by Bradley Pearson, photo by Tom Casino / Showtime: A subdued wave of anti-climactic reality clouded the historic Madison Square Garden Arena Saturday night, as the hostile pro-Cotto crowd witnessed what just might have been the sun setting on the career of their favourite son.
Three weight world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KO’s) suffered his second consecutive defeat in the hands of spirited underdog Austin Trout, who retained his WBA light middleweight crown- along with his unblemished record. An ageing performance from the proud Puerto Rican gladiator, in which Trout’s (26-0, 14 KO’s) physical advantages appeared too big a task to overcome, punishing Cotto down the stretch of the fight. With the alias “No Doubt”, the American didn’t fold under the lights, repeatedly tagging Cotto with the straight left hand at will, while bullying his smaller opponent on the inside- earning what in the end was, a comfortable points decision. Despite having some early success, Cotto ultimately couldn’t find that extra gear we’ve become so accustomed to seeing; that saw him excel in previous bouts. As the fight matured, the defending champion was able to use his range well, keeping Miguel on the outside, even backing him up at times. Whilst surprisingly wide, the verdict was certainly a fair one- and one that was met with the expected rafters of boo’s from the army of Cotto fans.