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Cotto beats Clottey by split decision

Sun, 14 Jun 2009 Source: .foxsports

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NEW YORK - Miguel Cotto edged Joshua Clottey by split decision to retain his WBO welterweight title on Saturday.

Patrick Gutierrez was covering all the action from Madison Square Garden. Get his take on all the bouts.

After a series of mostly entertaining undercard bouts, we are now awaiting the main event between Cotto and Clottey. At stake is Cotto's WBO title. (Clottey vacated his IBF title in order to take this fight.) The Garden is packed with pro-Cotto supporters and a montage of his greatest hits shown on the arena scoreboard earlier whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Meanwhile, a small faction of Clottey supporters just walked around the concourse waving the flag from Clottey's home country of Ghana. To the surprise of no one, they were soundly booed. Either they are very brave or no one told them where they were.

World junior welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao just got a thunderous ovation as he was introduced. Former champions Iran Barkley, Winky Wright and Hashim Rahman are also in attendance.

The arena just showed HBO's Cotto background piece on the scoreboard and the crowd turned venomous when video of Antonio Margarito appeared. Margarito, of course beat Cotto up pretty bad last year but that fight has been called into question in light of Margarito's suspension earlier this year for having an illegal substance on his hands prior to his fight with Shane Mosley. In any case, I wouldn't be visiting New York City any time soon if I were Margarito.

Joshua Clottey just entered the ring. He is riding a five-fight winning streak and boasts impressive victories over Zab Judah and Diego Corrales in that span. Cotto may be favored, but don't discount Clottey's chances.

And here comes Cotto. I don't know what it sounds like on television, but it's crazy-loud! HBO announcer Jim Lampley is literally shouting into his microphone. Let's get ready to rumble!

Round 1
Clottey comes out jabbing. Cotto counters with a quick 1-2 but misses with a follow-up left hook. They are taking turns being the aggressor. Clottey is finding his range on the jab and follwed with a short uppercut that lands. Cotto knocks Clottey down just as the round was ending with a beautiful punch!

Round 2
No ill effects so far from the knockdown. Clottey lands two short uppercuts. It looks like that punch will be there all night. Cotto is working the body while Clottey is doing a good job mixing up his punches. Another short uppercut from Clottey followed later by an overhand right. Clottey wins this round on my scorecard but Cotto's still up because of the knockdown.

Round 3
Clottey is keeping Cotto on the defensive while landing from a variety of angles. A sharp right hand from Clottey lands on Cotto's head. Clottey is definitely the quicker fighter early on. Cotto has a cut over his left eye that looks pretty bad. It came from an accidental headbutt. The doctor is looking at it.

Round 4
Cotto lands a couple of body shots early. Clottey counters with a combination. The crowd tries to rally Cotto, who is more aggressive this round. It's getting him in trouble though, as Clottey lands several big shots. Cotto momentarily has Clottey in the corner but can't capitalize. Cotto finishes the round strong with several good power shots, though.

Round 5
Cotto is aggressive early. Neither fighter is backing down at this point. Clottey lands a pair of 1-2's and continues to pepper Cotto's eye with his jab. Clottey lands a big right hand but Cotto responds with a flurry in the corner. The two get rough in the corner and Clottey ends up on the ground after Cotto threw him down. He's in obvious pain but the referee is giving him time to walk it off. The action resumes with Cotto doing much of the work. Clottey responds with a good shot right before the bell.

Round 6
Cotto is doing major damage. He has Clottey against the ropes and Clottey is looking to weather the storm. Clottey briefly fights out of it but Cotto gets him back in the corner, tagging him repeatedly. The entire round was basically fought in the corner with Cotto doing most of the damage. You could make the case for a 10-8 round for Cotto but Clottey did land a few shots of his own.
Round 7
A big uppercut from Clottey backs Cotto up. Cotto looks like he needs a round off and is fighting like it so far. Clottey is trying to take advantage of it and lands a big right hand. He gets Cotto against the ropes and lands a 1-2. Another uppercut. This round was all Clottey
Round 8
Cotto gets Clottey on the ropes briefly, but Clottey fights his way out of it and stuns Cotto with an uppercut. He follows that with a big right hand. Cotto's eye is bleeding again and he appears to be having trouble with it. Later in the round Cotto tags Clottey repeatedly in the corner but Clottey emerges with a smile on his face and a shake of his head as if to say, "You can't hurt me."
Round 9
This looks like Cotto/Margarito all over again. Cotto appears to be tiring and Clottey is stalking him. Clottey lands a big right hand. Cotto gets him against the ropes again but can't hurt him. Clottey comes back with a few shots of his own. The fighters trade punches as the bell sounds.
Round 10
We all know how judges can be, but right now I have the fight 86-84 Clottey with three rounds to go. Six rounds to three, with Cotto getting a 10-8 round with the knockdown in the first. Neither fighter is doing a lot in this round, which could come back to haunt somebody. The fighters again trade big shots as the bell rings.
Round 11
Both fighters look a bit weary, as well they should after what they've been through. This fight is up for grabs. Cotto is backing up but counterpunching effectively. Clottey lands a big left hook late and applies the pressure in an attempt to steal the round.
Round 12
The final round begins. The crowd tries to pump up their hero, chanting "Cotto! Cotto!" repeatedly. Cotto lands a big left hook and Clottey follows with a power shot of his own. Cotto hits Clottey on the back of the head after spinning him around. Cotto is warned for a low blow. Clottey lands the final big shots before the final bell sounds. We go to the scorecards.
Cotto wins a split decision. One judge had it 116-111 Cotto, another 114-113 Clottey. The third judge scored it 115-112 Cotto.
I scored it 114-113 for Clottey. Seven rounds to five with Clottey losing a point because of the knockdown.


