By Edward Chaykovsky
Madison Square Garden, New York - Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30KOs) stopped Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27KOs) in nine rounds after Margarito's right eye was too damaged for the doctors to allow him to continue. Cotto gets revenge and retains the WBA junior middleweight title. In July 2008, Margarito came from behind to stop Cotto in the eleventh round in a Las Vegas war. The two fighters had a lot of pre-fight heat because Cotto believes Margarito cheated by using plaster-laced handwraps.
Margarito's right eye was a major pre-fight subject. Margarito had his orbital bone busted in last year's fight against Manny Pacquiao. An artificial lens was inserted into the eye. Cotto vowed to target the eye and he made good on his promise.
The first round started in a similar way to their 2008 meeting. Cotto was getting off with the fast punches and landing well. Cotto contined the same pace in the second. he wasn landing well with fast hands and Margarito took the punches well. Margarito with a good shot to the body and the head in the final ten seconds.
In the third, a cut opened up above the right eye on Margarito. Margarito cornered Cotto to the ropes and the two of them went to war. The two boxers were exchanging very heavy punches as the entire crowd stood up. Cotto was landing the harder and more accurate shots, but Margarito continued to come forward and targeted Cotto's body.
Cotto was moving well in the fouth, landing hard combos and making Margarito miss the counters. Cotto did his best to stay away from being caught on the ropes. Cotto boxed smart and stayed away from taking part in too many exchanges. Cotto went back to work in the fifth, he was moving and punching. Margarito continued to go after Cotto's body and did better work in the final minute.
In the sixth, Cotto was on his feet and jumped in and out with punches. Margarito continued to come forward and work, just like he did in the first fight. Cotto's mouth was wide open but was still outboxing Margarito. The actionw a starting to get close at the midway point, just like it did in the first fight.
Margarito started landing more often in the seventh. Cotto looked to be a fighter who was starting to tire, at the same point that he did in the first fight. Margarito was chasing after him and trying to land something big. Cotto had amazing footwork and stayed away from Margarito's incoming punches for the most part.
In the eight, the drama was getting bigger. Margarito's right eye was swelling shut and the ringside doctors looked concerned. Margarito was not able to catch up to Cotto, who stayed on his feet and moved away from Margarito. When Margarito got close, Cotto clinched to tie him up.
The fight was nearly stopped because of Margarito's eye before the ninth. They allowed it to continue. Margarito was coming faster and throwing more. He knew the fight could be close to being stopped because of his eye. Cotto was clinching, moving and landing good punches to Margarito's head.
Before the start of the tenth, the doctors stopped the fight because of Margarito's eye.