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BOXING REMATCH: Cotto vs Margarito!

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Rutashubanyuma, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    Cotto vs Margarito: A loaded question

    By George Ogier, MirrorSport boxing blogger 2/12/2011
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    [​IMG]
    Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto 2: the grudge rematch at Madison Square Garden after the first fight ended in a controversial victory for Margarito Photograph: Ronda Churchill/AP


    [​IMG] Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito face off ahead of their rematch (Pic: Getty)


    During the last eighty years of boxing its landscape has been coloured by the fierce rivalry that exists between two nations, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Last weekend saw the continuation of that power struggle as rising Mexican star, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez beat Puerto Rican veteran Kermit Cintron to retain his WBC Light Middleweight title. This weekend sees the resumption of hostilities between the two countries but in this instance the fight has an altogether nastier edge.

    1934's clash between Puerto Rico's Sixto Escobar and Mexican Rodolfo Casanova was the first world title bout involving both nations. Since then the ongoing conflict has thrown up some memorable clashes. Julio Cesar Chavez taking on Hector 'Macho' Camacho and Felix Trinidad controversially defeating Mexican-American Oscar De La Hoya. When discussing the topic of controversy between Puerto Rico and Mexico however two names leap to the fore, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.

    The two men have met before in the ring. The war between them in 2008 was nothing short of epic. Margarito weathered a ferocious storm from Miguel Cotto early in the fight to bludgeon the Puerto Rican into submission in the penultimate round. At the time Margarito was one of the most avoided fighters in the world and this was seen as the moment he really announced himself on the world stage. It was Cotto's first defeat and it opened the door for Margarito to face American great Shane Mosley.

    It was during the final preparations for the Mosley match that one of the biggest scandals of modern boxing played out. Naazim Richardson, Mosley's trainer was present in the dressing room during the wrapping of Margarito's hands and he noticed what appeared to be a plaster of Paris-type substance on the hand wraps. Obviously plaster of Paris hardens when it comes into contact with water, in this case sweat. This lead to Margarito being accused of one of boxing's most heinous crimes, fighting with loaded gloves.

    Antonio Margarito lost the subsequent fight against Mosley and then lost his California state boxing license for a year. This ban was enforced by all other US state sporting commissions effectively banning the Mexican from fighting for at least twelve months. The main fallout from this ugly sequence of events was that many people now questioned the validity of Margarito's previous victories. Whilst Margarito to this day protests his innocence of any wrongdoing, either in the Mosley fight or previous bouts there are some who just cannot believe that the man from Tijuana didn't commit the ultimate boxing sin.

    One of Antonio Margarito's chief accusers is Miguel Cotto himself. It is easy to understand why the Puerto Rican believes Margarito fought him with loaded gloves. It is not so much the nature of the defeat, after all Margarito walked through many of Cotto's shots to land in own during their first meeting. It is based around the damage that Cotto sustained during that fight. Cotto's face was a bloody mask of swellings and cuts by the time the fight was stopped. Nobody had ever hurt Cotto like that and at the time Margarito was highly rated but not as a particularly devastating puncher. Moreover, the two fights that Margarito has had since beating Cotto, (including the Mosley match) have ended in wide defeats for the Mexican. Miguel Cotto clearly sees this fight as a chance to prove that he was cheated out of his title.

    Miguel Cotto will have to face more than just Antonio Margarito on Saturday night, he will also have to face himself. Cotto has, for so long, assumed that Margarito was cheating in 2008 when they met. This could have a number of effects come fight night. If Cotto thinks that he was beaten unfairly then theoretically he should have no fear of the Mexican. However, it is worth bearing in mind that nothing has been proven as to whether or not Margarito did use loaded gloves against Cotto. If Margarito turns out to punch just as hard when his wraps have been approved by the relevant authorities then where does Cotto turn? If the first fight proved anything it's that the Puerto Rican's punches aren't hard enough to deter Margarito from coming forward. As one boxing journalist said of the Mexican this week, "his gloves might have been loaded but his chin wasn't".

    Of all the accusations that could be levelled against Antonio Margarito, a lack of heart isn't one of them. In defeats to Shane Mosley and then Manny Pacquiao he took ferocious beatings but still kept battling. Indeed, the fractured orbital socket of his right eye sustained during the Pacquiao bout actually put this fight in danger. It is Margarito's spirit and tenacity which make this fight so hard to call. My initial feeling, like so many, was that Cotto was going get his revenge. This would be the night that he dealt with the demons created in the wake of the loss to Margarito but the emotionally driven boxer often loses out to a more calculating opponent. Therein lies the rub, Margarito isn't particularly bothered by Miguel Cotto but the same is obviously not the case when roles are reversed.

