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Is Cotto a Quitter?

Miguel CottoBy Michael Lieberman: I think I’m speaking for a lot of boxing fans when I say I’m more than a little displeased with which the way WBA Miguel Cotto (32-1, 26 KOs) went down twice in the 11th round, both times taking a knee himself rather than letting Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs) pound him to the canvas the way things are normally done in boxing. I don’t know about other people, but that seemed like a quitting move to me, something which is more than a little off putting. I never would have imagined Cotto losing in such a manner, especially in the case of the second knockdown in which Cotto took a knee without even being hit by Margarito.

I know, he was bleeding from his nose and eye, but come on; you got to go out on your shield and not by taking a knee. If he had done this only once, I suppose I wouldn’t have minded so much. But he had to go and compound it by taking a second knee when Margarito came running at him to try and finish him off. It was like he wanted to take away Margarito’s ability to finish him, thus preventing him from gaining the satisfaction that he might have had if had actually taken Cotto out with a punch and planted him on the canvas. Earlier in the fight, around the 9th round, I thought I saw signs of Cotto wanting to take a knee at that time as well, because Margarito was coming on at that time, applying a ton of pressure on Cotto.

I think we may have been seeing the seeds of his quitting at that time, though it’s hard to say for sure because he was doing an awful a lot of ducking and running. Technically speaking, the fight was stopped by his corner in the 11th round, so Cotto is off the hook for actually quitting in the fight, yet the two instances of him taking a knee seem, at least to me, about the same as a person quitting. Can you imagine what would be said of a fighter like, for instance, Wladimir Klitschko if he were to take a knee twice in a fight with the second time without even being hit?

Or, for that matter, what if Ricky Hatton did the same thing in a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr? What would boxing fan’s opinion be about that? It’s only obvious, they would give both of them nonstop hell, questioning their courage constantly. I don’t what Cotto was thinking when he took the knees, perhaps something like ‘the heck with this, I don’t want any more of this punishment,’ but whatever the case may be it looked bad from my perspective. I think Cotto should have gone out like a true champion, like a captain of a ship, and let Margarito finish him with his fists rather than submitting to him and bowing to one knee.

I hate submission fights, and always have, which is one of the reasons why I hate MMA fights. By Cotto going down to one knee on both occasions in the 11th, he ruined my image of his as a fighter. I had previously thought he was invincible, or darn near that, although I knew some day he would lose to someone. I just thought that when the day would come, he’d go out in a blaze of glory rather the way he did go out – in a whimper.

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