Miguel Cotto Decisions Mosley In A Thriller

miguel cotto10.11.07 - By Matthew Hurley: In a scintillating bout before a raucous crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City, WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto retained his title with a unanimous decision over a very tough and spirited Sugar Shane Mosley. Cotto won by scores of 115-113 twice and 116-113.

The fight started off briskly with Mosley going to the body immediately, apparently trying to send a message to Cotto that there were two body punchers in the ring. Cotto would counter Mosley’s tactic by trying to establish his jab, which he did, snapping Mosley’s head back on several occasions.

The early rounds were contested entirely in the center of the ring with Mosley slinging those intermittent body shots while focusing primarily with a right hand over the top that would eventually cut Cotto over the right eye later in the fight. Cotto typically slung his left hook, but his predominant weapon early was a stiff jab. He would then quickly switch to an unorthodox position and land his own right hand.

At the end of the fifth round Mosley looked a little tired and seemed weary in the corner. His father Jack told him to start using the jab and Mosley replied, “I don’t know why I’m not using it.” Cotto took the sixth round and then both fighters seemed to acknowledge the pace of the fight in the seventh. It was in the seventh that Mosley began to bounce on his toes, trying to reestablish his game as he often does when he decides to switch to “Plan B”.

Mosley continued to bounce and move on the outside but Cotto pressed forward behind his jab. Then, in the ninth round, the momentum of the fight changed noticeably as Cotto began moving backwards. Mosley, sensing his advantage, stalked Cotto around the ring, landing those overhand rights. Something seemed to be bothering Cotto and a cut in his mouth, in the same area suffered in his fight with Zab Judah, was revealed in the corner between rounds.

In the final rounds Cotto decided to box. With the fight obviously close it came down to what you preferred. Mosley was the aggressor in the last three rounds but Cotto was countering effectively off the ropes, particularly in the eleventh round. However he seemed to concede the final round to his onrushing challenger.

After the decision was announced to an appreciative audience Mosley, as he has always done, once again epitomized sportsmanship and class. “Miguel is very strong,” he said, smiling and shrugging his shoulders. “He is a powerful pressure fighter but you know what? He’s an all right boxer. He mixes it up. He’s ready for greatness.”

Asked if he thought he won the fight Mosley responded, “I thought it was very close. I take my hat off to him. I thought it was a close fight. He’s a great warrior. I take my hat off to the young warrior.”

And as for the future? “Maybe I’ll play my promoter hat more. I’m not getting any younger. This welterweight division is very tough. We’ll see what happens.”

As for the champion Miguel Cotto seemed content with his effort. “I thought I won so I moved (in the last rounds). Both of us gave out best for the fans in the house.”

When asked about Mosley’s relentlessness and punching power the stoic fighter responded, “I always throw my punches hard. When I see Shane coming and coming and coming I try to move to make the fight easier.”

And as for the future, which seems boundless for the entertaining Puerto Rican, Cotto had this warning. “I want them all. Whatever the fans want, I’ll do it. I’m available for all the big names.”

Article posted on 11.11.2007

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