    For many fans Antonio Margarito should never have been let near a boxing ring again after he was found guilty of attempting to fight with loaded wraps. For the same fans it would be a fairy tale ending should Miguel Cotto beat his nemesis, boxing's ultimate bad guy. Whilst sport often gives us the Hollywood ending we crave it also dishes up its fair share of unpopular results. My overriding feeling going into this fight is that Cotto will crumble under the relentless barrage of Margarito's work and it will be a good night for the supposed villain of the piece.



    Read more:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/blog/georgeogier/2011/12/02/cotto-vs-margarito-a-loaded-question-115875-23604775/#ixzz1fP4hRT6M
     
  2. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    make sure you are there to witness this mouth watering encounter.......................this weekend.............
     
  3. SOBY

    SOBY JF-Expert Member

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    It's gon be one sided, margarito out at 6 or 7th round.
     
  4. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    I put my money on cotto to get the biz done in twelve rounds..........
     
  5. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    [h=2]WBA light middleweight title[/h] [h=1]Margarito vs. Cotto 2 - live![/h] • Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto: round-by-round
    • Live coverage of grudge rematch at Madison Square Garden
    • Brandon Rios vs. John Murray: live!
    • Email
    steve.busfield@guardiannews.com or tweet @Busfield
    • Press F5 to update this page or use our auto-refresher






    This page will update automatically every minute: On | Off
    [​IMG] Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto 2: the grudge rematch at Madison Square Garden after the first fight ended in a controversial victory for Margarito Photograph: Ronda Churchill/AP

    Jones vs Lujan: Three rounds into a perfectly decent fight the crowd have been booing - presumably because, as Kevin said earlier, the crowd are in the mood for lots of knockouts. Jones seems to be winning on points thus far. HBO has just shared some great footage of Lujan from a previous fight, almost losing an ear to the man at the top of the bill tonight, Antonio Margarito:

    Antonio Margarito vs Sebastian Lujan [Part3] by chinoir509 He seems to have two ears now though.
    Another prediction: Before the wine does too much damage, Phil Sawyer emails: "Actually, Steve, the summary by Consortium11 in the comments under Kevin's piece on the Cotto/Margarito fight show an analysis I can only dream of. However, if I'm going to offer my two cents worth, I'd say Cotto to just scrape it. Not a fight I'd be putting money on though. Very close, this one."
    Ah, yes, Consortium11. This man knows his stuff, and shares it in a series of comments that are longer than most books. Well worth a read. Here's a snippet:

    There's a mental element as well, one beyond the normal mental wear and tear that a fighter like Margarito forces on an opponent. Rightly or wrongly Cotto has convinced himself that Margarito had plaster in his gloves that night. That the reason he lost was due to those loaded gloves and that without them he wouldn't have been worn down. It will be a real test for Cotto if (and it is an if) he does take a shot and suddenly finds that Margarito hits just as hard as before.

    You can read the rest
    here.
    An actual prediction: Gareth Jones tweets: "@GdnUSsports Cotto and Rios in two absolute barnburners."
    First TV fight: Sure enough, here comes the first televised bout of the evening: Mike Jones vs. Sebastian Lujan
    MSG latest: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    "Place is hotting up now. Plenty of knockouts - which New Yorkers love. They'll be dragging them out of the crowd if this keeps up. Mike Lee from Chicago just iced Allen Medina, whose top-knob haircut was the scariest thing about him, in the third. Lee, an unbeaten light-heavy, looks tasty.

    They'll be going live on TV soon. HBO's Jim Lampley getting his nose powdered as we speak. Just spotted Chuck Wepner in the crowd. Have had a few interesting nights out with the old Bayonne Bleeder, or the King of Jersey as he is otherwise known."
     
  6. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    Final thought: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    That was quick. Murray, to the strains of Johnny B Goode (and he better be) in the ring only moments after get Wolak and Rodriguez back to the dressing room.

