Aftermath of the Cotto – Margarito Fight

The Junior Middleweight title? Nobody cared about that. It was all about Miguel Cotto getting his revenge over Antonio Margarito, and the Puerto Rican fighter, backed by nearly the entire sold out Madison Square Garden, got his win, destroying Margarito’s face, with a 10th round TKO.

Three years he’s been waiting, and the one-sideness of it all was a bit disappointing. On the other hand, it was to be expected. Margarito seemed like a done fighter from the moment he beat Cotto. He looked bad against Mosely, without the plaster in his gloves. Did he have plaster in them the night he beat Cotto to a 11th round submission, with Cotto taking the knee? I belive he did. Three years later his performance partially proves it, but not entirely.

Margarito’s right eye was the most talked about aspect of this fight after revenge, revenge, bad blood and revenge. The beating Margarito took against Manny Pacquaio in Dallas over a year ago should have ended his career. One thing you can’t take away from Antonio Margarito, the Tijuana Tornado, is his chin and ability to take punches and keep coming back for more. He fought with his eye completely shut for a few rounds before the ringside doctor finally put an end to a fight that should have ended much earlier.

Margarito kept getting hit, and kept smiling at Miguel Cotto, who didn’t phase out. Psychology tricks meant nothing on a night like this. Margarito is simply not good enough, today, or maybe ever, to beat Cotto. His win three years ago will simply go down as controversial, maybe even more, in the history books. Miguel Cotto? Not the greatest fighter to enter a ring, but he’ll be remembered as the good guy, the better fighter, that got the win he deserved.

Miguel Cotto wasn’t exactly classy in his victory, going over to Margarito’s corner, with a destroyed to a pulp face, making sure Margarito saw him, knew who won the fight. Not classy, but that’s one of the great things about boxing. One of the great things about fights that are beyond a title or sports. Fights about personal pride, revenge and hate.

I wanted to taste my victory, I wanted him to be savoring it, with the one eye he had left. He means nothing to me. I’m here with all my people, and he means nothing to me.

Margarito, always the arrogant villain he was meant to play, actually though he did pretty good. He didn’t seem to want the stoppage. I thought I threw the harder punches. I was doing fine. But I needed more rounds to beat him. I knew they were out to protect Cotto. I was coming on. I hurt him, look at his face. I keep saying it: he hits like a girl. I never felt the punches. I never pulled back. He was the one pulling back.

Cotto looked just fine, smiling, relieved, when his hands were lifted. Margarito, not so much. It wouldn’t be a big surprise if this would be his last boxing fight. With the damage he’s taken the last two fights, with the danger of losing his eyesight, no state should allow him to be licensed and fight. For Cotto, it’s a different future.

This was Miguel Cotto’s last fight as a Top Rank fighter, unless he signs a new deal. He made $5 million and more will come with his share from the PPV profits (Margarito took home $2.5 million and a smaller share). What’s next? Who knows. Going up the divisions, despite the favorable record, hasn’t done Cotto great things, meaning he isn’t the fighter he used to be.

Still, the man is a big draw, and the WBA Super champion. A unification fight, and another Mexico – Puerto Rico battle, against Saul Alvarez, could be an interesting option. He won’t be fighting anyone from Welterweight, that’s my guess. Certainly not Pacquiao, certainly not Mayweather. Maybe someone from middleweight ready to make the way down at some catchweight? Sergio Martinez possibly, dying for a big fight? Julio Cesar Chavez? Intriguing options, especially financially.

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