Manhattan, New York - He did
it! He shocked the world. Love it or hate it, the underdog is on top. Austin
Trout defeated Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto and defended his legitimacy in
the division by retaining his WBA junior
middleweight crown. Trout's victory came by way of unanimous decision in a
front of a raucous and hostile crowd of 13,096 at Madison Square Garden in
Saturday night's main event.
“Miguel Cotto is a great
champion,” said Trout. “He’s a great fighter and it was an honor to be in the
same ring as him. It’s even more of an honor to be the man to beat him. To have
my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true.”
Whether or not the fight was
closer than the judges’ scorecards of 119-109 and 117-111 (twice) is
irrelevant. What matters is that the right individual was awarded the victory
and this is history repeating itself all over again. Trout, 154, of Las Cruces,
New Mexico improved to 26-0 (14) by handing Cotto his first loss at the “Mecca
of Boxing.” Entering fight night, Cotto sported a seven-fight win streak at
MSG, as well as bringing with him plenty of championship experience. Cotto has
been on the big stage plenty of times; for Trout, this was his first. That said,
do the names Ronald “Winky” Wright and Vernon Forrest ring a bell? Wright and
Forrest may just be two of the better fighters of their era but you would never
know it because they weren't as heralded as some of their more popular
classmates like Oscar De la Hoya, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad and Floyd
Mayweather Jr. Let's be honest; who really gave Forrest a shot against Mosley
the first time around? And by the same token, didn't you think Trinidad would
knock out Wright? De la Hoya and Mayweather never fought Wright so surely, that
must stand for something. With Trout defeating Cotto, he now put himself in the
“Wright/Forrest” category. He got the opportunity and maximized on it…so don't
expect many takers knocking on Trout's door in the immediate future.
Trout-Cotto was a good
fight. It showcased a little bit of everything. Trout exhibited terrific ring
intelligence while Cotto, as always, showed toughness, grit and courage. The
back-and-forth shifts in action left most of those in attendance standing while
chanting “Cotto” at the top of their lungs. The southpaw Trout established his
jab early in the fight while avoiding a good portion of Cotto's barrage. The smaller
Cotto, (both in height and weight) 153.6, started to rally in the middle
rounds. The 32-year-old Cotto cut off the ring and was able to get on the
inside of Trout and work the body. Unfortunately for Cotto, his punches lacked
the steam to slow down his younger foe. Trout then came back strong, sweeping the
championship rounds. Something else worth mentioning: As the fight progressed,
Cotto's left eye swelled up, preventing him from seeing Trout's counter right
hook over the top.
“It was around the third or fourth
round when I saw his eye starting to swell,” said the 27-year-old Trout. “I am
going to say it was the fourth round. I said ‘Wow, it’s closing up bad and he
can’t see. I am going to attack it now.”
Cotto, now 37-4 (30), seemingly
had a Cinco De Mayo date with WBC champion Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez (who was in
attendance) set in stone. All Cotto had to do was win; Instead, Trout played
“Those shots that Cotto hit
me with were strong and I knew he’d be strong but it reconfirmed that [I could]
take those shots,” said Trout. “It was definitely the hardest fight of my
career and when you fight someone as big as Miguel Cotto, it motivated me.”
As for the native of Caguas,
it is evident that his big payday has gone up in smoke. When asked about the
decision rendered as well as the scorecards, he responded, “Ask the public.”
Cotto continued, “I’m
satisfied with the job I did tonight,” he boasted proudly. “I’ll go back to Puerto
Rico and think. [Trout] came at me with both hands and it was a great fight. He
fought until the end. I’m really thankful for all of my fans who were here to
support me tonight. There’s nothing like fighting at Madison Square Garden.”
In case you were wondering,
did Trout try to get Alvarez's attention?
“Give me ‘Canelo’ - it’s
time to unify this division” He said. “There are a lot of good fighters out
there and I want to be the best.”
