Much has been written about the reasons why Miguel Cotto succumbed to Antonio Margarito some two years ago. The cast of suspicion lingers as to whether or not the Puerto Rican warrior capitulated from the relentless pressure of the taller Mexican or something more sinister. Either way, the loss is not one we can easily forget.
Myself, I saw something very early in the fight that foretold the end. It was something better seen in Cotto’s corner between rounds more so than in the ring. I refer here to the ‘look’ on Miguel’s face. The one that said: “WTF…..Who the hell is this guy”. Manny Steward noticed it. I’ll never forget it. It didn’t come late. It came early…. well before sustaining the accumulation of punishment that eventually marked the end.
It was a look of doubt. A look that said to the corner: “I hear you…but I have other things on my mind” Namely the guy across the ring. The one that keeps coming through fire….at me!
After three hellacious fights, we saw a similar look on the face of Erik Morales. Sitting on his behind, after getting whacked for the last time by a dynamo named Manny Pacquiao, El Terrible just winked at his corner and said: No Mas. It was a dignified end to an illustrious reign.
Ivan Calderon wore that look last night. Bowed and beaten, he chose life over certain hell. No one can blame him.
It has happened to many of the greats. There is a moment when they know better than their corner, their fans, whomever. Maybe it’s not the end….but it’s the end of their night.
Who can remember that ‘look’ on the face of an otherwise great and dignified warrior. I’m sure every one of us can.