Silencing His Critics

By Ralph Rimpel
Updated: July 27, 2008

LAS VEGAS — Saturday night at the MGM grand in Las Vegas, Antonio Margarito silenced his critics by stopping Miguel Cotto in the 11th round. With this victory, Margarito adds a third world title; WBA welterweight title, to his boxing resumes and proved once and for all he belongs among the elite of boxing.

Margarito previously held the WBO and IBF welterweight titles. Not bad for fighter who did not have an amateur career and started boxing professionally at the age of fifteen. Most boxing observers thought Cotto would use his boxing ability to outbox Margarito and win a decision victory.

In the first round, Cotto did just that. He used his jab and good footwork to evade Margarito’s punches. Much of the same action would follow in round two. It was obvious Cotto was the quicker of the two as he landed the cleaner more effective shots.

In round three, Margarito did his best to close the gap and began to find his target. In round four, Cotto continued to box beautifully and appeared to frustrate Margarito with his speed.

More of the same action followed in round five. In round six, Margarito appeared to hurt Cotto towards the end of the round. In round seven, Cotto seemed unfazed by the previous round and used good footwork and boxing ability to evade Margarito’s punches.

Margarito appeared to once again hurt Cotto in the seventh when he held on to Margarito and tied him up. In rounds eight through nine, Cotto got on his bicycle in an effort to avoid Margarito who was quickly closing the gap.

In round 10, Margarito was gaining momentum and had Cotto seriously hurt at the end of the round. Sensing blood, Margarito went in for the kill in round eleven early. Margarito began landing bombs which caused Cotto to take knee for an eight count. At this point, Cotto’s face was a bloody mess.

Margarito hit him with a barrage of punches causing Cotto to take a second knee. Cotto’s corner realizing their fighter had taken to much punishment threw the towel in the ring and conceded victory to Margarito in 2:05 of the 11th round.

Cotto was taken to the hospital after the fight for sutures and for observation so he did not attend the post fight press conference. As to who Margarito will face in his next bout, he deferred that question to his promoter.

Bob Arum stated that De La Hoya was not interested in fighting Margarito because of him being Mexican. A fight against the now retired Mayweather was not realistic because of Mayweather’refusals to fight him even though he was offered eight million dollars.

Arum also stated Margarito is now marketable with this win and is in line for big paydays. He also stated there was no rematch clause and would rather not see an immediate rematch between Margarito and Cotto.

With this win Margarito improves to 37-5, 27 KOs, while Cotto drops to 32-1, 26 KOs. Margarito is arguably the best welterweight in world today.


In other bouts, Cesar Canchila (27-1, 21KOs) won the interim WBA light flyweight title over previously unbeaten Giovani Segura (19-1-1, 15 KOs). Segura started the first half of the fight strong even scoring knockdown over Canchila in the second round.

Canchila used a good jab and superior conditioning to build momentum to outwork the fading Segura in the second half of the fight. Scores were 117-110 twice and 115-112 all in favor of Canchila.

Mike Alvarado improved his record to 22-0, 15 KOs with a fourth round knockout of durable former lightweight champion Cesar Bazan 48-11-1, 31 KOs in a junior welterweight bout. The time of the stoppage was 2:46.

Jesus Rojas was extended the full scheduled eight rounds by Anyetei Laryea, but earned a hard earned decision victory in a super Bantamweight bout. Rojas improved to 13-0, 10 KOs, while Laryea dropped to 16-5, 9 KOs.

Benjamin Flores earned a tech decision (19-3, 6 KOs) victory over Vernie Torres (27-12, 15 KOs) in a featherweight bout when a clash of heads caused a cut to Flores. The bout was stopped and went to the scorecards. The scores were 78-73 and 79-72 twice all in favor of Flores.

Featherweight Luis Cruz (7-0, 5 KOs) scored an impressive first round TKO over Jaimi Villa (5-5-1). The time of the stoppage was 2:59.

Super Bantamweight Luis Cervantes (7-3-3, 2 KOs) and Brian Ramirez (5-1, 3 KOs) bout resulted in a no contest after the third round due to an accidental clash of heads.

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