By Mariano A. Agmi and Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Ed Mulholland
Undefeated WBA super welterweight world champion Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) retained his title with a twelve round unanimous decision over three-division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Both fighters had their moments with Trout shading many close rounds. Trout clearly finished stronger. Scores were 117-111, 117-111, 119-109. After the fight, Cotto said he would “probably” fight again. He was slated to face Canelo Alvarez in May, but Trout stated he now wants the unification showdown with Canelo.
Unbeaten featherweight Jayson Velez (20-0, 15 KOs) annihilated Salvador Sanchez II (30-5-3, 18 KOs) in a fight for the vacant WBC silver featherweight title. Velez landed almost at will as he dropped Sanchez II in round two and again in round three. The bout was waved off by referee Harvey Dock moments later. Time was :38 of round three. Sanchez II is the nephew of Mexican ring legend Salvador Sanchez. Next up for Velez is a clash with WBC champion Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Middleweight Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (24-1, 21 KOs) won by TKO when Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick (15-3, 6 KOs) didn’t come out for round six. Jacobs battered Fitzpatrick in the fifth round.
Junior middleweight Jorge Melendez (25-2-1, 24 KOs) of Manati, Puerto Rico, punished overmatched opponent James Winchester (15-7, 5 KOs) for four rounds, dropping the Greensboro, NC native in rounds two and three and teeing off on Winchester against the ropes in round four until referee Ricky Gonzalez halted the bout at 0:54 of the round.
Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Jeffrey Fontanez improved to 9-0 (8) with a spectacular second round TKO over Pedro Arcos (12-3-1, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico. A sneaky left hook dropped Arcos in round one. Fontanez knocked Arcos down again in round two with a big right hand, and a follow-up left hook left the Mexican on one knee with his right hand hanging over the bottom rope. Referee Tony Chiarantano immediately halted the bout at 1:23 of round two.
As most showdowns go between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, Michael Perez and Fernando Carcano engaged in an all-out slugfest over 8 rounds in a lightweight contest that featured multiple knockdowns. Newark’s Perez dropped Carcano with a big right hand in round one, and the Mexican native returned the favor in round two. The fighters continued trading big shots throughout the fight, with Perez getting the better of the exchanges. Perez (18-1-1, 10 KOs) left no doubt in the eighth and final round, as a left hook, right uppercut dropped Carcano (10-5, 7 KOs) again for an 8 count. Scores were 78-71 and 77-72 (2x).
New Brunswick’s Jorge Diaz improved to 17-1 (10) with a 6 round unanimous decision win over tough Texan Victor Sanchez (3-6-1) in a fiercely contested featherweight bout. Diaz dropped Sanchez with a big right hand in round one, but Sanchez was able to weather the storm and make it a competitive fight for the remainder of the bout. Unfortunately his effort was not reflected by the judges scores of 60-53 (3x).
In a battle of undefeated junior middleweight prospects, Bronx native Eddie Gomez (12-0, 8 KOs) used superior speed and ring generalship to defeat Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez (9-1, 5 KOs). Without warning, referee Tony Chiarantano deducted a point from Gomez in the sixth and final round for a low blow that appeared to be unintentional.
In the opening bout of the evening, “The Apollo Kid” John Thompson (10-0, 3 KOs) won a 6 round unanimous decision over Eli “The Fly” Agustama (6-6, 3 KOs) in a middleweight contest. Newark’s Thompson controlled the bout with his left jab, but he had to fight through exhaustion in round 6 to win the bout. Scores were 60-54 and 59-55 (2x).