COTTO TKO-12 MAYORGA
WBA super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, 30 years-old from Puerto Rico, won a hard fought twelfth round TKO over former champion Ricardo Mayorga, 37 years-old from Nicaragua, on 12th March at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The brewing grudge match between Miguel Cotto and Ricardo Mayorga ended violently moments when the Puerto Rican champion spelled the end of the bully Mayorga with a big left hook in the final round.
The bout started out as expected, with Mayorga swinging wildly and Cotto boxing well. Both landed big shots in an exciting round one. Both fighters continued to throw big and land shots with an edge to Cotto who stayed very disciplined and boxed well.
Cotto was very proficient with his jab and boxing skills as the he was easy to land on the bar brawling Mayorga. Mayorga made it dificult at times for Cotto as some of wild but hard swing got through and even looked like he wobbled Cotto on one occasion. The two engaged in wild exchanges throughout the affair with the challenger giving as good as he received and begged Cotto to fight him in the corner a couple times during the fight.
Cotto held a high guard and lead with a blistering jab. Mayorga had a strong round seven and looked better than he had in years. Mayorga was swinging for the fences all night long and despite landing a few flush bombs, Miguel Cotto put on a boxing clinic.
In the final round, Cotto and Mayorga both threw huge left hooks with Cotto catching Mayorga flush on the jaw. Midway through Round 12, Cotto landed a telling counter left hook that toppled Mayorga and caused a delayed reaction knockdown scored for Cotto. Mayorga went down holding his hand but got up. Cotto landed a couple of shots and Mayorga just spread his arms out in the corner and summoned referee Robert Byrd at the 0:53 mark of the 12th and final round when Mayorga cited a hand injury.
Miguel Cotto improved to 36-2-0 (29 KOs) and retained his WBA junior middleweight title. He will now look for a summer showdown rematch with Antonio Margarito.
Mayorga’s record dipped to 29-8-2, 23 (KOs).
“I tried to finish the final round but the pain in my hand was too much,” said Mayorga. “I don’t care about my thumb; I didn’t want it to end like that.”
After the fight, the humble Pride of Puerto Rico complemented his opponent, “Mayorga has pretty strong hands and he could beat anyone.”
Mayorga showed a rare bit of respect in return, “As a man, I have to admit when I do well and when I do not. Give Cotto credit,” said Mayorga. “He hits hard and is a great champion.”
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