Moments ago inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Miguel Cotto successfully defended his WBA junior middleweight crown with a 12th round TKO over game but outmatched Ricardo Mayorga. This fight wasn't electric but Cotto did his part and can now look towards a prosperous future.
The first two rounds of the fight were fought at a calculated pace from each man as Cotto took the lead and landed more consistently. Many expected Mayorga to come roaring out of the gates but he actually was very timid.
In the third a visibly irritated Mayorga baited Cotto, motioning him to come to the corner and swing away, but Miguel kept his composure and continued fighting a disciplined fight. The fight wasn't nearly as action-packed as many expected as Cotto seemed content on slowly picking Mayorga apart.
Mayorga began to open up a little bit in the 4th although many of his punches were blocked by Cotto. Towards the end of the round Mayorga had his best moments as he swung wildly at Cotto, landing a few grazing shots. Cotto took the punches well and simply smiled at his foe.
The fifth was pretty entertaining as Mayorga again motioned for Cotto to come and get him by leaning against the corner. Cotto obliged and began cracking the Nicaraguan with some fine uppercuts that definitely caught the 38-year old's attention. Mayorga would attempt to answer back but his punches didn't land with the same frequency.
Round six was another Cotto round but in the seventh Mayorga woke up, at least towards the end, staging a hellacious onslaught towards the end of the stanza. Cotto was copping some clean shots and began noticabely backpedaling for the first time in the fight.
Mayorga started strong and finished strong in the eighth but the two minutes and forty seconds in between was all Cotto. Mayorga was showing every bit of his age and Cotto again had success picking him off with stinging uppercuts.
As the championship rounds approached the fight began to seem like a replay as Cotto controlled the action for the majority of the time while Mayorga would occasionally swing for a home run shot without much success.
In the twelfth round Cotto ended the night by landing a crippling left hook that caught Mayorga flush on the chin. Mayorga was shaken and seemed to have a delayed reaction as he took a knee moments later. He would rise but Cotto jumped on him to finish the contest just moments later as Mayorga opted not to continue.
Continue now can set his sights on rematches with either Antonio Margarito or Manny Pacquiao, the only two men to defeat him. Margarito was in attendance and was greeted with a cheer of boos when he was flashed on the overhead monitors.
Cotto and Margarito appear to be headed for a July face off in either New Jersey or Las Vegas.
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com