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Cotto Too Much For Urkal, Eyes Judah
By Francis Walker
Updated: March 5, 2007
Puerto Rico on Saturday.NEW YORK — Undefeated two-division titlist Miguel Cotto (29-0, 24 KOs) earned a decisive 11th round TKO victory against No. 1 ranked, Oktay Urkal (38-4, 12 KOs) at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in
It was Cotto’s defense of the WBA welterweight championship, as he moves ahead to a highly-anticipated showdown against former two-division champion, Zab Judah on June 9 at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m going to prepare for June,” Cotto said. “Judah is next. I have to prepare hard for him.”
Cotto-Judah is one of the most exciting fights that could be made in 2007. The fight will occur during the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Judah, of Brooklyn, NY, could be the underdog in his own hometown because of the strong Latino/Spanish population in New York City.
Judah had a very difficult 2006. He squandered the unified WBC/WBA/IBF welterweight championships with an upset loss to Carlos Baldomir. Judah lost a decisive 12-round decision to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Afterwards, Judah was issued a one-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role during a riot that occurred in the tenth round of his fight against Mayweather.
Judah was also fined $250,000.
Judah is back and eagerly awaits Cotto. But first, Judah has a scheduled April 14th ESPN Boxing date scheduled. It will be Judah’s first fight after since losing to Mayweather. Judah has not won a boxing match in nearly two years.
Cotto of Caguas, Puerto Rico, is only 26. He is one of the best and perhaps most dominant fighters in boxing is being build by HBO as the apparent heir of the title of Puerto Rico’s boxing icon. That distinction was previously held by Felix Trinidad.
Justin Juuko (TKO 5), John Brown (W 10), Cesar Bazan (TKO 11), Carlos Maussa (TKO 8), Lovermore N’dou (W 12), Randal Bailey (TKO 6), DeMarcus Corley (TKO 5), Paul Maliginaggi (W 12), and previously unbeaten Carlos Quintana (W 5) have all felt Cotto’s power and relentless determination.
Cotto’s resume is impressive. His most recent victim was Urkal, 37, of Berlin, Germany. Each of Urkal’s losses occurred in world title fights. Urkal was tough and very game.
While he didn’t have the power or the speed to hurt Cotto, Urkal gave the champion a very difficult challenge. In fact, Cotto was cut around the eye in the sixth round of a very good boxing match.
Cotto had to strategize logically in order to break Urkal down. Cotto proved his talent as a boxer-puncher. Cotto was successful by throwing quick left jabs and pressuring Urkal with combinations to his body.
Urkal was docked one point for a head butt low blows in round seven, but did a wonderful job of frustrating and challenging Cotto to fight hard.
Just when it appeared the bout would go the distance, Urkal’s corner literally waved the towel to signal the end of the fight at 1:01 into the eleventh.
A victory against Judah could be the first of many big fights that can be made for Cotto. Another great fight would match the Cotto-Judah winner against the victor of the upcoming WBO welterweight title clash between champion Antonio Margarito and undefeated mandatory challenger, Paul Williams.
Originally, Cotto was scheduled to face Margarito to unify the WBA/WBO welterweight championships. However, Margarito didn’t want to be stripped and accused of ducking Williams, one of the best welterweight prospects in the world.
Margarito will and should be commended for fighting Williams. Adding Judah to the mix, could create a welterweight championship tournament between the four.
Green Tastes Miranda’s Power
On the Cotto-Urkal undercard, middleweight contender, Edison Miranda (28-1, 24 KOs) won a unanimous 10-round decision against previously unbeaten Allan Green (23-1, 16 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 96-91 (twice) and 97-90.
Miranda and Green engaged in a tactical boxing match. Both fighters threw one left jab at a time and kept their hands high to avoid getting hit on the chin with a solid punch.
It wasn’t until the eighth round when action heated up. Miranda, who taunted Green at the end of the seventh round, was dropped to the canvas with a single left hook to his chin while back off balanced.
Miranda, who was not hurt, caught Green with a solid right hand and a left hook that wobbled Greens’ legs in the ninth. In the final round, Miranda wobbled Green with a solid straight-right to his chin.
Miranda went on to score two knockdowns against Green in the final minute of the fight. Miranda also stunned Green with a right hook at the bell.
