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Report/gallery: Mayweather vs. Cotto

Ringside by Andreas Hale and Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos by Chris Cozzone

Las Vegas — Floyd Mayweather promised that he would give fans the exciting fights they have always wanted and on Cinco De Mayweather the man known as “Money” certainly disappoint as he endured a rugged twelve round dogfight with Miguel Cotto and earned a unanimous decision victory.

In front of a raucous 16,047 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mayweather opted to stand toe to toe with Miguel Cotto and perhaps absorbed the most punishment in his career as he bled from his mouth and his nose. However, Mayweather gave back more than he took and delivered a thrilling performance that not only got him to 43-0 but also earned him the WBA Super Light Middleweight Title.

It was the fight he wanted to give fans and Miguel Cotto (37-3) was more than happy to dance with the undefeated pound-for-pound king for twelve hotly contested rounds. If it weren’t for Cotto’s undeniable desire to win and relentless pressure, this wouldn’t have been the exciting war that it became. Mayweather, who had 50 Cent and Justin Bieber accompany him to the ring, wasn’t the fan favorite by any stretch of the imagination but slowly turned his detractors by stepping into Cotto’s wheelhouse and exchanging leather at a freakish pace.

“You’re a hell of a champion,” Mayweather told Cotto afterwards. “You’re one of the toughest guys I have ever fought.”

He was right.

Mayweather started fast and his precision punching and blinding hand speed gave Cotto problems early on. Then Cotto decided to make it ugly and use his size to bull the smaller Mayweather into the ropes and unleash body punches and raked with hooks to the head. The strategy worked as Mayweather looked to slip and counter but was unable to avoid every punch. As the rounds wore on, Cotto’s strategy seemed to be working as he busted Mayweather’s face with left hooks and struck to the body. With blood streaming from Mayweather’s nose, it appeared that “Money” enjoyed the fracas and smiled at the image he saw on the house screens several times. Welcoming the war that Cotto was determined to bring him, Mayweather never once deviated from his strategy of languishing on the ropes and using them as leverage to counter Cotto’s attack. Perhaps eating more leather than even he anticipated, Mayweather was forced to dig deep and use his speed and skill advantage to wrap hooks around Cotto’s gloves and smash him with uppercuts on the inside.

In the championship rounds, Mayweather sensed that Cotto was slowing down and landed some brilliant combinations that rattled Cotto. A smashing left uppercut in the last round wrecked Cotto’s equilibrium and sent him staggering backwards. But Cotto was resilient and refused to be taken out as the crowd roared the blistering exchanges between the two as the fight came to a close. Well aware that it was a defining moment of his career, Mayweather embraced Cotto as the final bell rang and seemed satisfied with his performance.

“When fights are on pay per view you want to give the fans what they pay for and that’s excitement,” Mayweather said after the 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 scorecards were read.”I had to fight hard. Cotto is a tough competitor and I knew I was going to have to come in, fight hard and execute the game plan. Cotto is no pushover and he came to fight. He didn’t come to survive.”

With another notch under his well decorated belt, Mayweather will prepare for his jail sentence stemming from a domestic abuse case with his former girlfriend beginning on June 1st. Meanwhile, the only fighter left that could give Mayweather a challenge will be fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9th in Las Vegas. Should Pacquiao get past Bradley, the hype for their long-awaited clash will begin. But, if you ask Mayweather, this fight may never happen even though he says he wants it.

“I want to fight Pacquiao but he needs to take the tests before we make that fight,” Mayweather said while also citing the purse split being a sticking point. And speaking of purses, Mayweather took home a record breaking guaranteed haul of $32 million for 36 minutes of action. He certainly doesn’t need the money at this point in career. But boxing needs that fight. Whether it will ever happen is anyone’s guess.

Until then, we can reflect on this epic twelve round clash as one of the most significant moments in the career of Floyd “Money” Mayweather. – Andreas Hale

Alvarez has coming out party, outclasses Mosley

With 36 minutes of boxing in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had his coming out party in front of American fans and a worldwide audience. Shane Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, stated Alvarez would try to win one for Mexico on cinco de Mayo.

That’s exactly what the 21-year-old did.

Facing the biggest name of his career, Alvarez dominated Mosley to take a unanimous decision victory to retain the WBC super welterweight title.

Mosley started out strong, walking Alvarez down in the opening rounds. But it was the counter punching and speed of Alvarez that would make the difference.

“He’s up there with the top, a visibly disappointed Mosley said of his opponent. “Mayweather’s fast, Cotto and all those guys I’ve fought. He’s up there with them.”