    Frank Warren's brother, Robert, who is here looking after Murray, having a few problems getting to ringside. Don't know what that's about.
    Brandan Rios vs John Murray: And here comes the second fight on the bill...
    Rios vs Murray: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    This place is packed to the rafters. Sold out last week. Few final thoughts: Murray has a great chance if Rios is weak at the weight. If it is true that all he had this week was a cup of water on Wednesday - until making the new day-of-the-fight limit of 147lbs - his stomach will have shrunk considerably. That makes eating and drinking to restore his strength after a week's fast pretty tough. Big chance for Murray, then - and he should go to the body from the first bell.
    Murray can beat Rios - if he makes him move, uses his feet like he hasn't really done since the start of his career, and belts away downstairs. Rios is weight-drained, no question, and will be dangerous until he slows down. It is up to Murray to stay with him, then step on the gas.
    Result: Delvin Rodriguez gets the unanimous points decision versus Pawel Wolak.
    Wolak vs Rodriguez: Tenth and final round and Rodriguez has landed a series of mighty punches, but the New Jersey Pole manages to stay on his feet. Just.
    Spoof: Many of you enjoyed Derek Wanner's spoof video of Manny Pacquiao's Las Vegas entrance last month. Well, he has another video specially prepared for the Guardian's live boxing blog: "100% proof that Marquez's foot-stopping tactics were pre-planned."
    Or not.
     
  7. Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Oxlade-Chamberlain JF-Expert Member

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    Mpambano ulikuwa mzuri sana. Magarito mbishi kinoma, jicho limevimba bado anataka khupiga tu.

    Nime enjoy sana fight ya leo.
     
  8. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    [h=1]Cotto gains revenge against Margarito[/h] Miguel Cotto wins rematch as doctors stop Antonio Margarito, unable to see out of his cut right eye, before tenth round
    Cotto vs. Margarito - as it happened





    [​IMG] Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico connects with a right handed punch to the face of Antonio Margarito of Mexico during the WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty

    When the gloves came off, it was Miguel Cotto whose hand was raised this time. In a packed, electric Madison Square Garden, the Puerto Rican closed out all thoughts of revenge for the humiliation of his first loss to Antonio Margarito and boxed instead with admirable discipline under sustained pressure, pounding the Mexican's suspect right eye closed with such efficiency that the fight doctor called it over at the start of the 10th round.
    Margarito was furious. Cotto was vindicated – and relieved, probably. He did not want a war; he wanted a win. For weeks the WBA light-middleweight champion let it be known he thought Margarito had beaten him with loaded gloves in Las Vegas three years ago.
    Adding piquancy to the ending, the unsightly bruise that enveloped the loser's right eye hid what might or might not have been more serious damage to the orbital bone – the injury that had kept him out of the ring after he took a fearful battering by Manny Pacquiao a little over a year ago and which inspired doubt in the minds of the New York State Athletic Commission. Late in the day, they overturned their original, clumsy ban, commerce as well as a medical appeal the determining factors. It would have been a brave call to cancel this fight, so charged was the build-up, the atmosphere on the night and the intense feeling between the combatants. It was a Latino showdown that could not be stopped by faint hearts.
    Cotto bossed the first round, and his fans relished every blow. If they had rafters, they would have been hanging from them. The heaving corporate boxes and the engaged faithful in the [not much] cheaper seats paid testimony to the fight's integrity.
    While it can be strongly argued Margarito should not be in a boxing ring at all after being caught with loaded gloves before taking a quite terrible hiding from Shane Mosley in 2009, he is a warrior from the ages, whose wild-eyed commitment to sanctioned violence frightens all but the most committed opponents.
    When they last met, Cotto did not prove equal to that challenge, conquered on one knee in the 11th round.
    If there was an element of surrender in that engagement ,there was little sign of it here as the fight exploded in an orgy of crushing head shots by both men against a wall of noise that would give on-rushing lions pause for thought.
    Margarito, three years older at 34, smiled in every exchange, whether giving or receiving; Cotto stayed cool. Beforehand, Margarito had said he was prepared to die in the ring, a particularly tasteless declaration of war at a time when old soldiers like Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle have fallen and Muhammad Ali is seriously ill.
    Cotto had no such malice. This was a job, he said, no more than that. And last night he went about his work with what are left of his considerable skills. There is no point pretending this is the Cotto who once was considered a welterweight phenomenon – and possible opponent for Ricky Hatton. It is not. He is slower, maybe wiser but more hittable.
    His resistance to the punch has diminished also. Although he took Margarito's best. Maybe the gloves were a little softer this time.
    With legal wraps sanctioned in the dressing by the astute Naazim Richardson (who spotted his indiscretion in Los Angeles, in protection of his fighter Mosley), Margarito did his best to sap the fight from Cotto. After five rounds, he had not managed it, but, dancing on balanced feet, the title-holder was under pressure and on the back foot, fighting off the ropes, waiting for his opponent's defence to slip.
    Each man's blows were concussive rather than fight-changing. There was a lot of punishment going both ways. This would be a night neither would want to repeat too soon.
    As they approached the middle rounds, Cotto had a slight edge, maybe three rounds to two, with one shared, but there was not a lot in it as far as the actual fighting was concerned. When Cotto caught Margarito cleanly, Margarito invariably got even with ugly, scrambled retaliation, inspired by strength of will rather than the noticeably more athletic class of his opponent.
    It is just over a year since Margarito lost to Pacquiao on points, nine months since Cotto stopped Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th round. After seven rounds, both looked as if they had been fighting every day for the past month.
    Margarito's right eye was shut as he came off his stool for the eighth, trailing on points but full of fight. How he would have loved to have been around in the days of bareknuckle fights to the finish. Here, he had to abide by the laws of relative civility and the referee Steve Smoger watched the growing wound closely. As did Cotto, who belted it remorselessly.
    It was now clear Margarito needed a stoppage. He was losing the boxing match and vision out of that eye; the officials were nervous witnesses at ringside. The bruise was not that much worse than was John Murray's in the previous fight, but the underling weakness was a concern. After much deliberation, they let him fight on.

