By Keith Idec
Miguel Cotto contends that there isn’t a fight among the 46 in which he has competed professionally that is his favorite.
The four-division champion wouldn’t even acknowledge that he took great satisfaction from beating up and stopping Antonio Margarito in their grudge rematch nearly six years ago at Madison Square Garden. When pressed during a recent conference call, though, Puerto Rico’s Cotto called his victory over Ricardo Torres the fight put him “on the map.”
Cotto, then just 24, survived severe trouble during the second round, including the first knockdown of Cotto’s career, to knock out the heavy-handed Torres in the seventh round of a memorable back-and-forth action fight 12 years ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“I think that the fight with Torres, with Ricardo Torres,” Cotto said, “was the one that put Miguel Cotto on the map.”
The 37-year-old Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) was asked to reflect on his Hall-of-Fame career because he has repeatedly stated that he’ll retire after boxing Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) for Cotto’s WBO super welterweight title December 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York (HBO).
“It was the way the [Torres] fight was happening [that] night, and the way I woke up from the canvas,” Cotto said. “And the way I finished the fight, it was the fight that put Miguel Cotto on the map.”
Cotto knocked down Torres with a left hook in the first round, but Torres came back to hurt him with a right hand later in that round. Torres hurt Cotto again with a left hook early in the second round and knocked him down later in that round.
In the fourth round, Cotto landed a body shot that made Torres take a knee. But in the fifth round, Torres hurt Cotto again with a right-left combination.
A resilient Cotto came back to drop Torres with a right hand toward the end of the sixth round. Cotto connected with a right-left combination that finished off Torres in the seventh round of their scheduled 12-round fight for the WBO super lightweight title Cotto held at that time.
Colombia’s Torres was undefeated (28-0, 26 KOs), yet unknown when he accepted a fight against Cotto on three weeks’ notice. Torres replaced Gianluca Branco, Cotto’s original opponent, when Italy’s Branco pulled out of their fight on the Wladimir Klitschko-Samuel Peter undercard due to an injury.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.