Did Cotto get saved by the ringside doctor?

Miguel CottoBy Marcus Richardson: I know this is kind of an unpopular subject but I think WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto got saved by the ringside doctor’s decision to halt last night's fight before the 10th round because Antonio Margarito’s right eye was almost closed. Cotto had been stunned earlier in the 9th round from a big left hand from Margarito, and didn't look the same after that shot. Cotto was also looked gassed. If you're a Cotto fan, the ringside doctor showed great timing to stop the fight when he did. The stoppage really taints the fight, leaving victory with a question mark over it. Boxing fans will never know whether Cotto would have ultimately folded again like last time because of the stoppage. Cotto looked great for nine rounds last time they fought, and got hurt in the 10th when he got tired. I think we were about to see the same thing last night but the doctor halted the fight before Margarito could get to Cotto. I think Cotto was about to crack mentally and get stopped. That doctor was Santa Claus in disguise for Cotto last Saturday night. I'm sorry but I don't count that as a win for Cotto. I see as an exhibition fight or one with an asterisk next to it.

Margarito said after the fight “I asked for at least one more round, they wouldn’t give it to me. I felt like this was a continuation of the first fight. The last few rounds were going to be mine.“

You can't respect a victory when it's tainted by having a doctor end it prematurely when the outcome was still in doubt.

Margarito landed a lot of hard shots in that 9th, which was by far his best round of the fight. Cotto was starting to gas like he had the last time he fought Margarito. Going into the 10th, the fight was still very much up in the air due to Margarito’s pressure and high volume punch output.

In the earlier rounds, Cotto had been running constantly and clinching when Margarito would come inside on him. But in the 9th, Margarito was catching up to Cotto and hammering him when he would try and clinch. There was literally no escape for Cotto. He was taking a pounding and looked worried. I think Cotto would have been hurt in one of the last three rounds if not for the doctor stepping in to stop the bout.

The weird thing is that the doctor waited until perhaps the worst possible time to stop it from Margarito’s perspective. Why didn’t the doctor stop the fight in the 7th or 8th, when Margarito was getting hammered and looking helpless? I think the doctor really saved Cotto by stopping this fight, I really do.

At the very least, the stoppage was a real negative for boxing fans that paid a truckload of money to see the fight on PPV and in person. Who wants to dump all that cash, see eight mostly one-sided rounds, and then have the fight stopped just when the fight had finally got interesting? I think Margarito would have gotten to Cotto in the last three rounds of the fight, and this doctor ruined it for him with his quick stoppage. Now there is no closure whatsoever. All we have is a doctor's decision to halt the fight when Cotto was starting to fold like last time. I knew this was probably a bad idea to have this fight in New York instead of Mexico. Do you really think the fight would have been halted if this fight had taken place in Mexico? No way. Margarito would have been allowed to continue and he would have gotten to Cotto in the last three rounds and stopped him.

Article posted on 05.12.2011

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