    What Cotto knew as well as Margarito in the fading stages was that, if the champion boxed rather than brawled, victory was his. He did not let pride or Margarito's pre-fight taunts distract him.
    The bell went to announced the start of the 10th and again the doctor hovered over Margarito's eye in the corner. The guardians of probity shook their heads. Margarito's trainer, Robert Garcia, begged for one more round. He was refused. The boxer had beaten the fighter and, if there was a sense of frustration among the blood-thirsty elements of the seething auditorium, it was off-set by the joy among Cotto's Puerto Rican supporters.





     
  9. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    [h=1]Rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito opens old wounds[/h] The pummelling Miguel Cotto took from Antonio Margarito in 2008 and the subsequent controversy over the latter's hand wraps against Shane Mosley make for a charged confrontation


    [​IMG] Miguel Cotto, left, is knocked down by Antonio Margarito, during the 11th round of their WBA welterweight bout in 2008. Photograph: Eric Jamison/AP

    There are rematches and there are rescheduled calamities. The bout between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night threatens to be such an occasion.
    When they first fought, three years ago in Las Vegas, Margarito hit Cotto below the belt in the third round. The Puerto Rican was not hurt and his Mexican opponent touched gloves with him in the spirit of sportsmanship that is a heartwarming feature of boxing. It had every appearance of a Latino classic, hard fought but clean.
    Eight rounds later, Cotto surrendered on one knee in a neutral corner, his face mashed to a crimson pulp by those same gloves.
    There has not been a day since that July night in 2008 at the MGM Grand when Cotto has not wondered if Margarito had administered that beating with loaded gloves – and his suspicions were heightened by a now infamous incident in the moments before Margarito's defence of the title against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles the following January.
    Mosley's diligent trainer, Nazim Richardson, noted while checking Margarito's hand wraps that there was "bricked up gauze that had blood stains on it already and they had a piece of plaster over that". The wraps were removed and replaced, and Mosley, enlivened by anger, gave the Mexican the sort of thrashing Margarito had handed out to Cotto.
    Margarito lost his title and his licence to box for a year. No state but Texas would accommodate him. His trainer, Javier Capetillo, was considered more culpable and barred indefinitely from working anywhere in the United States.
    But the story took another twist. In 24/7, the HBO promotional series used to promote Cotto-Margarito II, Cotto last week showed the presenter Max Kellerman a photo of Margarito celebrating in the ring after their first fight – and Margarito's left-hand wrap, with a blood-stained section, is missing a chunk of gauze - just as it had before the Mosley fight.
    Margarito has insisted that the first fight was "a fair fight. I beat him fair and square". But the emotional levels will be red-lining in New York on Saturday.
    And, even though they are shells of themselves, the place is sold out because Puerto Rican and Mexican fans expect more than a fight for Cotto's WBA light-middleweight title. They expect a war and in all probability, they will get one.
    Margarito is a boxing animal. He has long, lean levers and dead eyes, a fighter of no emotion. Absorbing punishment has become incidental for him in the course of 46 fights stretching back to 1994, during which time he has won and lost the world welterweight title a couple of times and, in his most recent fights, has taken comprehensive hidings from Mosley and Manny Pacquiao.
    Few thought he would fight again after Pacquiao belted him for 12 rounds a year ago, damaging the orbital bone in the Mexican's right eye. Only in the past week, after a late medical appeal, has the New York State Athletic Commission sanctioned this fight after earlier threatening to ban Margarito.
    Cotto, too, has felt the force of Pacquiao's fists, lasting into the 12th round before the referee rescued him on the ropes. He claimed later he wanted to quit at the end of the 11th, but his cornermen would not let him.
    If there is reluctance in him against Margarito, we may be in for a horrible reprise of their first fight, a return in which both are lesser operators. Margarito looks much older than his stated 33 years; Cotto is 31, slower and more hittable than when one of the sport's rising stars. They are damaged goods – but proud men. And boxing deserves a good, clean fight from them – because there will probably not be many more to come.



