Sports

Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II: Recap, Analysis

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By Nick Tywalk

We've had some decent if not spectacular action on the televised undercard, and we're almost ready for the rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. Cotto boxed beautifully for more than half the fight when they first met three years ago, but Margarito eventually broke him down en route to an 11th-round TKO. Of course, the story of these two fighters has taken numerous twists and turns since then, and tonight's fight has become the nastiest of grudge matches.

Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward and Max Kellerman are on hand in New York's Madison Square Garden to call the action. The crowd should be very pro-Cotto, as Miguel has a huge Puerto Rican following in the Big Apple and has never lost in NYC.

Michael Buffer points out some of the famous retired boxers in the crowd, as well as Evander Holyfield. The Mexican national anthem is first, performed by Erasmo Catarino. That's followed by the Puerto Rican anthem by Christian Nieves and the American anthem by Andrea Rosario.

The tale of the tape shows that Margarito is three inches taller, though he does not have a reach advantage. Cotto is two years younger at age 31.

Margarito makes his ring walk first in a shiny red, green and white robe. Tony is 38-7 as a professional, but he is just 1-2 since his first meeting with Cotto.

The fans explode as Cotto slowly walks out, a look of determination on his face. Sporting a 36-2 record, Cotto has won four of five since his loss to Margarito.

As you'd expect, Michael Buffer handles the official introductions. Steve Smoger is the referee, and he is very experienced in big fights. The formalities are out of the way, so we're ready for 12 scheduled rounds of boxing for Cotto's WBA light middleweight belt on the line.

Round 1

Cotto tests Margarito with an early left hook. Bothmen are cautious as they shoot jabs. Cotto sneaks in a quick two-punch combo, then another. More jabs from Miguel. A quick exchange breaks out as both men fire hooks. Double jab and left hook by Cotto. Margarito tries a combo off his jab. Tony tries multiple jabs. Margarito smiles after taking a short right hand. Cotto fires a combination upstairs, finishing with his right hand. Tony lands a right hand as he keeps advancing.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 2

Cotto comes out swinging with a combination to the head. Margarito is warned for a low shot. Tony counters after blocking a punch. Left hook lands for Cotto. Nice right hand counter by Cotto. Margarito keeps smiling as he eats another head shot. Two-punch combo by Cotto, though Margarito is still coming forward. Left hook finishes another Cotto combo. Margarito starts letting his hands go, landing a right hand. He starts to find the range in the closing seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 3

Robert Garcia told Tony between rounds that he needs to stop chasing and cut off the ring. Cotto throws more combos as Margarito lands one to the body. Margarito just misses trapping Cotto along the ropes. Miguel lands more combo punches upstairs. Margarito may already be bleeding from the right eye. Tony tries to rush Cotto, perhaps worried about the eye. Cotto backs him up and they swing away. Both men are landing, but Margarito keeps shaking his head. Margarito walks through some punches and swings with both hands.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 4

Margarito told Garcia his eye is fine, but it doesn't look fine. Left hook by Cotto, and he's going to want to keep that up. Short right hand also lands for Miguel. He fires an uppercut and a left hook. Margarito is chasing for all he's worth, trying to cut off the ring. Margarito eats a left but lands his own right. Cotto bulls forward with his head down. Cotto hooks but Margarito unloads some uppercuts. Cotto tries to tie his man up on the inside. Tony lands some left hooks as they wrestle. Margarito bangs his gloves together, but Cotto keeps scoring.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 5

Left-right combination by Cotto that lands. Margarito jabs as he stalks. Left hook by Tony beats one by Miguel. Cotto lands another shot over Margarito's jab. Uppercut by Tony. Cotto uses a lead right to get out of danger, then fires a combo after getting off the ropes. They wrestle as Cotto tries to push Margarito back. Tony jabs away and is just a hair off with his straight right. Cotto covers up as Margarito walks in. Cotto lands a hook but it isn't stopping his foe from advancing.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 6

Harold Lederman gave the last round to Margarito. He comes out on the attack, shrugging off several quick Cotto combos. Miguel ducks away from trouble along the ropes. They trade for a moment as Margarito uses his uppercuts effectively. Cotto tries to get his left hook going again. He scores with two more. Cotto grabs and pushes Margarito back. Tony mugs Miguel on the inside. Cotto eats some body shots but gets a left hook in again. Margarito pressures all the way to the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 7

Margarito's right eye looks like it is nearly all the way closed. He turns up the heat with uppercuts until he's pushed back. Cotto has to keep moving - can he do it for 12 rounds? Margarito breaks through with a right hand after a left uppercut. Cotto responds with a three-punch combo. Quick left by Cotto as he dances away. Margarito keeps firing nasty body shots. Stinging left hook by Cotto. Margarito's chin is ridiculous. They lean on each other and smoke hooks at each other. Smoger has to break them apart right before the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Margarito

Round 8

Jabs both ways, but Cotto settles with two power shots upstairs. Left hooks fly as Cotto tries to keep Margarito back. Smoger calls time because Cotto needs tape work done on his left glove. Margarito pumps about ten jabs but ends up on the receiving end of a right hand. Cotto just misses a big left, but he does score with two hooks. Margarito is having trouble seeing Cotto in this frame. Some rough stuff on the inside as both men try to free up their gloves. Margarito connects with a right hand but immediately gets caught with a left hand.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Round 9

There's a long delay before this round as the doctor looks over Margarito's eye. Cotto greets him with a quick combination; he's still moving well. Margarito can only keep his right hand moving while getting tied up. Smoger is busy now. Margarito stumbles forward, trying to track Cotto down with one eye. They trade along the ropes with both men landing. Here comes Tony, trying to rip body shots. The fans react as Cotto lands two straight power shots. Margarito eats two left hands that snap his head back. Cotto got a rare body shot in there as well. Margarito tries to shake off another left along the ropes.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Cotto

Trainer Robert Garcia practically begs the doctor not to stop the fight, saying the previous round was his fighter's best. But after a lengthy discussion, the doctor won't let Margarito continue with his eye fully closed. Cotto gets his revenge by TKO.

The winner by TKO at 0:03 of Round 10... and still WBA junior middleweight titleholder... Miguel Angel Cotto.

Cotto tells Kellerman he feels good about getting his revenge. He also thanks the fans for all of their support. Miguel says he stared at Margarito in the corner after the bell to savor his victory.

Though he's usually a good sportsman, Cotto claims Margarito means nothing to him. Asked about how Margarito's punches felt this time compared to the first fight, Cotto simply says he's still standing after nine rounds.

Kellerman asks what is next, and Cotto says he has earned a nice rest, and after a few weeks, he'll feel ready to talk about boxing.

Max also manages to track down Tony, who claims that he could still pass the vision tests in the corner and that he knew everyone wanted to protect Cotto because he was coming on. Margarito still thinks Cotto hits like a girl and that he was busting up Miguel's face again.

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