Miguel Cotto Captures Sixth World Title as Madison Square Garden is Now on Hold for Cotto’s Final Fight
August 27, 2017
Anthony Saldana (84 articles)

Miguel Cotto Captures Sixth World Title as Madison Square Garden is Now on Hold for Cotto’s Final Fight

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Photos by Cynthia Saldaña

Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd of 7,689 at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California one of boxing’s all-time greats Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) walked away with another world title after defeating Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) in a 12-round match for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship. Cotto who is the only Puerto Rican boxer in history to capture six world titles in four-divisions, has undoubtedly secured his legacy with his victory over his Japanese counterpart. As the sun set on the Stubhub center the magical electricity began to flow through the electric crowd as Cotto and Kamegai exchanged vicious blows from the opening bell. Kamegai popped his jab at while Cotto fired off heavy counter shots. Cotto hurt Kamegai at the end of the first round and drew blood from the nose of Kamegai to start the second as Cotto easily controlled this brutal matchup. Throughout the fight Cotto used a stiff jab and a vicious left hook to snap the head of Kamegai back. In the late rounds Cotto continued landing hard body shots as the Japanese warrior Kamegai never stopped moving forward. After 12 hellacious rounds of boxing the judges had it scored, 120-108, 118-110 and 119-110 all in favor of the great Puerto Rican Champion Miguel Cotto. “I tried to do my best, and I think I did that tonight,” said Miguel Cotto. “I am happy with my performance. Kamegai is a tough fighter and opponent. It was during round five or six that I knew he was going to make it to the 12 rounds. Come December 31, I will retire. I’ve done it all. I’m 36 going on 37, and I think I’ve come to the end of my career. I will fight once more in December.”Kamegai stated after the fight “I felt so much frustration not being able to land any of my punches. I could not catch him at all. He is such a talented legend, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to fight him.”

During the post-fight press conference Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez announced that Miguel Cotto would like to fight his final fight in New York City and Golden Boy has put Madison Square Garden on hold for December 2nd. “We want the winner of Canelo-GGG,” said Freddie Roach. “Canelo or Golovkin would be a really tough opponent for my last fight” stated Cotto “I’m going to go there and fight the best, I don’t know what’s going to happen in December but I can tell you I want to fight the best out there.”

In the Co-main event WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico stood toe to toe with local fan favorite Ronny Rios (28-2, 13 KOs) of Santa Ana, California. Vargas who made his first title defense since capturing the belt with his majority decision victory in England over Gavin McDonnell, came out firing using his speed, height and combinations to keep Rios at bay early on. The middle rounds saw much of the same as for every punch landed by Rios, Vargas would land three to four punches in return. In the sixth round Rios began to turn the tide on the champion as Rios landed several hard shots and big combinations of his own. In the eighth and ninth rounds Rios continued the pressure as his effective aggressiveness seemed to be winning Rios the rounds. Then in the tenth Vargas stepped on the gas pedal again countering Rios and landing four and five punch combinations while fighting on the defensive. Although Rios continued to pressure Vargas in the championship rounds Vargas fought well enough to win a unanimous decision by the scores of 118-110 (Twice) and 115-113. “We came here to take the belt back home, even if that means that we didn’t get the knockout,” said Vargas. “Rios was definitely an intelligent and skillful fighter. He got me with some head shots that threw me off, and he was of an elite level when it came to his boxing. We definitely need to go back and refine our style.” After the fight Rios stated, “I’m no cherry picker I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me and of course I want a rematch from Vargas, but I have to earn my way back up to the top and advance as we go. It’s time to get back to the drawing board.”



Other Bouts included

Featherweights, 10 Rounds – Joet Gonzalez (18-0, 9 KO’s) vs Deivis Julio (19-3, 11 KO’s) Result: Joet Gonzalez wins by 5th round knockout.

Super Bantamweights, 8 Rounds – Emilio Sanchez (16-0, 11 KOs) vs Danny Flores (11-9-1, 5 KOs) Result: Emilio Sanchez wins by 5th round knockout

Featherweights, 4 Rounds – Tenochtitlan Nava (7-0, 1 KO) vs Angel Aguilar (8-14, 1 KO) Result: Nava wins by unanimous decision

Super Welterweights, 6 Rounds – Alexis Rocha (9-0, 6 KOs) vs Esau Herrera (19-10-1, 10 KO’s) Result: Alexis Rocha wins by first round knockout

Super Lightweights, 6 Rounds – Genaro Gamez (6-0, 5 KOs) vs Rafael Reyes (7-11, 5 KOs) Result:

Super Bantamweights, 4 Rounds – Javier Padilla (3-0-1, 3 KOs) vs Ricardo Arias (1-1-1) Result: All three judges score the bout 38-38 for a draw

Minimumweights, 8 Rounds – Janel Rivera (16-2-3, 10 KOs) vs Marco Sanchez (12-6-3, 7 KOs) Results: Janel Rivera wins by first round knockout

Super Lightweights, 4 Rounds – Ruben Rodriguez (Debut) vs Rolando Padilla (0-2) Result: Rodriguez wins by 2nd round KO, with the victory Rodriguez moves to (1-0, 1 KO)





Anthony Saldana