Miranda, 26, Colombia, now living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of the hardest hitters in the sport today. He is a leading contender for world middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
Miranda’s only loss was a questionable 12-round unanimous decision loss to Arthur Abraham in September 2006 for the IBF middleweight title. Miranda quickly returned to the winning track when he stopped Willie Gibbs in the first round in December.
Miranda victory over Green, 27, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was against an undefeated, hard-hitting fighter. Miranda did show a few flaws against Green. Miranda showed impatience with his boxing skills. The fight was clearly a tactical battle in the early rounds, but Miranda began lunging straight into Green which eventually led to a knockdown.
If Miranda were to have fought Jermain Taylor, he would have been out boxed. Taylor’s lightening-quick left jab, faster hand speed, and combination punching would clearly make him a decisive favorite.
Marquez Breaks Vazquez’ Nose In Slugfest
Rafael Marquez (37-3, 33 KOs) stopped two-time super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez (41-4, 30 KOs) in the seventh round to capture the WBC 122-pound championship at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The fight was stopped when Vazquez, who reportedly broke his nose, said he had difficulty breathing and couldn’t continue. Vazquez’ nose was visibly bloody during the second round.
Marquez was ahead on two of the three judges scorecards 67-65 with the third scorecard even at 66-66. There is already talk of a rematch between the two fighters.
“Vasquez is a great fighter,” Marquez said. “He deserves a rematch. That is why I want to stay at 122 pounds.”
Marquez, moving up in weight from 118 pounds successfully defended the IBF bantamweight championship eight times before moving up in weight.
Marquez has defeated some of the best 118-pounders of his time – Tim Austin (TKO 8), Mauricio Pastrana (W 12, TKO 8), Mark Johnson (W 12, TKO 8), and Silence Mabuza (TKO 4, W RD 9).
Marquez, 31, Mexico City, Mexico, proved to be the superior boxer in a highly anticipated fight against Vazquez, 29, Mexico City, Mexico. Marquez’ dependence and consistency with his left jabs opened up his entire arsenal.
Marquez’ jabs allowed him to close the distance to throw effective double left and right hooks. Marquez landed a lot of effective body punches and stinging straight-rights that stunned Vazquez in his tracks.
Marquez buckled Vazquez’ knees with a solid right at the end of the first. Marquez appeared to have control of the early rounds when he wobbled Vazquez with power shots in the third round. However, Vazquez didn’t become a champion by doing nothing. He dropped Marquez with a sharp left hook to his chin on the inside in the third round.
Marquez and Vazquez exchanged blows, but the difference was that Marquez had the better jab. Vazquez would lead with powered shots, but would eat Marquez’ left jabs. Marquez was so accurate with his jabs and power shots, Vazquez’ face looked as though it was carved up with a sharp knife.
“Vasquez is a great fighter,” said Marquez of Vasquez after the fight. “He deserves a rematch. That is why I want to stay at 122 pounds.”
Darchinyan Brutalizes Burgos To Hospital
Vic Darchinyan (28-0, 22 KOs) making his sixth defense of the IBF flyweight championship he won 27 months ago, stopped Victor Burgos (39-15-3, 23 KOs) at 1:27 seconds of the twelfth round of a lopsided fight. Burgos was escorted from ringside to a local hospital on a stretcher.
Darchinyan, 31 Sydney, Australia, dropped Burgos, 32, Tijuana, Mexico in the second round with left uppercut to his body. Darchinyan stalked Burgos throwing one punch at a time, knowing that his challenger couldn’t hurt him. Burgos threw combinations that surprised Darchinyan. Burgos rushed the champion against the ropes and landed a few punches.
Darchinyan pressed Burgos with hard body punches and headshots. Burgos was very game and determined, but was simply no match for the champion. Burgos’ face was bloody and swollen mess. He took a lot of head shots and was out on his feet when the fight was stopped.
“[Burgos] was going to the hospital one way or another,” said Dr. Paul Wallace, a physician for the California State Athletic Commission. “His vital signs were good when the paramedics checked him out. He wasn’t completely unconscious, but he was going in and out of consciousness. He is going to get a full evaluation brain scan.”