Miguel Cotto knocked Sergio Martinez down three times in the first round and stopped him in the tenth to win the WBC middleweight title in New York on Saturday night. The 39-year-old Martinez suffered the third defeat, and probably the worst, of his 56-fight career as Cotto, 33, took the title away from him in a memorable Puerto Rican Day performance at the Madison Square Garden.
All three judges had scores of 90-77 in favour of Cotto before Martinez failed to come out for the tenth. The official result was a technical knockout after six seconds of the tenth round. Cotto enhanced his record to 39-4, including 32 wins inside the distance. Martinez dropped to 51-3-2, with 38 shortcut victories.
"I never thought he'd look like that at middleweight. That was the best performance of his I have ever seen. He deserves all props. [Cotto's trainer] Freddie [Roach] said he didn't want to hear any excuses and he won't hear any excuses," said Martinez's promoter Lou DiBella.