NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Miguel Cotto (R) of Puerto Rico and Antonio Margarito of Mexico exchange blows during the WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
There was a big fight in the combat sports world last night (Sat., Dec. 3, 2011) and it certainly wasn't the lopsided, disappointing main event between Michael Bisping vs. Jason Miller at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the contrary, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito collided in a rematch three years in the making at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. An illegal hand-wrapping controversy seemingly overshadowed their first encounter, with Cotto convinced that Margarito's gloves were loaded with plaster and were the difference maker in the Mexican's technical knockout win.
Cotto wanted the opportunity to get his revenge, angry that Margarito not only toyed with his professional boxing career, but also his personal health, by battering him for 11 rounds with cement-like fists. Margarito, who denied the allegations and was never fully found to be at fault, welcomed the opportunity to prove that he is indeed the better fighter.
It went nine rounds last night, and in the end, there was a clear-cut winner, but once again, it wasn't completely without its share of controversy.
Let's get to it:
Before getting to the details of the rematch last night, go back and take a closer examination of their first encounter that was aptly-named "The Battle" for its back-and-forth action. Even though Margarito came from behind to score a technical knockout win, it was mired in controversy shortly thereafter. Find out why:
Get a detailed blow-by-blow of each and every round of the second fight as Cotto boxed his way to nine rounds of revenge, refusing to get drawn into another brutal brawl. Also get a look at how our very own Patrick Stumberg scored the bout as it went along.
Read the recap of the explosive rematch and get analysis on how the fight went the way it did and why. It wasn't nearly as close as Margarito defiantly declared in his post-fight speech.
Margarito's right eye, which was nearly beaten out of its socket by Manny Pacquaio, was the subject of much consternation and debate heading into this weekend. In fact, his surgically-repaired eyeball/socket -- new lens and all -- wasn't cleared for competition until a week before the fight. Then, Cotto hammered it all night long en route to a technical knockout finish. See the damage for yourself and you decide.
- Cotto vs Margarito 2 results: Pic of Antonio Margarito's eye that forced stoppage in Miguel Cotto fight
Watch the video highlights from the fight and see for yourself how Cotto masterfully avoided the agression of his Mexican counter part. This was literally a boxing clinic put on by the Puerto Rican, which will more than likely lead to a score-settling trilogy match.
Early stoppages in all combat sports often raise more questions than are answered. Should Margarito have been able to continue, even though he was hurt bad and down big on the judges scorecards? Was he one big round away from duplicating his previous performance? Or is Cotto far and away the much deserved winner for his tactical performance?
That's it from us, Maniacs. What gets your vote for the biggest story coming out of this mega-fight in "The Big Apple?" Sound off below.