Cotto Outpoints Mosley
By Vivek Wallace: After all the anticipation, the results are in, and in many ways, the fight lived up to the hype. Last night, fight fans were able to see a rare moment in sports when a sudden 'star' rises from what is categorically termed as goodness, to the cusp of greatness. It was quite a moment in time for avid fight fans and the tense aura in the Madison Square Garden was so thick moments before the fight that you could slice it with a knife. When referee Benjy Estevez Jr. finally dropped his arms as they were parallel to the deck - signaling the start of the fight - it was both the initiation, and culmination of one man's hell of a journey.
From the opening bell there were signs that most who predicted a Mosley victory - (myself included) - would be in for quite a surprise.
Present was the stalking Cotto, absent was the quickness of Shane. Present was the strength of Cotto, absent was the veteran advantage perceived to be Shane's coming into the fight.
Quickly, it became very evident that Miguel Cotto had come full circle in that maturation point that few fighters every really advance beyond. In a fight that pointed nearly every advantage to Mosley, Cotto was able to nullify those advantages by redefining who he is for the masses to see. Although many viewers had a final score card that read like mine - (a possible draw) - it should be noted that Miguel Cotto came in as the Champ and did more than enough to solidify himself as well as his name in the sport.
The Cotto of old had less head movement, less fight plan execution skills, and had less footwork. The Cotto that emerged from the dressing room to face Shane Mosley on Saturday night was a man on a mission who performed to perfection. What was even more pleasing to see in the young Miguel Cotto was his quiet resolve within.
He displayed the perfect temperament to complement his stalk-until-they-can't-walk swagger. Before our very eyes he defined a quiet storm. This type of dedication and quiet resolve would have enabled a Mike Tyson to still be Champion today.
As a man, as a fighter, Miguel Cotto has earned the respect of a new crowd, and the island of Puerto Rico, thought to be still in search of a successor to Felix 'Tito' Trinidad, can now rest at ease knowing that not only has the torch been passed, but it apparently burns now brighter than ever.
For Shane Mosley, although he did enough in my opinion to earn a draw, (or very close), it was apparent to some that age has in fact become a factor. When you consider how conditioned he has been in the past, it provides a new respect for someone like a Bernard Hopkins, who continues to reinvent himself and perform at a level high enough to overcome obstacles in the ring at the ripe age of 42.
Shane Mosley has nothing to hang his head about, for his efforts last night would have been enough to get past 98% of the remaining welterweights in the division. Although I picked Shane to win, I'm happier with the final result because now it potentially - with a Mayweather victory - sets the table for two undefeated welterweights who are actually in their prime to square off.
In a wishful moment, I would love to see Floyd Mayweather Jr., or Paul Williams fight Miguel Cotto. I use the term 'wishful' because with Mayweather, if it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense. But either man would make for a helluva matchup with Miguel Cotto because he will force Floyd to pedal his bike less, and fight more; Just like he will have to force himself to overcome the ultimate obstacle in the freak of nature known as Paul Williams.
If nothing else, Saturday night, boxing's 'Battalion of Young Stallions' (the welterweight division) saw a once murky picture become visibly clear. Granted, many subplots still remain - Kermit Cintron, Antonio Margarito, the old but still capable Oscar Dela Hoya, etc - but even with those subplots, there is now one man who has established himself as a clear frontrunner with no rebuttal strong enough to steal his thunder.
Our next journey culminates on the evening of December 8th, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. defends his 'zero' against Ricky Hatton who wishes to protect his as well. It's safe to say that on the morning of December 9th, we will know what the spring of '08 will look like, but for right now, at least we know who one of the main characters will be. The man simply known as 'Junito', Mr. Miguel Cotto.
ESB would like to congratulate both Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto for an epic night.
Miguel Cotto Decisions Mosley In A Thriller
- 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.”
Cotto Defeats Mosley: A Passing of the Torch
- By Ted Sares: Once again, the excitement is almost palpable as these two outstanding fighters enter the ring. Everything that needs to be said has been said and the time has come to get it on. It’s Cotto, 30-0 and Mosley, 44-4, in a what was hyped as a “Fast and Furious” match up and that’s exactly what we got.
