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Cotto gets all he can handle from Mayorga

Miguel Cotto Ricardo MayorgaBy Dan Ambrose: Coming into the fight a huge favorite, WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO’s) failed to prove that he deserved to be a big favorite by struggling to beat 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KO’s) by a 12th round stoppage last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Indeed, the fight was stopped after Mayorga injured his left hand when he apparently got it tangled with one of Cotto’s own shots. Mayorga landed the better combinations in the fight and got the most applause during the night’s action.

Cotto mostly moved around, jabbed and scurried away when Mayorga would come forward trying to land. It wasn’t impressive work, especially for a fighter that is eight years younger than Mayorga. Mike Tyson, who interviewed by Showtime’s Jim Gray during a lull in the action, said both Cotto and Mayorga are past their primes. I agree with that. Maybe Mayorga is a little more past it than Cotto, but Cotto isn’t far off as we saw last night. Mayorga took the fight constantly to Cotto, and pounded him with beautiful combintions in every round.

Mayorga did especially well in the 4th, 7th and 9th rounds. He appeared to hurt Cotto in the last minute of the 4th after tagging him with some hard right hands. A discouraged and worried looking Cotto went back to his corner and it looked like Cotto was going to get knocked out again like he had in the past in fights against Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. But his trainer had him adapt his fighting style and keep away from Mayorga after that as much as possible. The advice that Cotto got probably saved him from getting knocked out, because he didn’t have the size or the power to stand in front of Mayorga and fight him one on one. Cotto had to move and jab otherwise he would have been stopped in this fight.

All in all, not a good performance from Cotto. He showed that he can barely beat a 38-year-old Mayorga. Had this been a younger, better fighter than Mayorga, Cotto likely would have been knocked out. Cotto now faces Margarito in a rematch this summer. My guess is Margarito will stop Cotto again unless Cotto can run all night long.

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