Alvarez showed he belonged at the top with grace under fire. The champion suffered a cut near the left eye, the result of an accidental elbow in the third frame. The sight of blood against a veteran didn’t faze Alvarez in the slightest. Each time Mosley mounted offense, he was battered with counter jabs and stiff uppercuts.

Unlike the bout with Pacquiao, Mosley showed no quit. He stood toe-to-toe with Alvarez and often paid for it. A right hand from Alvarez in the sixth was followed by left upper cut and a jab staggered Mosley. As the combinations came, the tide swung permanently to Alvarez.

Though Alvarez ran out of gas in the last two frames, the damage from the earlier rounds paid dividends. Alvarez landed 57 percent of his power punches, compared to 41 percent for Mosley. His total output was also double that of the veteran.

“This is the beginning of my career,” said Alvarez after the win. “Thank you to Mosley for giving me his experience.”

While Mosley didn’t officially retire, he hinted that this may be the beginning of the end.

“When the kids start beating you up it might be time to go to promoter” Mosley said.

The judges scored the contest 119-109, 118-110, and 119-109. – Anthony Springer Jr.

Vargas Decisions Forbes

In a ten round welterweight Jessie Vargas (19-0) had little trouble with the game but overmatched Steve Forbes as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory. The battle tested Forbes (35-11) stepped in as a late replacement for Alfonso Gomez and gave the Mayweather Promotions fighter a test, albeit a relatively boring one, as he refused to go away despite not having a single physical advantage. Early on, Vargas kept Forbes at bay with his long jab, but Forbes continued to press forward and pressure Vargas. As the rounds wore on it was evident that neither fighter posed a real threat to the other. Forbes continued to try and jab with Vargas while the younger Las Vegan seemed content with putting rounds in the bag but seemed disinterested in getting Forbes out of there. Several boos and catcalls cascaded from the swelling MGM as Forbes spent the middle rounds keeping Vargas at bay and occasionally landed a combination to bank rounds. In the end, “The New Generation” earned the decision with scores of 100-90, 97-93 and 98-92.

“It feels great I showed boxing skill,” Vargas said following the win. “I was with a veteran in the ring and out boxing him. It was totally different game plan and it took a week in advance to prepare. He showed me a totally different style.” – Andreas Hale

Quintana Crushes Latimore

Carlos Quintana (28-3) captured the vacant NABO junior middleweight crown in a six round route over DeAndre Latimore (23-4). The Money Team fighter started off well in the opening round. He pressured Quintana and landed body blows at close range. It was downhill from there.

Quintana found his rhythm in the second stanza and dominated the squared circle from there. Latimore exited the second round with a pair of bruised eyes. Latimore was nearly out on his feet in the fifth after a series of barrages, but was cognizant enough to grab a limb to keep the fight going. But Quintana would not be denied.

“I kept going forward for his eye,” said Quintana.

He found his mark. In the sixth frame, the Puerto Rican unleashed a series of left hands that found a home on Latimore’s face. The final sent the Las Vegan collapsing to the mat for the first and final time. Official time of the stoppage was 2:19. “It was a very good fight,” a happy Quintana said after the bout. “I went fifteen months without fighting. It’s good to be back.” – Anthony Springer Jr.

Thurman Throttles Koskins

In a battle of unbeaten welterweights, Keith Thurman proved that his pedigree was far superior to that of Brandon Koskins as Thurman pummeled his way to a 3rd round stoppage. Thurman (17-0, 16 KOs) laid into Koskins beard with power punches with ill intent. After dropping Koskins (16-1-1) in the 2nd, Thurman poured on the punishment as the 3rd round opened and forced referee Russell Mora to call a halt to the fight at the :25 mark. – Andreas Hale

Santos Cruises Past Sandoval

In six round featherweight action, Braulio Santos (6-0, 5 KOs) had little trouble getting past Juan Sandoval (5-9) and earned a unanimous decision victory. Santos was far more busy and sharper than his Californian foe and the judges saw it in his favor with 59-55 scores. – Andreas Hale

Figueroa shoots down Cannon

Omar Figueroa (16-0) short work of Robbie Cannon, dispensing of the Missouri fighter in the second round of their lightweight tilt. Cannon (12-7-2) was outgunned from the outset and acquainted himself with the canvas in the opening round courtesy of a body-head combo. It would get no better in the second frame. Figueroa tattoed Cannon’s face with a left hook. Cannon took the eight count but the referee waved off the bout. Time of stoppage was 2:08. – Anthony Springer Jr.

Orozco flattens Frederick

Antonio Orozco stopped Dillet Frederick in the 1:45 round in the opening bout of the night. Orozco (14-0) battered Frederick (5-4) from close range and finished him off with a final flurry before referee Kenny Bayless halted the bout.




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