at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
New York – Miguel Cotto became the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world championships in four weight divisions, stopping Sergio Martinez in their WBC world middleweight title fight on Saturday.
“It was a reflection of my hard work (for) 10, 11 weeks,” Cotto said.
Martinez didn’t get off the stool when the bell rang for the 10th round. He did not speak to the media after the fight, as he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
“Miguel beat him from pillar to post,” said Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella. “Miguel Cotto is a great champion.”
Cotto improved to 39-4. Martinez fell to 51-3-2.
In the week leading up to the fight, Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach said his pupil would be able to use his footwork to control the fight, and still possessed power even though he moved up in weight class.
Cotto proved Roach right from the opening bell, knocking down Martinez twice in the first round with a flurry of body shots. As the fight progressed, Cotto pressured Martinez around the ring, and attacked when openings were presented.
Cotto won every round, including a 10-6 first.
“Miguel fought a really great fight,” Roach said. “Thank you, Miguel, for making me look so good.
“He really gave the guy a boxing lesson.”
Martinez forced Cotto to fight in the middle of the ring instead of on the ropes or in the corners. But Cotto was able to land a variety of jabs and hooks. By the end of the eighth round, Martinez had swelling around his right eye. He also had a cut on his forehead due to a head-butt.
Cotto landed 54% of his punches, and 54% of his power punches. By comparison, Martinez connected on 31% of his punches, and landed 60 of 157 power punches. – Sapa-AP