Big Night: Peters, Klitschko, and Cotto

By Tom Donelson
Updated: September 26, 2005

NEW YORK — Miguel Cotto faced the undefeated Ricardo Torres, who took the fight on three weeks notice. Torres first 27 fights were in his native Columbia and his last fight was in Puerto Rica.

Only six of those fighters had winning records so who knew how good this kid really was. For Cotto promoters, this fight was scheduled to be a mere filler until the big money fights against Mayweather or Hatton eventually happened.

In the first round, Cotto nailed Torres with a wicked left hook and Torres went down. Cotto decided to finish the action but as he moved forward, Torres rocked Cotto with a quick sharp right hand.. Cotto won the first round but Torres showed that he belonged with Cotto and he was not just going to be a pushover.

Torres and Cotto traded punches in the beginning of the second round and it was Cotto who found himself dazed. For nearly two minutes, Cotto found himself the receiptent of Torres left hooks and hard right. Cotto ended up on the canvas and when he got back up, his instinct took over as he fought more from memory.

Cotto decided to box and hit Torres to the body. Cotto victimized Torres with a couple of low blows but the hooks to the body slowed Torres. Cotto depended upon his boxing skills to break his challenger down.

After two straight rounds, body attack and fierce left jab to Torres face showed the game Columbian fighter. Torres went down after the barrage of left hook to the body in the fourth round. Cotto appeared in control of the fight and there was this feeling that he could end this fight anytime.

In the fifth round, Torres found a second wind as he nailed the on rushing Cotto with a hammering right. Cotto, over confident, found himself in retreat as Torres rushed to finish the job. Cotto lack the ability to hold when hurt and found himself running from Torres.

Going into the sixth round, this fight took on the flavor of 1976 Ron Lyle-George Foreman fight, in which both men knocked each other down. Considering that George Foreman was one of the analyst, it must have been “deja vu”. In the sixth round, Cotto switched to boxing and Torres took a blow. Cotto jab accurately hit its target and this set up a Cotto right that sent Torres down for the 8 count as the round ended.

Jim Lampley observed that each fighter was going for the knock out, and Torres opened the seventh round with nasty right and Cotto once again found himself bewildered. After surviving the opening volleys, Cotto stopped Torres with a combination that ended the fight. Torres went down as much from fatigue as he did from Cotto’s power.

Cotto showed both strength and weakness. He showed fortitude as he learned that he could fight and survive a desperate life and death struggle. He also showed that when hurt, he couldn’t hold a fighter and defensive liability that could hurt him in a battle with a quick hand Mayweather.

As for Torres, he demonstrated both power and ability. He lost the fight but after taking the fight on short notice, he showed that belonged with the elites. With a little more preparation, he may even beat one of the elites

In the main event, Samuel Peters faces his first big moment but in front of him was Wladimir Klitschko. Despite two devastating knock out losses, Klitschko had the skills to defeat Peters. Combining powers with boxing skills, Klitschko provided Peters with his first big test. Peters strategy was to nail Klitschko early and end the fight.

Klitschko began the fight with rapid left jab and the Ukrainian fighter kept his right hand up high for defensive battle. With 40 seconds left, he nailed Peters with a picture perfect right and followed up with a left hook. Klitschko won the first round. Peters took Klitschko’s right hand but he was unable to close the gap.

Through the second round, Klitschko superior tactical skills separated himself from Peters. This was Klitschko fight to lose but in the past, the Ukrainian found ways to lose some of his biggest fights. Peters found himself behind quickly and for the first time, he was finding a fighter who would not be intimidated or easily bullied by his physical strength.

As the third round open, Peters closed the gap but his wild, looping punches missed their target. It took nearly three full rounds before Peters left hook found Wladimir’s head. At the end of the third round, Klitschko walked back after taking Peters best at that point of the fight.

In the fifth round, Peters’ primitive style began to take hold as he knocked Wladimir down twice. There were no art to his style but Peters was effective throughout the fight round. As the fifth round ended, Klitschko appeared fatigue as Peter strength took hold. Peters did not hit the Ukrainian with a solid shot but his brutality wore Klitschko down. So it appeared.

In the sixth round, Wladimir went on his bicycle and used his jab to frustrate Peters. Peters, looking for a tired opponent, found a determined opponent not yet finished. As the second half of the fight began, Peters was the one who looked exhausted. Klitschko technical skills took control of the seventh round and Peters eyes started to swell. Peters now had to dig deep if he wanted to win.

Like Cotto in the previous fight, Peters found himself in a desperate battle against a smart and technically superior foe. In the tenth round, Peters finally connected in the last minute as he sent Klitschko down for a eight count. After being out boxed for most of the round, it is raw strength that won the round for Peters.

As the championship rounds began in the eleventh, both fighters appeared tired but the Ukrianian boxing style won the round and appeared to be ahead on points as final round began. With a minute into the final round, Peters left hook staggered Klitschko but thirty second later, Wladimir returned the favor with his best punch of fight, a left hook.

With thirty seconds left in the fight, Wladimir right shook Peters one more time and Klitschko won the last round. Peters strength and power could not overcome Wladimir technical skills.

Peters showed raw power but he failed to cut off the ring as he allowed Wladimir Klitschko to box rings around him. He showed a lack of skills that failed to compliment his power.

What Peters needs to do is to learn to cut off the ring. Peters took Klitschko best shots and showed a strong chin. But a strong chin and powerful punch does not guarantee a championship. A little ring savvy often separates the contender and the champions.

Wladimir showed that when he boxes, he is one of the best heavyweights in the world. This was a fight that a superior technical fighter out boxed a slugger. The key to the fight was that Wladimir refused to lose and used his technical skills to its utmost.