After three years of controversy and a savage war of words, Miguel Cotto finally got a second crack at rival Antonio Margarito last night (Sat., Dec. 3, 2011) in New York, with every intention of proving that without the aid of plaster, the Mexican bruiser is simply no match for him.
Color me convinced.
Much like in the first bout, Cotto used his speed and technique advantage to full effect in the early going, battering the lumbering Margarito relentlessly with brutal combos.
The difference this time around was that he didn’t stop.
For nine rounds, Cotto absolutely beat the tar out of Antonio Margarito, never letting his towering foe unleash his legendary pressure. Margarito’s damaged right eye swelled up something fierce, so much so that Steve Smoger, who almost seemed to be enjoying it, acquiesced to the doctor’s recommendation and stopped the bout, giving Cotto his long-awaited revenge.
Cotto has now won three straight, all by stoppage, while Margarito falls to 1-3 in his last four. Are his days as an elite fighter over? It looks like they may very well be.
Some intrigue was injected into the co-main event yesterday when titleholder Brandon Rios failed to make weight on several attempt for his bout with John Murray. What was initially expected to be a one-sided slaughter on his part suddenly got a lot more interesting.
For a little while, at least.
The English bruiser had his moments in the middle rounds, sure, but once Rios got a head of steam going, he simply would not be stopped. In the penultimate round, a solid series of uppercuts and hooks from the American left Murray out on his feet and despite his valiant effort to stay upright, he was not defending himself intelligently enough to keep the ref from stopping it.
Due to missing weight, Rios is stripped of his title, but there remain many interesting match-ups for him at 140-pounds or above. Murray proved himself an absolute warrior.
Earlier this year, Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez engaged in an absolute war, going to a majority draw in a bout many consider the "Fight of the Year." Fans were salivating at the prospect of the rematch and eagerly awaited another back-and-forth slugfest.
Rodriguez was only too happy to disappoint.
From the get-go, the range and precision of Rodriguez was too much for Wolak. While the Jersey-based fighter pushed forward relentlessly, he was decimated both from the outside and from the point-blank range he thrived in. Delvin’s uppercuts and hooks landed with devastating regularity, and while he never managed to truly rock Wolak, he had him stunned on more than one occasion. He eventually took home an appropriately lopsided decision that showcased both Delvin’s impressive speed and Wolak’s astonishing resilience.
In the first bout of the evening, unbeaten American Mike Jones took on rugged Argentinian veteran Sebastian Lujan in what was regarded by many as a hidden gem.
Not so much.
Jones spent the majority of the bout using his height advantage and constant jab work to keep Lujan at bay, and despite Lujan abandoning any and all semblance of defense in the later rounds to come at him head on, he was unable to hurt the Argentinian after mildly stunning him with a right hand in the first. Though he took the unanimous decision, Jones left a lot to be desired.
By winning the fight, Jones placed himself in line to challenge for the IBF welterweight title, but he’s still got quite a bit of work to do to establish himself as a member of the elite.
For complete Cotto vs. Margarito 2 results and round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.