In the co-featured bout of
the televised tripleheader, undefeated Puerto Rican featherweight prospect
Jayson Velez, 125.8, impressively captured the vacant WBC “silver” featherweight
championship after easily disposing of Salvador Sanchez II inside three rounds.
“It was easier than I thought,”
said Velez, 20-0 (15). “I thought it would be a little more difficult. [I] was
connecting so easily. This is a very exciting moment for me.”
Velez, a native of Juncos, Puerto
Rico, followed his corner’s instructions and simply let his hands go. Velez
unleashed a series of punches to the head and face of Sanchez II in the second
round and after absorbing tremendous punishment, the Mexican showed he was
human by touching the canvas before the round came to a close.
“This is a very exciting
moment for me,” said Velez. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”
Sanchez II, 125.2, of
Tianguistenco, Mexico, was sporting the trunks of his uncle, the late, great featherweight
champion and legend Salvador Sanchez. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to help
him out as he added one more loss to his record, now standing at 30-5-3 (18).
Summoning the spirit of the original Sanchez in a building filled with Puerto
Ricans is easier said than done. When Sanchez II touched the deck again in the
third, it became apparent to referee Harvey Dock that it was over. He stopped it
at the :38 mark of the round.
Now that Velez has the
silver, he should naturally go for the gold. A match-up with WBC champion
Daniel Ponce de Leon seems inevitable.
For the second time this year,
in as many months, cancer survivor Danny Jacobs returned to the squared circle
to do what he does best - and that's fight. Jacobs, 161.2, of Brownsville,
Brooklyn (who now goes by the moniker of “Miracle Man”) opened up the Showtime
telecast against the relatively unknown Chris Fitzpatrick of Cleveland, Ohio in
a scheduled eight-rounder.
Jacobs, 24-1 (21),
controlled the action as he dominated Fitzpatrick, cruising his way to a TKO
victory. Jacobs pounded the bigger Fitzpatrick, 163.3, with a series of punches
as the fifth round concluded, causing Fitzpatrick to call it quits while
waiting in his corner in between rounds.
“I’m just glad that I got
five rounds to get the rust out,” said Jacobs. “We don’t want to jump the gun
but I think I’m back.”
Fitzpatrick, 15-3 (6),
sustained a laceration to the top of his head. It wasn't clear if the cut came
from a punch or a headbutt that often occurs whenever a conventional fighter
and a southpaw meet. And no, Fitzpatrick wasn't a lefty. Jacobs, a conventional
fighter, fought a good portion of the opening round in the southpaw stance. Why,
you ask? It was a tribute to the fallen champion Hector “Macho” Camacho.
“I felt pretty good today,”
said Jacobs. “I wanted to take my time. I heard a few boos but I hope the crowd
Jacobs fought aggressively
and attacked the cut on Fitzpatrick. As a result, Fitzpatrick failed to answer
the bell for round six.
“I’m satisfied,” said
Jacobs. “I let my hands go. I’m back as a contender.”
Maybe the sight of blood
caused Fitzpatrick to panic. Who knows?
The heavy-handed but yet overweight
junior middleweight Jorge Melendez, 155, scored the 24th knockout of
his career while improving to 25-2-1 after stopping journeyman James Winchester,
155, 15-7 (5), of Greensboro, North Carolina in the fourth round.
Melendez, who was repping Carlos
Beltran's hood of Manati in Puerto Rico, thoroughly smashed his foe without
breaking a sweat. Melendez scored knockdowns in the second and third frame. As
the carnage continued, referee Ricky Gonzalez jumped in at the :54 mark of the
round, saving Winchester of any more punishment or embarrassment.
Lightweight prospect and Caguas,
Puerto Rico representative Jeffrey Fontanez upped his résumé to 10-0 (9) after
stopping Pedro Arcos in two rounds.