    [​IMG] Posted by Kevin Mitchell
    Friday 2 December 2011 12.09 GMT The Guardian Article history


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  10. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    [h=2]WBA light middleweight title[/h] [h=1]Miguel Cotto beats Antonio Margarito - as it happened![/h] • Miguel Cotto gains revenge over Antonio Margarito
    • Cotto wins as doctors stop Margarito before tenth round
    • Margarito unable to see out of cut and closed right eye
    •
    Kevin Mitchell's report
    •
    Brandon Rios overwhelms John Murray





    [​IMG] Antonio Margarito, with a closed right eye, reacts after referee Steve Smoger stops his fight against Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty

    Preamble: A big night of boxing lies ahead. Top of the bill is the grudge rematch between Miguel Cotto against Antonio Margarito, but there's plenty of other action too. We will be giving live round-by-round coverage of the top two fights, and updates of the other bouts on the bill.
    Tonight's card at Madison Square Garden:
    WBA light middleweight title: Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito
    WBA lightweight title: Brandon Rios vs. John Murray
    Mike Jones vs. Sebastian Lujan
    Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez

    Kevin Mitchell - who will be giving us updates from Madison Square Garden tonight - sets the scene for the top of the bill fight:
    There are rematches and there are rescheduled calamities. The bout between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night threatens to be such an occasion.
    When they first fought, three years ago in Las Vegas, Margarito hit Cotto below the belt in the third round. The Puerto Rican was not hurt and his Mexican opponent touched gloves with him in the spirit of sportsmanship that is a heartwarming feature of boxing. It had every appearance of a Latino classic, hard fought but clean.
    Eight rounds later, Cotto surrendered on one knee in a neutral corner, his face mashed to a crimson pulp by those same gloves.
    There has not been a day since that July night in 2008 at the MGM Grand when Cotto has not wondered if Margarito had administered that beating with loaded gloves – and his suspicions were heightened by a now infamous incident in the moments before Margarito's defence of the title against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles the following January...

    Read the rest
    here.
    Or you can relive the whole of the first fight (you probably have time):
    Here's the next segment, and you can find the rest of it by following the links on Youtube.
    My esteemed boxing correspondent colleague has also been writing about the background to Brandon Rios vs. John Murray. There's plenty of weirdness in the build up to that title fight too - Kevin Mitchell reports:
    John Murray's world title fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday was saved on the scales in the morning when the WBA lightweight champion, Brandon Rios, came in just under an agreed compromise weight of 147lb.
    Had he not done so, the fight would have been called off and the title declared vacant. As it is, Rios cannot retain the title, whatever the result, and the Manchester boxer must win to become the new champion.
    Rios, who failed to make the 135lb limit in repeated attempts on Friday evening, will be drained by the experience. His manager, Cameron Dunkin, told ESPN that all Rios had consumed over the previous five days was a small drink of water on Wednesday.
    Please share your thoughts/predictions/links throughout the evening via Twitter to @Busfield or emailing steve.busfield@guardiannews.com or our new Guardian US sports Facebook page.
    First tweet: We have our first prediction of the evening, Paddy O Doors tweets: "@GdnUSsports @Busfield my prediction: Time Warner will charge a fortune for it."
    Well, Paddy, if it's out of your price range, you can always enjoy all the thrills and spills here.

    Results already in: There's already been a bit of boxing this weekend:
    • England's Martin Murray draws with Felix Sturm in world title fight - which means that the German retained the WBA super-middleweight title
    • Finland's Robert Helenius beats Britain's Dereck Chisora in fight for European heavyweight title in Finland - on a controversial split decision in Finland.
    First email: Phil Sawyer in England is having a sports-fest: "Morning Steve. Having been watching the first session of the test match between Australia and New Zealand at the Gabba so far tonight I've already seen plenty of carnage in the last hour or so. I'm now watching the 24/7 documentary to warm up for the Cotto v Margarito bout. Looking forward to Rios v Murray as well. Unfortunately I was supposed to be entertaining a couple of friends tonight but they cried off ill, so I've been enjoying a wine box all to myself. This could get messy."
    Remember to send us your predictions, Phil, before you fall into a drunken slumber...

