On Saturday night, Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 knockouts) and Austin Trout (26-0, 14 knockouts) were set to take part in the main-event of Showtime Championship Boxing. As two of the top junior middleweight in their division, fans were left salivating over the stylistic match-up of the uber-aggressive Cotto to the cool and calculated style of Trout. It’s this contrast of styles that left fans arguing over who and why they believe one fighter would overcome the other.
To many, Cotto would win because of his superior movement as well as overall aggression. To others, Trout would earn the victory because of his mixture of size and pure boxing skill. As polarizing as this match-up may have been, there was no doubt in many minds that Cotto would earn the hometown decision over Trout. This ended up being nothing more than a mere thought.
As the two fighters answered the opening bell of the fight, Cotto became the aggressor early. With his superior footwork and head movement, Cotto was able to leave Trout guessing as to where the punches would come from next. From this point forward though, the rounds became much closer as Cotto would throw more punches, yet Trout would land the harder shots. This would go on to be the story of the early rounds, as the two would try to out-wit the other in a fight that became much more tactical than many had expected.
With Cotto winning the majority of the first five rounds, many thought that Cotto would look to be cruising to another dominant decision win. Things changed quickly however since it started to become obvious that Cotto was growing tired, whereas Trout was finally getting in stride. Starting in round 6, Trout began to really impose his will on the tiring Cotto. With the longer reach, Trout managed to keep Cotto at bay, as well as avoiding Cotto’s attempt to bully the young fighter into the ropes.
This pattern would continue throughout the rest of the fight, but it gradually became clearer and clearer that Trout was winning these later rounds. Cotto was definitely in the fight for all twelve rounds, but it was becoming obvious that Trout was the more acclimated fighter as far as fighting top-competition in the junior middleweight division. Round six through eleven would all go to hard working Trout, as he gradually broke down the Puerto Rican veteran in front of a raucous home-town like crowd.
With many having the fight fairly even, the twelve round would be crucial in determining the victor. Cotto continued to charge forward, but would find himself getting hit with some solid shots that would leave him trying to clinch. It was this kind of punch out-put that would lead to Trout earning the final round, and running away with the fight on judges scorecards.
Although the fight was close, the victor was clear. Many saw Trout earning the close decision, with this writer scoring the fight for him at (116-112). The judges must have seen a much more different fight, as the disparity amongst the three was significant. Two of the judges would score the fight for Trout (117-111), but somehow, the third judge scored the fight as (119-109) for Trout. This scorecard would immediatley draw criticism because it suggests that Cotto barely did enough to earn a single round in the fight which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Following the fight, Trout is hoping to finally become a house-hold name in the junior middleweight division as a fight with Saul Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 knockouts) looms, but Cotto’s new fight comes in his attempt to stay relevant. With many hinting that Cotto may be hanging up the gloves, it’ll be interesting to see what he chooses to do from this point forward. Although the decision is hopefully his in the end, one would be silly to suggest that Cotto is washed up. With performances like this one against Trout, and even an earlier one against Mayweather, Cotto has proven that he still has a few fights left in the tank. Whether it be another championship fight however is a different story.