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Cotto vs. Mayorga: Fight or Circus?

By Laz Perez: What we witnessed last night with WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto stopping 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th has to be one of the most eye raising incidents in recent boxing history. What was expected to be an all-out brawl and exchange of overhand rights and looping left hooks to the body was more of a circus than a fight. Set at $40+ and on Showtime PPV with Hall of Famers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and other Hollywood stars and of course a Miguel Cotto event would no be complete without the ghost of Christmas Past, Antonio Margarito.

The night had the makings of a great bout regardless of age and prior beat downs. But, we were duped and the feeling we all learned to hate in the late 90’s had returned with a vengeance! Bob Arum and Don King have successfully taken our money…again.

Fast forward to the twelfth round after a number of desperate antics by Mayorga begging Cotto to exchange punches. After Cotto had taken the safe road and out boxed Mayorga in every sense of the word. This was after there was no knockdowns and basically no excitement for much of the fight, and after, Mike Tyson said “these two men are obviously past their prime and there not fighting to surrender their opponents, their fighting for the paycheck and that is the reality of it”. Cotto knocked the loudmouth, 38-year-old Mayorga down with what seemed to be a rattling left hook. But wait, Mayorga seems to be in pain because of an injured left hand, not the punch.

Holding his hand and wincing in pain he recovered and threw one weak punch leaving him open to be countered and that is exactly what occurred. A weak left jab by Cotto sent Mayorga into the neutral corner where he had invited Cotto to brawl earlier in the bout. He held his hands up and called the ref to stop the fight. WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?! The replay obviously showed Mayorga’s left hand no where near any type of contact when he was dropped. Was this his way out of the fight? Was this a thrown fight? Or was this his excuse because embarrassment set in once again. What the hell, one has to think Don King and Bob Arum have to be laughing somewhere.

Fine, whatever the fight is over and Miguel Cotto retains his belt even though this fight left more questions than answers. Onto the post fight interview and the future plans for the champ. To no ones surprise Margarito is asked about and this song seems all too familiar. Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito in the Summer in the New Meadowlands Stadium. Cotto is truly a former shell of the great boxer he was and that is not thanks to his wars or beat downs or ever loses. It is because of age and life is taking its toll on the 154 lbs champ.

This rematch to an amazing 2008 summer clash is going to be great but the end result will be two battered, bloody, beaten men and Cotto will get his wish. A rematch/last big payday against P4P King Manny Pacquiao later in the year. Hopefully, Cotto retires this year and does not stay in the sport for the money. As a Cotto fan myself and fellow Puerto Rican, I can honestly say last night was a disappointment and the Puerto Rican people realize it is time to turn their loyalty to Juan Manuel Lopez. Cotto did not lose his fans last night but it is clear he is at the point in his career, unfortunately.

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