by David P. Greisman
Delvin Rodriguez said he left himself vulnerable to the power punches that hurt him and ultimately led to him losing to Miguel Cotto by third-round technical knockout.
“I got a little too much relaxed,” Rodriguez said at the post-fight press conference. “When Cotto got inside and I felt him inside, I didn’t really feel the power. I got too relaxed, then he caught me with the hook, and then I really felt the power. He can hit. … At this level, I should’ve known not to get so relaxed, not even for one second, when you’re facing a guy like Miguel Cotto.”
Cotto wobbled Rodriguez in the final moments of the second round, when Cotto landed a hard right hand just before the bell. Rodriguez shook his head, seemingly trying to clear it as he walked back to his corner.
“When I got back to the corner and I got out, I was good,” Rodriguez said.
But early in the third, Cotto struck again, throwing a right that hit Rodriguez’s left arm and then following with a left hook to the head. Rodriguez began to throw a left hook of his own but got caught first. He crumbled to the canvas and got hit twice more on the way down. The referee stood over Rodriguez and stopped the fight.
“I was good. I was a little dazed. I’m not going to lie to you,” Rodriguez said. “I dropped, and the referee stopped the fight. That’s it. He didn’t give me a chance at all. I’m not a quitter. I’m going to fight. He didn’t give me a chance at all. Miguel Cotto is strong, and maybe the referee thought I was really hurt. That’s not the way I felt.”
Rodriguez, 33, fell to 28-7-3 with 16 KOs. Cotto, 32, improved to 38-4 with 31 knockouts.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon. Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org