A tribute to the great Miguel Cotto
by Sam Singh: Right from the start, Cotto has fought and defeated former world title contenders like Rocky Martinez, John Brown, Demetrio Ceballos, Victoriano Sosa, Lovemore N’dou, Cesar Bazan and Justin Juuko.
Cotto had a total of 7 championship fights at 140lbs, and after claiming the 140lb world championship, Cotto defended the crown a total of 6 times against the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Ricardo Torres & Paul Malignaggi. It’s worth nothing that both Torres and Malignaggi were undefeated at the time yet they both came back to claim world championships.
In 2006, Cotto then took on the highly skilled Carlos Quintana at 147lbs in a fight where many thought Cotto would lose. Cotto prevailed by retiring Quintanna in the 5th round. Once again, Quintanna was an undefeated fighter who came back to claim a world championship against the highly rated Paul Williams.
Cotto then had a further 8 championship fights at 147lbs where he successfully defended his title until his highly controversial fight with Margarito. In this time, Cotto beat the likes of former undisputed welterweight champ Zab Judah & all-time great Shane Mosley. It’s worth noting that Mosley came back from the loss to dominate Margarito. Similarly, Judah had given Mayweather a competitive fight the year before losing to Miguel Cotto.
On a recent note, Cotto claimed the WBO 147lb championship and defended it against the highly underrated Joshua Clottey. This lead to a fight with the all-time great Pacquiao, a fight in which Cotto was able to make competitive for the first few rounds until Pacquiao eventually took control from the mid rounds after Cotto sustained heavy knockdowns.
In summary, Cotto has had a total of 17 world championship fights against 14 boxers who were current/former champions. Cotto record reads 12-2. One of those defeats to a confirmed cheater. And the other to a suspected cheat.
Cotto was the WBO world champion at 140lbs and the WBA champion at 147lbs . After his controversial loss to confirmed cheater Margarito, he claimed the WBO 147lb championship making him a three-time world champion in two weight divisions. It’s worth noting that Cotto would have been unified welterweight champion after beating Clottey but Clottey had to vacate his title. Cotto has beat something like 10 former world champions and has now just beat another undefeated fighter in Foreman at 154lbs becoming a three-weight champion.
Ironically, Bert Sugar says “I don’t think he ever really picked up the mantle from Felix Trinidad among Puerto Rican fight fans”.
Put it this way: when Cotto has a PPV fight, his numbers reach 110,000 buys in Puerto Rico alone, which is something Trinidad was never able to do.
The Shane Mosley that Miguel Cotto beat was better than anyone Felix Trinidad fought.
Now a 3-weight world champion, Miguel Cotto in my mind is without a doubt a great of the modern era. If Trinidad can be regarded as an all-time great then so can Miguel Cotto.
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