“The right side had that cut on the cheek bone. He had swelling right under the eyelid all the way pushing up to his eye. He had a cut right on his right eyebrow, and the swelling was coming down. And his field of vision on his right eye was very limited. On his left side, [Antonio] Margarito just had swelling under the left eye, and, it was starting to swell, but it wasn’t affecting his vision at all.
“But what I was concerned with from about the ninth round on was his vision out of the right eye and whether he could see any more. I just didn’t want him to eat any more left hands from Manny, because he was already eating left hands way before he even started to have a problem with his vision,” referee Laurence Cole, on the condition of Margarito after his loss to Manny Pacquiao.
“That was a very sad night for me. Miguel wasn’t crying tears. The tears coming out of Miguel’s eyes that night weren’t normal. They were tears of blood. You had to see it.
“Bleeding out of his nose, bleeding out of his ears. You had to see how deep his wounds were. It’s impossible to explain. I couldn’t explain how someone with gloves could do that,” the late Miguel Cotto Sr., on Miguel Jr.’s condition after the loss to Margarito.
RING No. 1-rated WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto and ex-titleholder Antonio Margarito have gone through bloody hell entering Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View televised rematch at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
And the winner will likely have to bleed some more in order to succeed.
Cotto was an unbeaten WBA welterweight titleholder before being battered, beaten bloody and dethroned by an 11th-round knockout loss to Margarito in July of 2008. Cotto’s nose was broken, he had been knocked down once and taken a knee once, and blood dripped down his face from a deep gash over his left eye by the time the bout ended.
Margarito wore an aura of invincibility into his next fight, a ninth-round knockout loss to Shane Mosley in January of 2009, before which an illegal plaster was found in Margarito’s hand wrappings and removed. Margarito would suffer yet another beat down during a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in November of last year, the brutal nature of it fracturing Margarito’s right orbital bone, which required surgery to repair.
No one is sure whether or not Margarito was dirty when he faced Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs), but Cotto believes that Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) was.
A Puerto Rican native, Cotto will carry that angst against his Mexican rival into New York, where Cotto is 8-0 with four knockouts overall, and, 6-0 at Madison Square Garden, and Magarito is 1-0 with a first-round stoppage.
RingTV.com culled the opinions of 17 knowledgeable observers as to what they believe will transpire in Cotto-Margarito II.
Mike Coppinger, RingTV.com/USA Today
Antonio Margarito late-rounds KO Miguel Cotto: I’m going with Antonio Margarito to once again prevail over Miguel Cotto via late-round stoppage. Even if we assume Margarito had loaded hand wraps against Cotto, that doesn’t explain the fact that Cotto couldn’t hurt Margarito.
Now one weight class above, where Margarito is far more comfortable, Cotto will be hard-pressed to keep the pressure fighter off him. Margarito will punish Cotto on his way to a brutal stoppage victory, this time winning
Kevin Cunningham, trainer of former WBC/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander
Antonio Margarito late-rounds KO Miguel Cotto: I’m picking Antonio Margarito to beat Miguel Cotto again. I think that he will be the same old relentless Antonio Margarito. I think that Cotto is a good boxer-puncher, but he’s lost a step, and I just don’t see him doing enough.
He is not going to be able to just box and move and win the fight. He’s going to have to stop and commit to fighting at some point against Margarito in order to win.
If it comes down to a slugfest, that plays into Margarito’s hands. I just don’t think that he’s young and fresh enough to just totally out-box Margarito.
Miguel Cotto UD 12 Antonio Margarito: Miguel Cotto by close unanimous decision. It will be a hard-fought victory. Antonio Margarito’s constant pressure and volume punching will again push Cotto to his limits, especially in the late rounds of the bout.
But the hunch here is that the Puerto Rican star has more left in the tank than the Mexican mauler, and that he’ll find the right mix of boxing and slugging to make it to the final bell this time around.