Madison Square Garden’s WBC, RING Middleweight clash was hard to watch – especially for Sergio Martinez fans. The Argentine took much punishment on June 7th, 2014, eventually succumbing to the power of his hungry challenger, Miguel Cotto. Not only did Martinez have his hands full with the Puerto Rican fighter in New York, he was also battling a pair of disloyal knees.
Though Cotto fought a smart and disciplined fight – which he should be commended for – it was clear to see the 39-year-old Martinez was past his best. Martinez, once known for his mobility and awkward angles, suffered three knockdowns in the 1st round, and was retired following the bell in the 10th round.
Cotto, 33, now picks up two pieces of the Middleweight crown and extends his record to 39 wins, 4 losses, and 32 knockouts, while Martinez’s drops to 51 wins, 3 losses, 2 draws, and 28 knockouts.
Martinez’s four year title reign looked to be over in just the 1st round when he was knocked down a staggering three times by Cotto. To the Argentine’s credit, he somehow survived and went on to see the end of the 10th, despite taking a beating and being dropped again in the 9th. He landed some nice straights along the way, but simply couldn’t cope with Cotto’s solid combinations, especially those featuring a fight-changing left hook. (Cotto vs Martinez Fight Highlights)
For what it’s worth, the officials ringside had the bout tallied at 77-90 (on all three scorecards) when the 10th round Retirement was announced.
Cotto vs Martinez Aftermath: Door Opens for Cotto, Shuts for Martinez
Post fight, Martinez made no excuses whatsoever, not even addressing his knee problems. He simply praised Cotto’s performance, which is of course very admirable. One just couldn’t help but notice how flat and unrecognizable he was in the ring that night. Miguel Cotto may have smashed the guy, but it would seem like every other top 10 Middleweight could have beaten this 2014 version.
It’s hard to imagine where Martinez will go from here given his fragile body. He could now have some major operations and fight on, sure, but short of a miracle, knees are notorious for killing fighter’s careers. Just how long will those knees hold up when future opponents rush him in the opening seconds, trying to upset his bones before they can warm up?
Cotto, now a four-weight champion, will steam ahead into another big name matchup. Whatever road the Puerto Rican star takes, it’s going to lead to a lucrative fight; the biggest will be Mayweather, of course, and then there are the other ranked Middleweights, most of whom are likely beatable given Cotto’s reawakened aggression under Roach’s tutelage.
Ah yes, and then there’s Gennady Golovkin. Not such an easy task – but if Cotto fancies a crack, then big props to him. He would certainly be the Middleweight monster’s biggest test to date.
What did you think of Cotto vs Martinez? Was this one of the best boxing results of Cotto’s career? Or did he just face Martinez at the right time? And what’s next for the new champion? Does he target a mega money fight with Mayweather, ‘GGG’, or take on some other top 10 fighters first?
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