    Latest from Madison Square Garden: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    Great atmosphere in the Garden, which is a third of the way through a revamp - and light-middleweight Sean Monaghan, a New Yorker whose parents are from County Meath, did the old barn proud when he polished off Santo Martinez inside two rounds on a packed undercard. That was Sean's 11th straight win, eighth stoppage.
    Why boxing: If you've ever wondered why it is that you love boxing - and whether you should - you probably have time before the main set of bouts start to read this piece by Eric Raskin: "Cotto-Margarito II: How Much Punishment Is Enough?":
    Villainous behavior sells in most sports, and nowhere is it more bankable than in boxing, where fans crave retribution against the athletes they hate. The defeated fighter feels pain - not just the pain of a loss, but actual pain - and people will pay specifically to watch it be inflicted. So a man like Margarito, who attempted to cheat (and is suspected to have successfully sneaked the plaster-like inserts into his wraps on at least one prior occasion), can reap financial reward as the black hat opposite a hero like Pacquiao. Margarito earned $6 million for the Pacquiao fight. Another seven-figure payday awaits after his rematch with Cotto.
    That fight was supposed to happen in July, but with Margarito struggling to recover from two separate surgeries on his right eye, it was bumped back to September and then December. This month, the New York State Athletic Commission threatened to scuttle the fight, or at least force it to relocate to another state, because of Margarito's continuing optical issues. The complications caused by the Pacquiao fight - Margarito's worst beating in a 46-fight career not exactly constructed on a foundation of slickness and defensive savvy - continue to pile up.
    Margarito will receive little sympathy. We're talking about an attempted cheater whose entire career has giant "were his gloves loaded in that fight?" asterisks attached to each result. He committed boxing's gravest offense. He paid for it. Then he paid some more. And he might continue to pay for the rest of his life.
    When will he have paid enough? And what does it say about boxing fans that Margarito's brutal punishment was precisely the outcome many of us were rooting for?
    December fight nights: Tonight is just the start of a tremendous run of boxing action this month, and we will again be covering the big fights live:
    Saturday, December 10
    WBA/IBF light welterweight titles: Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson
    Washington DC. HBO

    Saturday, December 17
    WBA/WBC super middleweight titles: Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch
    In Atlantic City. Showtime.

    As Kevin Mitchell says: "our best ever 3 weeks of world title fights."
    [​IMG] Muhammad Ali in 1970. Photograph: Photoreporters/Rex Features The Greatest: Before we get caught up in the action, let's take a moment to send our best wishes to The Greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, who has spent a brief period in hospital, but is home now. Get well soon, champ. It would be beyond words sad to lose you and Joe Frazier in the same year.
    MSG latest: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    "Place is hotting up now. Plenty of knockouts - which New Yorkers love. They'll be dragging them out of the crowd if this keeps up. Mike Lee from Chicago just iced Allen Medina, whose top-knob haircut was the scariest thing about him, in the third. Lee, an unbeaten light-heavy, looks tasty.
    They'll be going live on TV soon. HBO's Jim Lampley getting his nose powdered as we speak. Just spotted Chuck Wepner in the crowd. Have had a few interesting nights out with the old Bayonne Bleeder, or the King of Jersey as he is otherwise known."
    First TV fight: Sure enough, here comes the first televised bout of the evening: Mike Jones vs. Sebastian Lujan
    An actual prediction: Gareth Jones tweets: "@GdnUSsports Cotto and Rios in two absolute barnburners."
    Another prediction: Before the wine does too much damage, Phil Sawyer emails: "Actually, Steve, the summary by Consortium11 in the comments under Kevin's piece on the Cotto/Margarito fight show an analysis I can only dream of. However, if I'm going to offer my two cents worth, I'd say Cotto to just scrape it. Not a fight I'd be putting money on though. Very close, this one."
    Ah, yes, Consortium11. This man knows his stuff, and shares it in a series of comments that are longer than most books. Well worth a read. Here's a snippet:

    There's a mental element as well, one beyond the normal mental wear and tear that a fighter like Margarito forces on an opponent. Rightly or wrongly Cotto has convinced himself that Margarito had plaster in his gloves that night. That the reason he lost was due to those loaded gloves and that without them he wouldn't have been worn down. It will be a real test for Cotto if (and it is an if) he does take a shot and suddenly finds that Margarito hits just as hard as before.

