In what may have been the greatest performance of his career, Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto became a four-division champion by overpowering Sergio Martinez to win the Ring Magazine and WBC middleweight championship, stopping Martinez after nine rounds of one-sided action.
Cotto (39-4, 32 KO) put Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO) on the canvas three times in the opening round, and it looked unlikley that Martinez was even going to make it out of the round. He did, but though he got a bit better in the middle rounds, he was never in the fight, and was dropped once more in the ninth round.
After nine rounds, all three judges had it 90-77, the same score that I had on the BLH unofficial card. Cotto was in control all the way, with Sergio's knee and overall health seemingly betraying him from the get-go. As the 10th round started, trainer Pablo Sarmiento stopped the fight, with Martinez protesting a bit, but only because he wanted to continue on and keep fighting.
Cotto landed 212 of 395 punches (54%) overall, and 158 of 293 (54%) power punches, a huge performance statistically. He was spry, strong, and fast, and Sergio couldn't get untracked. Martinez landed just 100 of 322 punches (31%), and 60 of 157 (38%) power shots.
Cotto gave no indication about his next move, but said he'll speak with Freddie Roach after a quick break, and they'll make a plan.
Martinez said, "I got hit early, and I was cold. I never recuperated after that," and made no excuses, even when asked by Kellerman about his knee. "You've got to know how to win, and know how to lose," he said. "If nothing else, I can only say congratulations to Miguel Cotto."
Martinez also said he respected the decision of Sarmiento when asked about it by Kellerman.
What's your call? Was that Miguel Cotto's best performance to date? Is he truly reborn under Freddie Roach? How much did Sergio's knee play into what went down?