NEW YORK - Miguel Cotto edged Joshua Clottey by split decision to retain his WBO welterweight title on Saturday.

Patrick Gutierrez was covering all the action from Madison Square Garden. Get his take on all the bouts.

After a series of mostly entertaining undercard bouts, we are now awaiting the main event between Cotto and Clottey. At stake is Cotto's WBO title. (Clottey vacated his IBF title in order to take this fight.) The Garden is packed with pro-Cotto supporters and a montage of his greatest hits shown on the arena scoreboard earlier whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Meanwhile, a small faction of Clottey supporters just walked around the concourse waving the flag from Clottey's home country of Ghana. To the surprise of no one, they were soundly booed. Either they are very brave or no one told them where they were.

World junior welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao just got a thunderous ovation as he was introduced. Former champions Iran Barkley, Winky Wright and Hashim Rahman are also in attendance.

The arena just showed HBO's Cotto background piece on the scoreboard and the crowd turned venomous when video of Antonio Margarito appeared. Margarito, of course beat Cotto up pretty bad last year but that fight has been called into question in light of Margarito's suspension earlier this year for having an illegal substance on his hands prior to his fight with Shane Mosley. In any case, I wouldn't be visiting New York City any time soon if I were Margarito.

Joshua Clottey just entered the ring. He is riding a five-fight winning streak and boasts impressive victories over Zab Judah and Diego Corrales in that span. Cotto may be favored, but don't discount Clottey's chances.

And here comes Cotto. I don't know what it sounds like on television, but it's crazy-loud! HBO announcer Jim Lampley is literally shouting into his microphone. Let's get ready to rumble!

Round 1
Clottey comes out jabbing. Cotto counters with a quick 1-2 but misses with a follow-up left hook. They are taking turns being the aggressor. Clottey is finding his range on the jab and follwed with a short uppercut that lands. Cotto knocks Clottey down just as the round was ending with a beautiful punch!

Round 2
No ill effects so far from the knockdown. Clottey lands two short uppercuts. It looks like that punch will be there all night. Cotto is working the body while Clottey is doing a good job mixing up his punches. Another short uppercut from Clottey followed later by an overhand right. Clottey wins this round on my scorecard but Cotto's still up because of the knockdown.

Round 3
Clottey is keeping Cotto on the defensive while landing from a variety of angles. A sharp right hand from Clottey lands on Cotto's head. Clottey is definitely the quicker fighter early on. Cotto has a cut over his left eye that looks pretty bad. It came from an accidental headbutt. The doctor is looking at it.

Round 4
Cotto lands a couple of body shots early. Clottey counters with a combination. The crowd tries to rally Cotto, who is more aggressive this round. It's getting him in trouble though, as Clottey lands several big shots. Cotto momentarily has Clottey in the corner but can't capitalize. Cotto finishes the round strong with several good power shots, though.

Round 5
Cotto is aggressive early. Neither fighter is backing down at this point. Clottey lands a pair of 1-2's and continues to pepper Cotto's eye with his jab. Clottey lands a big right hand but Cotto responds with a flurry in the corner. The two get rough in the corner and Clottey ends up on the ground after Cotto threw him down. He's in obvious pain but the referee is giving him time to walk it off. The action resumes with Cotto doing much of the work. Clottey responds with a good shot right before the bell.

Round 6
Cotto is doing major damage. He has Clottey against the ropes and Clottey is looking to weather the storm. Clottey briefly fights out of it but Cotto gets him back in the corner, tagging him repeatedly. The entire round was basically fought in the corner with Cotto doing most of the damage. You could make the case for a 10-8 round for Cotto but Clottey did land a few shots of his own.
Round 7
A big uppercut from Clottey backs Cotto up. Cotto looks like he needs a round off and is fighting like it so far. Clottey is trying to take advantage of it and lands a big right hand. He gets Cotto against the ropes and lands a 1-2. Another uppercut. This round was all Clottey
Round 8
Cotto gets Clottey on the ropes briefly, but Clottey fights his way out of it and stuns Cotto with an uppercut. He follows that with a big right hand. Cotto's eye is bleeding again and he appears to be having trouble with it. Later in the round Cotto tags Clottey repeatedly in the corner but Clottey emerges with a smile on his face and a shake of his head as if to say, "You can't hurt me."
Round 9
This looks like Cotto/Margarito all over again. Cotto appears to be tiring and Clottey is stalking him. Clottey lands a big right hand. Cotto gets him against the ropes again but can't hurt him. Clottey comes back with a few shots of his own. The fighters trade punches as the bell sounds.
Round 10
We all know how judges can be, but right now I have the fight 86-84 Clottey with three rounds to go. Six rounds to three, with Cotto getting a 10-8 round with the knockdown in the first. Neither fighter is doing a lot in this round, which could come back to haunt somebody. The fighters again trade big shots as the bell rings.
Round 11
Both fighters look a bit weary, as well they should after what they've been through. This fight is up for grabs. Cotto is backing up but counterpunching effectively. Clottey lands a big left hook late and applies the pressure in an attempt to steal the round.
Round 12
The final round begins. The crowd tries to pump up their hero, chanting "Cotto! Cotto!" repeatedly. Cotto lands a big left hook and Clottey follows with a power shot of his own. Cotto hits Clottey on the back of the head after spinning him around. Cotto is warned for a low blow. Clottey lands the final big shots before the final bell sounds. We go to the scorecards.
Cotto wins a split decision. One judge had it 116-111 Cotto, another 114-113 Clottey. The third judge scored it 115-112 Cotto.
I scored it 114-113 for Clottey. Seven rounds to five with Clottey losing a point because of the knockdown.


Source: .foxsports