Cotto Captures Fourth Division Title with Stoppage of Martinez

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In the main event of the June 7th HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast, Miguel Cotto (39-4, 31 knockouts) challenged Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 knockouts) for what many considered to be the middleweight crown. Martinez has long been heralded as the premiere middleweight of the division, and many were quick to scoff at Cotto’s chances of changing that. After all, Cotto is the much smaller man and Martinez’ KO of Paul Williams is still an image that rings through fans minds. In the end it was Cotto who got the last laugh in what some consider the finest performance of his career.

From the onset of the bout, things could not go possibly worse for Cotto. Cotto came charging forward and immediately began ripping shots to the head and body of Martinez. It was this ferocious attack that floored Martinez three times in the first round alone.

Things didn’t get much better in the following round either as Cotto seemed to knock Martinez down with a hook to the temple, but was ultimately ruled a slip by the referee.

Simply put, Martinez didn’t have an answer for Cotto throughout the fight, especially after such a disastrous pair of opening rounds. Still, Martinez stood fast and remained determined, but there was no ignoring that he looked every bit of 39-years old.

Cotto continued in his calculated but aggressive attack, and it was proving incredibly effective. By this point, the disparity in landed punches was apparent and Martinez was certainly feeling them.

In round six, Martinez showed some signs of life as he began keeping the hard-charging Cotto away with a doubled-up jab and some hooks. This certainly bought Martinez some time, but it did little to erase all of the work Cotto had put in just before.

With each passing round, Martinez was getting hit with powerful shots that were landing more flush than the last, and after round nine Martinez’ corner had seen enough.

The fight was waved off, and Cotto earned the stoppage victory and titles he so desperately desired.

Following a victory of that magnitude there is no telling where Cotto can go but up. With the recognition of now being the “number one” middleweight there is no shortage of challengers should he choose to remain in the division.

As for Martinez, there is no telling where he may go next, but the possibility of retirement has become ever clearer. Granted, Martinez was unable to recover from those early knockdowns, but its hard to imagine the fight going any other way should they not have occurred. Martinez is still one of the best middleweights of our time, but everyone falls to father time.