In the first five rounds, it was give and take with Mosley’s right and fast combos against Cotto’s left hooks and surprisingly effective jabs. But then Cotto also started using his right effectively in the sixth. The seventh round was the first slow one, and going into the eighth, I had Cotto ahead in a close fight.
Cotto left his hands go again in the eighth and I believe won the round by landing the cleaner shots. Though the HBO team did not mention it, I sensed Mosley was tiring going into the ninth. That seemed to be his father’s feelings as he said, “you gotta pick it up.” And Mosley did just that, as something suddenly seemed wrong with Cotto (a cut inside his mouth apparently) though he fought back at the end of a very strange but exciting round..
As the championship rounds began, Mosley became the stalker and pressed the action in a brawling rough and tumble tenth. Another exciting round as Mosley was the pressure fighter.
Round eleven was Cotto’s round as he finished strongly with great body shots. Going into the last round, I had it close with Cotto slightly ahead. Still, the round loomed potentially decisive. A last minute head butt had no impact as the round and fight ended. Now it was in the hands of the judges and based on the second fight of the night, God only knows what the scorecards would read. I had Cotto winning by two rounds, though a draw would not be bad.
And here is what they said: 115-113, 115-113, and 116-113. All for Miguel Cotto.
Shane has been a great fighter over the years and a sure future Hall of Fame inductee. Now Miguel Cotto is the superstar as the torch passes from one to another.
Cotto rises to "Greatness" with good win over Mosley!
By Mike Indri - Retired Boxers Foundation - November 11, 2007, New York - The fight was super-hyped, and rightfully so, as undefeated welterweight world champion Miguel Cotto was facing his most difficult challenge in four-time, three-division former world champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, for Cotto's World Boxing Association title belt..
Madison Square Garden, the "Mecca of Boxing", would once again play host for Cotto and his quest for greatness. While not a sell-out, 17,135 boisterous and proud Puerto Rican fans would cram their way through the turnstiles, they would not be let down - neither would co-promoters Bob Arum or Oscar De La Hoya, as initial reports of the gross gate figures came in at over 3.8 million dollars!
The fight itself, an exciting, intriguing good twelve rounder, may not have lived up to all the pomp and circumstance, but Miguel Cotto truly did. The classy, hard punching Cotto earned his unanimous decision win and proved he belongs amongst the top of the talent laden welterweight list.
Cotto was in with a truly great fighter. Shane Mosley, the only fighter to have twice beaten De La Hoya, has always been a lethally dangerous combination of speed, precision and deceptive power. With his two technical knockout victories over Fernando Vargas in 2006 and his dominatingly brilliant twelve round unanimous decision win against Luis Collazo in his most recent bout (02/10/07), Mosley had proven to all the skeptics that "Sugar" was back to his sweet self.
Fighting against the thirty six year-old elite level former champion who feasts off of making good, and great, fighters look bad, Miguel Cotto looked very good.
Using a good mixture of jabs, body punching and constant pressure Cotto seemed to effectively counter Mosley's quicker hands and appeared to be wearing down the Pomona, CA. fighter. Mosley would later say that his desire to fight and go for the knockout may have hurt, more than help, but a couple of big shots from Mosley caught Cotto on the ropes in round nine and did hurt the Puerto Rican champion.
As quickly as Mosley's stingers were bouncing off of Cotto's head did the party-like atmosphere in boxing's most hallowed venue abruptly change from rabid delirium to hushed concern. The bell sounding the end of round nine brought sighs of relief and nervous cheers.
While tired and hurting, this was when the true greatness of Miguel Cotto emerged again, as it had before in earlier battles. An ability that cannot be taught or trained is that of a fighter's heart, and even while battling as a prospect and then contender, before winning his titles, Miguel Cotto has always shown his heart of a champion.
Mosley put forth his best effort, actually becoming the aggressor late in the fight and backing Cotto into the ropes, only to have his iron willed opponent fire back. Mosley was the fighter pressing the issue as the final bell sounded, ending the closely fought match.
As fight announcer Michael Buffer read the judge's scores (Glenn Feldman 115-113, Wynn Kintz 116-113 and Peter Trematerra 115-113) and referee Benjy Esteves raised Cotto's hand in victory, Team Cotto hoisted Miguel on their shoulders.