    You can read the rest
    here.
    Jones vs Lujan: Three rounds into a perfectly decent fight the crowd have been booing - presumably because, as Kevin said earlier, the crowd are in the mood for lots of knockouts. Jones seems to be winning on points thus far. HBO has just shared some great footage of Lujan from a previous fight, almost losing an ear to the man at the top of the bill tonight, Antonio Margarito:

    Antonio Margarito vs Sebastian Lujan [Part3] by chinoir509 He seems to have two ears now though.
    What time: Dan Phillips emails: "I'm an Englishman in LA, but still I can't work out the timings (bloody time zones!). Nice not to be up in the middle of the night for a world class fight though."
    I think the main event will probably be about 11pm or so EST, Dan. Which is 8pm Pacific Coast Time, and 4am GMT. I think.

    MSG latest: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    Margarito entering the building - and the cognoscenti watching on the big screen greet him in the traditional manner. Got to love New Yorkers. Now they're booing Mike Jones (24-0 with 18 stoppages) because he hasn't knocked out Sebastian Lujan, a tricky Argentinian welter with well-developed survival skills.
    Here comes Cotto - and the place goes crazy. The sell-out crowd has to be about 70 per cent Puerto Rican.
    Controversy at the Garden: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    Cotto has employed a good man to check Margarito's hand wraps tonight - Naazim Richardson, who spotted the Mexican's sleight of hand the night he fought Richardson's fighter, Shane Mosley. This is a fight with a lot of edge.
    Email from the East: Gary Naylor writes: "Just gone 6.00am at Tbilisi Airport en route home - not sure that I should have watched Airplane on the hotel telly before setting off though. Anyway (as they used to say on Radio 1, segueing from bombs in Belfast to Bucks Fizz) I know I'm not the first to pose the question, but why is it the case that the most brutal of sports inspires sport's most lyrical writing?"
    That is so true, Gary. Anybody care to explain why?

    You can share your thoughts on this, or predictions for the fights, via email or Twitter.
    Tblisi: Gary Naylor clearly has time on his hands at the airport: "How's your scoring Steve? In the Pacman fight, you were heckled a bit I think.
    Scoring in pro-boxing seems as dangerously arbitrary as it seems bloodlessly
    objective in the amateur game. There must be a better way in the age of Hawkeye
    and Opta and sabermetrics?"
    I was indeed heckled a bit after
    Pacquiao vs. Marquez for, controversially, agreeing with the judges (and HBO) in awarding the fight (very narrowly) to Pacman. For what it's worth, I don't think tonight's main event will go the distance.
    And then Gary emails again: "Ali knew how to work a camera didn't he? Of all the great shots taken of him, including that overhead by Neil Leifer, Ali liked Andy Warhol's picture best of all.
    What an odd, but oh so zeitgeisty
    couple they made.
    Jones vs Lujan: They're in the tenth round. Jones is ahead on points - well ahead - but nothing approaching a knockout here.
    What's inside the gloves: The word is that Margarito has not yet had his hands wrapped for tonight's fight...
    How much: Following on from Paddy O'Doors's tweet earlier, ESPN soccer commentator Mark Donaldson tweets: "@GdnUSsports @Busfield Working for ESPN has brought me over to the US from Scotland, but $64.95 for PPV is crazy. Cheapest tickets were $50!"
    Meanwhile Paddy is clearly not going to pay up for the PPV and tweets: "@busfield i'm just watching the build up to balboa v creed II on versus."
    Jones vs Lujan: Mike Jones wins comfortably on a unanimous points decision.
    Thoughts on Ali: Justin Kavanagh emails: "While I echo the good wishes to Ali, there's an inherent hypocrisy in all of us boxing fans that we should own up to: we loath the very idea of a Margarito loading his gloves (allegedly) to inflict damage on an opponent and to get an unfair advantage. Yet we all pay our hard-earned in the hope of seeing a boxer inflict the ultimate damage of a knockout. Then years later, we send our heroes best wishes to get well soon, when we all know he won't, and we all know why. The damage has been done at our bidding.
    As the Edge once admitted, boxing should be banned, but as long as it isn't, I'll keep paying to watch it. Cotto to win tonight, because he will go into this fight with the same "death or glory" approach as Du Koo Kim. But hopefully, he'll get to enjoy a vindictive glory without paying such a high price."

