Miguel Angel Cotto not only retained his WBA light-middleweight title in Madison Square Garden tonight, but the Puerto Rican exercised a three-year demon that had cast a shadow over his glittering career by defeating Antonio Margarito.
The 31 year-old was beaten for the first time in his career by the Mexican in 2008 in what has since transpired to be a contentious and questioned stoppage loss after Margarito was found with illegal substances in his wraps in his next fight with Shane Mosley.
Margarito, 33, was almost denied a license to box in the first place because of an eye injury suffered against Manny Pacquaio in his last bout and Cotto immediately targeted the right side of the challenger’s face and the swelling was gradual from the second round.
Cotto produced a wonderful display of boxing from the first bell as he danced around Margarito and racked up the rounds by hitting him with superb combinations to which the ‘Tornado’ has no answer.
By the eighth round of a one-side pummelling, the ringside doctors were constantly monitoring Margarito’s damaged eye and had seen enough after another two rounds of stunning boxing by Cotto, who seemed to connect with Margarito at will.
The win puts a three-year revenge mission to bed for Cotto who may now move on to challenge one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world with whispers at ringside of a possible bout with Floyd Mayweather in 2012.
For Margarito, I don’t think the eye was healed enough from the Pacquiao fight last November and a subsequent cataract operation six months ago and he should now retire before he does his eye any further damage.