Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Bayless on Cotto-Margarito, Pacquiao-Cotto, Margarito-Cintron

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Referee Kenny Bayless officiated the knockouts by Antonio Margarito over both Miguel Cotto and, Kermit Cintron (first fight), as well as Cotto’s 12th-round stoppage loss to Manny Pacquiao.

The two bloody knockout losses to Margarito were the most devastating in the career of Cintron, who was unbeaten before being stopped in five rounds by Margarito in April of 2005. Margarito also knocked out Cintron in six rounds to dethrone him as IBF beltholder in April of 2008.

Since then, Margarito has become the subject of controversy, resulting from an illegal plaster that was found in his hand wrappings prior to his ninth-round knockout loss to Shane Mosley in January of 2009.

No one is sure whether or not Margarito was dirty when he faced Cotto, who was an unbeaten WBA welterweight titleholder before being battered and beaten bloody in July of 2008, which makes their upcoming rematch all the more intriguing.

During the following Q&A with Ringtv.com, Bayless discussed all three of the fights, as well as suspicions about Margarito’s fists.

RingTV.com: Your thoughts on the fact that you were the man in the ring for Cotto’s two, knockout losses?

Kenny Bayless: Yes, Miguel Cotto’s only losses were when I was in the ring with him. But Miguel Cotto is a warrior. I’m sure in preparation for his fight, he does the utmost in preparing himself.

RingTV.com: Can you break down what happened in the fights?

KB: We can take the Margarito fight first. When he fought Margarito, I thought that in the first half of the fight, he had total control of the fight.

Miguel had ring generalship. He had effective aggressiveness was bar none. His movement was great. I just thought that the first half of the fight that he had total control.

RingTV.com: Where do feel Cotto began to lose control against Margarito?

KB: I felt that it was the seventh round that made the difference in that fight. I felt that Cotto stayed in the trenches just a little bit too long.

At that point, I thought that Margarito was able to hit him with some clean, hard blows that took a little bit out of him. From that point on, after the seventh round, I thought that Margarito was clearly taking control of the fight.

Then, in the round that it was stopped, Cotto had to take a knee because he was just absorbing too much at the time. After that, I gave him a mandatory eight count.

Then, Cotto very shortly after taking that first knee, he went to take another knee. At that time, I was kind of thinking that he was doing that as a part of his strategy to buy time because that was the 11th round. 

So I had to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I decided to pick up the count. But as I began to pick up the count, I noticed that his corner was coming up onto the ring apron.

They felt that he had just had too much. I could then see it in his eyes that he was done. So, I waved it off at that time.

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RingTV.com: Now can we switch to the Pacquiao-Cotto fight?

KB: When he fought Manny Pacquiao, again, it was a very, very competitive fight. I’m sure Cotto went into the fight thinking that because Pacquiao was moving up in weight, that he would be the bigger, stronger man.

So, he met Cotto in the center of the ring and they just basically tested each other’s will in there. In this situation, Pacquiao was getting the better of it because he knocked him down in the third round.

I remember going over to Cotto’s corner, I think it might have been in the seventh or eigth round, and saying to Cotto, “Look, you’re going to have to defend yourself a little better” because Pacquiao was really taking it to him.

I think that at that point in time, that was when Cotto decided to get oon the bicycle and to move a little bit more as opposed to standing in there and trying to slug it out with Pacquiao.

So, for the next two or three rounds, Cotto chose to more or less get on the bicycle and move more as opposed to standing in the trenches and going toe-to-toe and fighting.

I think that the judges may have given the 10th round to Cotto, or I think that two of the three judges gave that round to Cotto. But in the 12th round, Cotto started absorbing punches again.

And, you know, saftedy is No. 1 for us. So, when I saw that Pacquiao was starting to connect and pick it back up again, I was looking for the opportunity to step in and to stop the fight. That was when I did.

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