Sunday, 08 June 2014 04:44

Martinez vs Cotto: Winner simply dynamite

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Miguel Cotto unleashed a literal beating tonight, stopping Sergio Martinez in Round 10 via TKO.
It was, perhaps, the best performance of Cotto's career as the challenger scored 4 knockdowns with 3 coming in the very first stanza.

(Pic courtesy of HBO)

Martinez, showing true grit, survived the round but Cotto continued right from where he left off in Round 2, jolting the champion with his signature left hook which was as potent as it was accurate.

Aside from Rounds from 5-7, which Martinez made relatively competitive, Cotto thoroughly dominated.

Miguel was credited with a knockdown the ninth as Martinez's glove touched the canvas following yet after stagger compliments of a Cotto powershot. Even without the knockdown, Cotto was cruising to a 10-8 verdict in that stanza.

After the ninth, Martinez's trainer stopped the bout despite his fighter's plea to fight another round.

Official time was :06 of round ten.

All three judges had it 90-77 for Cotto after Round 9.

Martinez reinjured?
Although the HBO team speculated Martinez may have re-injured his right knee, the former champion made no excuses during the post fight interview with Max Kellerman.

"He caught me cold," Martinez said. "He caught me hard at the beginning and it was hard for me to come back from that."

Was Martinez not the same due to injury? Or was Cotto that solid?

Joining the ranks
With the win, Cotto improves to 39-4, 32 KOs and becomes the first Puerto Rican boxer to win a world title in four divisions.

Of greater significance, Cotto won more than the WBC title; He is now the real and legitimate lineal middleweight champion.

With the victory, the Puerto Rican follows in the footsteps of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, Jake LaMotta, Stanley Ketchel and the rest of the middleweight kings who were recognized as "champions" and not merely belt-holders.

Who will the winner face next?

Will it be Floyd Mayweather or Gennady Golovkin?

Will he face Canelo Alvarez who may be looking to bolt to middleweight provided he defeats Erislandy Lara next month.

  • Cotto connected on 212 of 395 punches in the fight (54%) and 158 of 293 power shots, or 54 percent. Martinez landed 100 of 322 overall and only 60 of 157 power shots.

  • Miguel looked every bit as monstrous as he did against Delvin Rodriguez last fall.

  • Although Cotto won almost all the exchanges, Martinez threw shots with bad intentions and landed some snapping jabs.

  • HBO's Jim Lampley suggested that even a 100% healthy Martinez may not have defeated Cotto tonight

  • Martinez's ability to survive that hellacious first round is worthy of merit 

  • In addition to landing his signature left hook which felled Martinez at least three times, Cotto even landed straight right leads. 

  • A round or two could have "arguably" been given to Martinez. HBO's Harold Lederman did award 'Maravilla' one round. That stated, it's not surprising the judges had Cotto winning every round as a case could also be made for the Puerto Rican winning every stanza.

  • Cotto didn't appear hurt at any time.

  • By the end of Round 5, Martinez was already in dire straits. To be victorious, he needed a) a knockout or b) to win all 7 of the remaining rounds with at least one 10-8 verdict 

  • Cotto's left hook to the body, which he landed with frequency, was wicked and it more than got Martinez's attention. As a matter of fact, those shots may have been the primary contributor to Martinez's unsteadiness.

  • Despite taking a beating. Martinez fought like a warrior till the end and tried to create opportunities to land that same looping left that felled Paul Williams
Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.