Miguel Cotto Shows What He is Made of in Split Decision Win Over Joshua Clottey
By Danny Serratelli at ringside (June 14, 2009) Photo German Villasenor
WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, 33-1, 27 KO’s won a 12- round split decision over Joshua Clottey, 35-2, 21 KO’s at Madison Square Garden tonight. The Doghouseboxing/Brickcityboxing scorecard read 115-112 at the final bell, the same score as Judge John McKaie. Judge Tom Miller scored the bout for Clottey 114-113 and Judge Don Truella scored the bout 116-111 for Miguel Cotto. With many close rounds, and different styles, all of these scores were fair. Miguel Cotto overcame a very bad cut from an accidental head butt in round number 3 and showed the ring generalship and tenacity necessary to win this fight. Clottey had to overcome the whole arena
backing Cotto up, and he did a good job. However, Clottey is a respected adversary, not only by his opponents, but also by the fans. He did not receive cheers, but he also did not get booed.

Fighting on the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Day parade has become tradition for Cotto and he does not let his legions of fans down. With Felix “Tito” Trinidad now finally retired for good, Miguel Cotto is the man. The fans know when they spend their hard earned money in a bad economy to see Miguel Cotto fight, that they will always get what they paid for. While many boxing insiders were concerned that the punishment Cotto took in his first loss as a professional to Antonio Margarito would affect the champ, it did not appear to be so tonight against a top notch opponent in Joshua Clottey. Cotto always performs, his fans are out in full force, much like they used to be for Trinidad, and much like Arturo Gatti’s fans would be in Atlantic City. With Trinidad and Gatti retired, anyone who has the chance should go out of their way to see Cotto fight at the Garden while they still can, it is something special.

After a pretty evenly contested round one, Cotto dropped Clottey with a jab at the end of the round. Most of the rounds were close, with Cotto being the busier fighter and displaying excellent ring generalship, while Clottey showed good defense and landed some hard single blows, and even seemed to be the more accurate puncher of the two.

An unintentional but from Clottey opened up a bad cut over Cotto’s eye early in the fight, but he seemed determined to finish a fight that no one though he would finish. Bob Arum would later commend the ringside doctor for not stopping the fight and depriving the fans od 12 rounds of solid action. Arum knew Cotto was ahead arount the 6th or 7th round when it came close to being stopped, but the doctor let Cotto’s cutman earn his pay, and they did a good job. From inside the arena it seemed that Clottey was having problems at times and it was hard to figure out what happened. From the vantage point ringside it was tough to see what happened to Clotteys leg when he fell and appeared to be in pain. Later in the fight complaints of low blows and rabbit punches did not seem justified, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. did a good job of controlling the action and letting the combatants fight.

Aftter the 12th round ended and a split-decision was announced in Cotto’s favor, the crowd erupted and Clottey was visibly upset. “I think I won the fight but I didn’t get the decision. The thing that would make me happy is a rematch. I’m very upset, but I have to move on. What would make me happy is for Mr. Bob Arum to give me a rematch.”

Unfortunately for Clottey, Bob Arum pulled no punches when he said that a rematch probably wouldn’t make sense financially at this time. There are several big money fights out there for Cotto. Including a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao, who was ringside for the fight. A possible opponent mentioned for Clottey was Shane Mosley. Arum repeated several times that he was sure that former pound for pound champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather wanted no part of his fighters, or anyone else who is not small or has a chance to beat him. Arum said, it’s not just his fighters as he said that Mayweather would not fight a dangerous fighter like Shane Mosley either.

After the fight, Cotto, showed up for the press conference before he went to have his eye stitched. He said next for him is a vacation, but that he would fight anyone as soon as he came back. He acknowledged that the blood from the cut bothered him, but that he knew if he moved like he did he would win the fight. When asked about the Margarito fight he said, people may say it is a questionable loss, but, “I am never going to make any excuse in any fight”. It should also be noted that Cotto should be applauded for doing such a great job in speaking English. It only helps him add to the legions of fans he has. He is very unique in the sport, a true warrior that sells tickets and can compete on the highest level. A fight between him and Pacquiao would be HUGE.

In the co-feature, WBO flyweight champion Ivan Calderon, 32-0-1 6 KO’s and Rodel Mayol, 25-3-1, 19 KO’s fought to a 6 round technical draw. The fight had to be stopped in the 6th round due to an accidental head butt Calderon suffered. When they went to the cards the judges had the fight scored 58-56 Mayol, 58-56 Calderon and 57-57.

Bob Arum joked several times afterwards that Mayweather would run from the small counterpunching Marquez in their upcoming fight and next he wanted the flyweight Calderon. Arum said Mayweather wants to only fight small guys who have no chance of beating him. Of course Arum added that all Floyd has to do is ask and he would gladly match any of his fighters with him.


Featherweight Rafael Guzman, 22-1, 16 KO’s beat Juan Carlos Martinez, 14-10-1, 5 KO’s via six round split decision (58-56 Martinez, 59-55 Guzman, 58-56 Guzman)

Middleweight Glen Tapia, 3-0, 2 KO’s outpointed David Lopez, 3-2-1 via four round unanimous decision (40-36 twice and 39-37)

Super bantamweight Jorge Diaz, 9-0, 5 KO’s defeated Guadalupe De Leon, 7-7 4 KO’s via unanimous decision (58-54, 59-53 twice). Diaz dropped De Leon two times in the first round.

Lightweight Alberto Cruz, 5-0, 4 KO’s defeated Rudy Valdez via TKO after Valdez, 2-5 failed to answer the bell at the start of round three.

Super bantamweight Jayson Velez, 9-0, 8 KO’s defeated Jesus Beron, 5-2, 4 KO’s via TKO at :33 in round four.

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