Miguel “Junito” Cotto (36-2) vs. Antonio “The Tijuana Tornado” Margarito (37-7)
For Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight Championship.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
The grudge match starts with a feeling out process. Cotto paws with a jab then a left hook. Cotto lands a straight but misses with a jab. Cotto with a good left-right combo. Cotto with another good combo. Cotto lands a jab. Margarito lands a jab. Cotto with a three punch hook combo. “Junito” digs to the body with a left hook. Good straight right by Cotto. Margarito lands a right hand. Cotto pops his head back with a jab. Margarito coming forward but Cotto landing all the punches while stepping in and out. Cotto lands a nice straight right. Cotto’s hand speed advantage is evident, as he throws combinations to the head. Margarito connects with a good one-two as he walks forward. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Cotto begins by darting in and out and throwing to the head. Cotto lands a low blow but Margarito wants to continue right away. Margarito misses with an uppercut and Cotto nails him with a counter right. Cotto with another big counter and Margarito smiles. Cotto has the perfect game plan right now if he can sustain this pace. Cotto with a big left hook and the partisan crowd goes wild. Cotto fires off four punches and lands a couple jabs. Margarito with a solid left uppercut to the body. Cotto with a nice jab. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s face is beginning to redden while Cotto is unscathed. Margarito jabs as does Cotto. Now Cotto hooks to the head. Margarito gets hit while throwing. Margarito chases Cotto down to the ropes but then Miguel slips away. Margarito with a jab. Cotto with some good punches. Margarito’s right eye is now bleeding; the same eye that almost caused Margarito to not obtain a license to fight. Margarito, now feeling a sense of urgency, is taking chances and swinging for the fences. Cotto is obliging by standing right in front of him, and the fighters and trading wildly. Big left hook from Cotto. Margarito smiles and continues to walk forward. Cotto lands a jab. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s right eye is swollen as we start round 4. Left hook-straight right combo by Cotto and the crowd goes crazy. Margarito keeps chasing Cotto around the ring. Cotto with some good left hands. Now a straight right and he ducks under a Margarito right. Margarito digs to Cotto’s body. Margarito with a one-two. Cotto tying Margarito up now. The fighters separate and Cotto lands a hook. Margarito is talking to him after it. Margarito smiling as he throws a one-two. Cotto lands a straight right. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s eye still swollen but it doesn’t look worse than the previous round. Margarito is leading with the jab and Cotto looking to counter. Cotto lands a jab. Margarito misses with a right. Cotto with a nice combination to the head. Margarito with a big right hand to the body. Cotto lands a couple hooks which Margarito shakes his head to. Margarito comes forward and lands a left uppercut. Cotto with a nice jab which Margarito walked right into. Margarito is jawing at Cotto in Spanish. Margarito has Cotto on the ropes and is landing to the body. Margarito has no respect for Cotto’s punching power..10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito comes forward and misses with a left. Cotto is on his bicycle and lands a jab then a left hook. Cotto with more jabs while backing up. Margarito still walking Cotto down and going to his body. Cotto with a nice left hook to the eye. Margarito looks to work on the inside but Cotto backs away. Margarito throws several jabs which Cotto dodges, but then Margarito lands with hooks to the body. Cotto nails Margarito with a left hook. Cotto with a double jab. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s right eye is now completely swollen shut. Cotto trades with Margarito on the inside. Cotto with a one-two as he continues to move away. Margarito with a hard right hand which has Cotto clinching. Now Cotto wakes back up with hooks to the head. Margarito misses with a right, but lands with a body shot. Cotto with a glancing left hook. Margarito has Cotto on the ropes, but can’t capitalize as Cotto slips away. Cotto with another hard left hook. Cotto jabs and ducks under a punch. Margarito is bleeding from the mouth in addition to having his eye swollen shut. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Cotto is immediately backed into a corner but circles away. Cotto lands two jabs and a straight. Margarito misses with a left hook. Cotto backs away and lands a left hook. Now two jabs from Cotto. Margarito lands a right then a left hook to the body. Margarito lands a short right uppercut on the inside. Cotto is jabbing and backpedaling. Margarito relentlessly coming forward and jabbing, now throws a straight right. Cotto lands two hooks to the head. Again Cotto works Margarito’s head with hooks. Margarito stalking Cotto with 10 seconds left but Cotto with a beautiful combination. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s right eye is being checked by the Doctor, and the crowd is starting to cheer loudly in anticipation of a Doctor stoppage. The eye is swollen completely shut, but Margarito says he wants to continue, and the Doctor allows it. Cotto with a jab. Margarito valiantly walking forward but not landing much. The fighters exchange hooks to the body on the inside. Cotto throws three hooks to the body, then lands with two big left hooks to the head. Cotto lands a jab on the right eye of Margarito. Cotto with an uppercut but Margarito responds with the same. Cotto snaps Margarito’s head back and the crowd is raucous. 10-9 round for Cotto.
Margarito’s right eye is again being checked out by the Doctor. “The Tijuana Tornado” and his corner men are adamant he wants to continue. The Doctor will not allow it this time as Margarito’s right eye is swollen completely shut, and the fight is stopped.
Miguel Cotto wins by TKO, Round 10.