Fontanez, 134.6, knocked
down the Tijuana resident in the first with a left hook. Fontanez, 134.8,
replicated the same course of action in the second frame when he landed another
left hook set up by a right hand to the jaw of his slightly heavier opponent.
Fontanez's fistic fury left Arcos, 8-0 (6), on the canvas, prompting referee
Tony Chiarantano to call off the fight at the 1:23 mark of the round.
It may be true that
lightweights Michael Perez and Fernando Carcamo weighed in slightly above the
lightweight limit at 135.4 (Perez) and 135.8 (Carcamo); however, it still
doesn't take away from the fact that Perez, a native of Newark, New Jersey,
threw down and left it all in the ring when he locked horns with his counterpart
of Obregon, Mexico.
Perez , now 18-1-1 (10),
earned a unanimous decision over Carcamo, 10-5 (7), by scores of 78-71 and
Perez and Carcamo shot the
“fair one” over eight sizzling rounds that saw back-and-forth momentum as well
as shifts in action. Perez floored Carcamo with a straight right hand in the
first. In an attempt to be “even-Steven,” Carcamo wanted to show he had a trick
of his own up his sleeve, reciprocating the same hospitality in the second frame.
Both men traded and landed salacious shots throughout the contest with the
American getting the better end of the exchanges.
In the eighth and final
frame, Perez connected with a two-punch combination (left hook/right uppercut)
that dropped Carcamo for the count of eight.
Featherweight Jorge Diaz,
122.4, earned a tough, hard-fought, six-round unanimous decision over solid foe
Victor Sanchez, 126, of Houston, Texas. Scores were 60-53 across the board.
Diaz, 17-1 (10) dropped
Sanchez early in the first round. However, it wasn't enough to keep the Texan off
him. Sanchez was a mosquito that would not go away. With the loss, Sanchez
dropped to 3-5-1.
“Boogie-Down” Bronx major
Eddie Gomez, 150, continued to climb up the junior middleweight rankings as he
improved to 12-0 (8) by perfectly executing his game plan, through showcasing
all facets of his repertoire against Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez. Ring intelligence
was evident on Gomez’s part as well as superior hand speed. Hernandez never had
a chance. The scorecards read 59-54, 59-55 and 58-55.
With the loss, Hernandez,
152, fell to 10-1 (6). Just a small ringside footnote: Strangely enough,
referee Tony Chiarantano deducted a point from Gomez in the sixth round for an
unintentional foul (a low blow) without any warning. This explains the
In the opening bout of the
evening, middleweight John Thompson, 156.4, earned a six-round unanimous
decision over Elie Agustama, 158, by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 (twice).
Thompson, a native of Newark,
New Jersey, dictated the tempo of the fight by utilizing his left jab out of
the conventional stance. With the victory, Thompson remains undefeated at 10-0
(3) while Agustama, of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, drops to 6-6 (3).
Jay Gon's Ringside Tidbits
- Although I was born in Brooklyn, spent a
couple of years there and went to college there, I am old-school. I prefer
Madison Square Garden over the Barclays Center any day.
- Last night, I learned there were four
floors/levels underneath the ring/court/hockey rink at MSG. According to the
workers, the first four levels in the building are offices and the basement.
- December 1 marks the 15th year
anniversary of the passing of Edwin “El Chapo” Rosario.
- During the 10-count for the fallen champion Hector
Camacho, everyone in attendance chanted “Macho” as loud as they could.
- To everyone's surprise Trout is Latino, being of
- Trout's mother was in
attendance and according to his sister, Trout's mom was born in New York. And
they have a lot of family in Harlem, Brooklyn and in Long Island. Who knew
Trout's roots originated in the “Big Apple”?
“Last but not least, Trout's
sister was wearing what appeared to be a one-piece bathing suit with a fur-like
coat over it. But the kicker was the eye contacts that were worn. They were
these white/gray “zombie” looking things that covered both of her eyes. She
stayed in character for the entire night. It was interesting.