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Written by Ian Wallwork

Miguel Cotto Beats Antonio Margarito

If you like drama you must have loved last night's action. Two main events, both with the intrigue and back-story of a P.D. James murder mystery novel, undercards stacked so well that they would stand up if you took out the main fights. It was the best boxing night of the year.

In the past few months we've had fights with the big names - Mayweather/ Ortiz and Hopkins/Dawson. Much-anticipated, expensive bouts that, in the end, disappointed. But they drew in the crowds. In the combined five rounds of the above fights, fortunes were made for the men lucky enough to profit from the fights. Fans were given nothing.

For an event to make millions, you need to have one of these:

  • An intriguing backstory
  • Big names
  • An undefeated record
  • A popular underdog
  • A good style match up

Let's have a look at how last nights fights held up.


Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito

Backstory: the Cotto / Margarito rivalry has one of the richest stories in years. Margarito acts as the villain of the piece and provides us with the plotting and treachery, whereas Cotto comes across as the hero. You won't find a better storyline in boxing.

Big names: Cotto and Margarito are two of the biggest names in the sport. Cotto has held five world titles and beaten the likes of Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosely and Zab Judah. His rival has won four world belts, beaten some top opposition and is a feared name. 

Or he used to be.

Popular underdog: Bookmakers had Cotto as the favourite last night, leaving Margaritio as the underdog. But does he meet the crowd-drawing status of "popular underdog"?

Ha.

The only dog I have seen less popular than Antonio Margarito is Cujo, and even that is open to debate. Take the loaded fists issue and put it to one side, and you still have a guy who is hard to like. In HBO 24/7 series Margarito came across as cocky, childish and rude. A photo of him made big Internet news when, with a screwed-up face, he said "f@@k Cotto". Margarito has sold this fight on the basis of him being a villain.

Cujo's stock has risen since HBO's 24/7 with Cotto and Margarito


Cotto vs Margarito - The Fight

Prior to last night it was thought we'd seen the last of a prime Miguel Cotto. Over ten rounds he proved us wrong. He dominated a fight where the stats had him on top round after round. Have a look at the punch numbers taken by Compubox:

Cotto - landed 210 of 493 (43%)
Margarito - landed 157 of 700 (22%)

Although Margarito was the embodiment of determination, it was his eye that lost him the fight. You may already know that his eye caused him problems before the match even began when getting his boxing license was touch-and-go. Last night Cotto's fists welded it shut and the referee thought enough damage had been done to end the fight.


Is this the end of the bad blood between Cotto and Margarito?

It is common to have a lot of hate in pre-fight buildup. A recent example is the preamble to the Nathan Cleverley vs Tony Bellew fight. The two fought a war through the media, each trying to be more obnoxious than the other. It sold seats and we got a terrific fight. Then, when it was all over, the two hugged and became best friends.

My point is that things often get settled in the ring - fighters love to hug it out at the end of a match. Was this true of last night? Well I'll leave you with two after-fight quotes from Cotto and Margarito:

"He means nothing to me. He means really nothing to me." Miguel Cotto

"I hurt him. Look at his face. I'll say it again: He hits like a girl." Antonio Margarito

Yep, it looks like the two will be best friends.


For part two of the revenge weekend, Abner Mares vs Joseph Agbeko, click here.