A number of boxing observers believed that former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27 KOs) would yield a similar result when he fought Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) for the second time, writer included. However, what happened three years ago when they first traded leather was far from making a repeat. Cotto boxed Margarito beautifully and furiously, thudding the Mexican with combinations and dazzling him with superior footwork and defense.
“Footwork killed Margarito,” expressed two-time former world champion turned promoter Gerry Penalosa. “Cotto made a good move in rehiring his former amateur coach.”
But more than just the usual razzle and dazzle, Cotto was bent on making Margarito pay for the brutalization he received three years prior. And what’s more interesting is that Cotto had a target – Margarito’s recently operated right eye. An injury suffered by Margarito at the hands of Manny Pacquiao last year, the eye would prove to be the critical factor in the fight. There was nothing Margarito’s pressure fighting, size, and will could do.
By the middle of the third round, Margarito’s eye suffered a nasty gash. With blood trickling down, it was evident that the boxer known as the Tijuana Tornado needed to put a stop on Cotto and fast. But for a man who never runs out of steam, it seemed natural for Margarito to just weather the storm and surge in the later rounds. No surge was going to happen though, as Cotto made sure of that.
By the 10th round, Margarito’s surgically repaired eye probably needed another repair, as Cotto’s punches ballooned it up so bad the referee had no choice but call a halt to the bout. Margarito was still able to attend the post-fight press conference but not before receiving 12 stitches to close the gash just above his right eye.
With quest for vengeance complete and the score evened out, is a trilogy between the two worth mentioning? Not so, according to lawyer slash highly-acclaimed international boxing referee and judge Danrex Tapdasan. In a text message to this writer, Tapdasan believes that a trilogy should not even be considered.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point of their careers,” Tapadasan opined. “Margarito should retire now after the countless wars he has figured in in his illustrious boxing career due to his serious eye problem.
“We don’t want to see a former world champion lose his eyesight permanently.”
The very affable boxing official also said the Cotto is in position to explore more legit options as far as picking his opponents is concerned.
“It is now timely for Cotto to face new and tougher challenges. He may fight any of the junior middleweight champions for a unification. The most attractive of which is Saul Alvarez.
“He may also go down in weight and fight Mayweather or go up and fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.,” Tapdasan added.
Photo credits: Boxing Insider