Miguel Cotto's championship performance tonight hoisted him into boxing's highest echelon - that exclusive list of today's truly GREAT fighters.
HBO televised three other fights on the Pay-Per-View televised broadcast.
The night's co-feature bout saw former World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Antonio Margarito crush Golden Johnson (25-9-3, 18 KO's), dropping the overmatched fighter from San Antonio, TX three times before referee Wayne Kelly stopped the destruction at 2:38 of the first round. Hurting Johnson early with his big left hand, Margarito sent his foe to the canvas within the first minute of the bout. The ropes were all that was holding Johnson up as the barrage continued and Kelly rightfully started counting for the second knockdown. Looking to end it the Mexican champion battered Johnson around the ring and drove a hard left to the body, which resulted in the third and final knockdown as Kelly waved off the fight. Johnson, coming off his surprising knockout win over Oscar Diaz (11/10/06 TKO 11), was never in the fight against Margarito, now 35-5 (25 KO's), who picked up the vacant WBO Intercontinental welterweight belt with his impressive knockout victory.
Promising jr. welterweight prospect Victor Ortiz thrilled the crowd with his powerful first round knockout over former WBA champion Carlos Maussa. The twenty year-old Ortiz, fighting out of Oxnard, CA. improved to 20-1-1, with Maussa becoming his 15th knockout victim. A straight right-left combination by Ortiz sent the wide-open, Colombian fighter to the deck where he was unable to arise. Maussa, now 20-5 (18 KO's), has now lost his last three fights since dethroning then WBA champion Vivian Harris.
WBC Interim lightweight champion Joel Casamayor somehow was awarded a split decision victory over Jose Santa Cruz in a bout controlled by Santa Cruz throughout most of the twelve rounds. Having not fought since his split decision win over the late Diego Corrales (06/10/07), Casamayor appeared rusty and lethargic. Sent to the canvas, albeit while off balance, with a punch to the arm in round one, the Cuban defector never showed his usual superlative boxing prowess and was out boxed and out hustled by the twenty seven year-old Mexican fighter. Santa Cruz slipped to 25-3 (14 KO's), while Casamayor improved to 35-3-1 (21 KO's) with the judge's gift.
Judge Tony Paolillo had it 114-113 for Santa Cruz, while both Frank Lombardi and Ron McNair scored it 114-113 for Casamayor.
On the non-televised portion of the Top Rank - Golden Boy Promotions fightcard:
Australian featherweight Billy Dib remained undefeated with his commanding eight round unanimous decision win against grizzly veteran Rogers Mtagwa. Dib improved to 17-0 (9 KO's) with his fine performance against the usually tough Philadelphia fighter. Mtagwa slipped to 24-12-2 (17 KO's).
Michael Anderson made his pro debut a successful one with his four round unanimous decision victory over Brooklyn's Olade Thomas, now 1-3. Anderson did impress the judges, who saw it 39-37, 40-36 & 39-37 for the New Jersey welterweight
Jr. middleweight Michael Faragon also made his pro debut a triumphant one, punching his way to a four round unanimous decision over Javier Garcia (now 2-2) from Caguas, PR. All three judges saw it 39-37 for the Schenectady, NY native.
Former amateur standout Ronny Vargas (4-0, 3 KO's) is finding similar success since turning pro this past September. The Bronx jr. middleweight made short work of rugged Bryan Mullis, who fights out of Mount Holley, NC. Following a competitive first round the long and lanky Vargas hurt Mullis with two big right hands. A follow-up left hook drove the stunned fighter to the ropes where the hot prospect pounded away on the wounded Mullis until referee Johnny Callas jumped in to stop the punishment being laid out by Ronny Vargas 50 seconds into round two, of the scheduled four rounder.
Unbeaten Jesus Rojas, now 10-0 (8 KO's) opened the night with a six round technical knockout over Carlos Diaz, 9-11-4 (7 KO's), in a battle of Puerto Rican jr. featherweights. The end came at the 2:12 mark for the gutsy, yet overmatched, Diaz.
Another good night to be a boxing fan, a jam packed Madison Square Garden witnessing Miguel Cotto's rise to true greatness. A December 8th win by pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, over Ricky Hatton, would set up another fight of mega-fight proportions. 2007 has been a great year for boxing, and the future looks even better!