Wednesday, 03 June 2015 20:34

Miguel Cotto: Did middleweight champ beat a totally shot fighter in Sergio Martinez?

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On June 7, 2014, Miguel Cotto delivered arguably one of the best performances of his career, halting Sergio Martinez in ten to win the lineal middleweight title.

However, many are reluctant to give Cotto credit, insisting Martinez was damaged goods because he presumably hadn't fully healed from the extensive right knee surgery he underwent months earlier.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

Earlier this week, BoxingScene reported Daniel Geale's promoter, Gary Shaw, is among those who believe Cotto was simply in the right place at the right time.

“I don’t take anything away from Cotto.... But that Martinez was just a shot fighter, so I don’t give that fight any credence at all."

" … It wasn’t a fight. It was a one-legged fighter coming in, and Freddie [Roach] and Cotto took advantage of it, to their credit.”

Perhaps some aren't giving Cotto enough credit?

Even elite fighters who are compromised by injuries typically aren't beaten as soundly as Martinez that night. For example, Manny Pacquiao fought 'tooth and nail' with Floyd Mayweather last month despite a torn rotator cuff. 

It is understandable when a fighter who is susceptible to injury gets hurt during the course of bout, such as Pacquiao did against Mayweather. But keep in mind, Martinez barely escaped the first round against Cotto.

Would have Martinez's handlers pushed him in there against Cotto fully aware their fighter could hardly stand? Would any team abuse its fighter in such fashion?

Probably not.

If Martinez was THAT shot, he had no business fighting at all; especially in the headliner of a PPV card. 

While Martinez's not being 100 percent certainly hindered his performance, Cotto's impeccable timing and sense of range, speed and accuracy played a major role in Sergio's demise that evening.

After the fight, Martinez made no excuses about the knee.

"I got hit early, and I was cold. I never recuperated after that."

"You've got to know how to win, and know how to lose," he said. "If nothing else, I can only say congratulations to Miguel Cotto."

Lee Cleveland

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