Miguel Cotto dominated Antonio Margarito from the opening bell of their fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday nite, retaining his WBA Light Middleweight crown in the process. it was a long time coming for Cotto, who lost in controversial fashion to Margarito, in their July 2008 fight. Margarito won by 11th-round TKO, but later came under suspicion of cheating, after using illegal hand wraps, in a subsequent match against Shane Mosley.
if u saw the 24/7 episodes on HBO, then u know both men were chomping at the bit to get at each other. Cotto b/c he believes (along with most boxing observers) that Margarito weighted his gloves, and Margarito out to prove he’s not a cheater. the tension was palpable, esp. during their face-to-face interview. there was so much bad blood between the two, that promoter Bob Arum called off the traditional staredown, that goes along with the final press conference before the fight.
the rematch was stopped three seconds into the 10th round, as Cotto had swollen Margarito’s right eye completely shut. the eye had been a source of concern entering the fight, requiring a doctor’s approval, before the New York Boxing & Athletic Commission would sanction the fight. Margarito injured the eye, in his previous fight, against Manny Pacquiao.
for Cotto, it was his third straight victory, and second successful title defense since beating Yuri Foreman, for the crown in June 2010. it was great to see Cotto get his revenge, and also great that Margarito lasted as long as he did, since I took the over on what round the fight would be stopped in.