    Which reminds me to link to this very moving piece that Kevin Mitchell wrote this week about Nigel Benn v Gerald McClellan.
    Third on the bill: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    One more fight before Murray-Rios. A ticket-selling Pole from New Jersey - think Wepner will be cheering for him - Pawel Wolak (29-1-1), goes against one Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-3) at light-middle. You can see this crowd want another quick finish.
    Predictions: D.Kempton emails: "In my opinion Cotto has the greater craft but needs to make it tell early. If it goes past 8 then I reckon Margarito could be more durable and land quite a few. Don't see this going to scorecards."
    Vince Buffa emails: "karma,karma.karma...cotto severly hurts margaritos eye."
    Rocky update: Paddy O'Doors tweets: "@busfield a shocker in philly as balboa shocks the world. i'll be following you rather than time warner having my 55 dollars."
    Margarito/Cotto update: Neither fighter yet has his hands wrapped. The fight is officially scheduled for 11pm EST, but that seems unlikely. There's an enormous amount of paranoia surrounding what will be inside those gloves tonight.
    MSG update: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    Just noticed Murray will have Jimmy Glenn in his corner, alongside Joe Gallagher, Anthony Crolla and John's brother, Joe. Jimmy still runs Jimmy's Corner bar at 140 West 44th St, well worth a visit if you're in New York and want to talk about old times. Jimmy brought Monte Barrett to London to fight Haye - and Monte came within seconds of missing the flight, still giving an interview to the Observer and the Sunday Times as he went through customs.
    Wolak vs Rodriguez: Round four and Rodriguez has finally landed some serious blows and there's blood on Wolak's face.
    Boxing and writing: Phil Sawyer writes: "Gary asks a good question. I think the answer lies in the honesty of boxing. While this may seem a strange statement given tonight's two main protaganists and the continuing controversy over Margarito's gauze, boxing is in the end two human beings down to their most basic and reliant only on their fists, wits and resilience to decide matters. Even instances such as the guaze incident are noteworthy as they would appear to insult this unspoken pact of simplicity of human spirit. It's a sport which strips away the veneer of civilised society, lays bare the human soul and exposes the indomitable will to exist which lies within the best of the pugilistic craft. I think that this encourages, in the best boxing writers, an emotional honesty about what they are witnessing (as an example, Kevin Mitchell's excellent writing about the Benn/McClennan fight), but also the seeming simplicity of the spectacle itself demands a sophistication of thinking amongst the best observers, which emerges in the poetry of the writing."
    MSG: Here's an unexpected fan at Madison Square Garden: @DrSamuelJohnson tweets: "To Mister MADISON'S Garden, where Señor COTTO should rightfully vanquish Plaster-Propell'd Pugilist Señor MARGARITO / for @GdnUSsports."
    More on the most-watched gloves in sporting history: Tom Morton tweets: "Live footage of Cotto having his hands wrapped legally plays on the screens. Crowd goes mental. In your face, Margarito / @GdnUSsports."
    Spoof: Many of you enjoyed Derek Wanner's spoof video of Manny Pacquiao's Las Vegas entrance last month. Well, he has another video specially prepared for the Guardian's live boxing blog: "100% proof that Marquez's foot-stopping tactics were pre-planned."
    Or not.
    Wolak vs Rodriguez: Tenth and final round and Rodriguez has landed a series of mighty punches, but the New Jersey Pole manages to stay on his feet. Just.
    Result: Delvin Rodriguez gets the unanimous points decision versus Pawel Wolak.
    Rios vs Murray: Kevin Mitchell writes:
    This place is packed to the rafters. Sold out last week. Few final thoughts: Murray has a great chance if Rios is weak at the weight. If it is true that all he had this week was a cup of water on Wednesday - until making the new day-of-the-fight limit of 147lbs - his stomach will have shrunk considerably. That makes eating and drinking to restore his strength after a week's fast pretty tough. Big chance for Murray, then - and he should go to the body from the first bell.

    Murray can beat Rios - if he makes him move, uses his feet like he hasn't really done since the start of his career, and belts away downstairs. Rios is weight-drained, no question, and will be dangerous until he slows down. It is up to Murray to stay with him, then step on the gas.
     
  11. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

    #11
    Dec 4, 2011
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Messages: 61,428
    Likes Received: 492
    Trophy Points: 180
    Judges: All three judges had the score at 89-82 when the fight was stopped.
    Your verdict: Phil Sawyer emails: "A disappointing end, with both fighters clearly wanting to continue, and everyone (including me) probably wanting to see it continue, but that eye looked a mess and do we really want to see a man possibly blinded in one eye? No. The right decision. Not the sense of closure that Cotto was probably hoping for, but closure of a sort. What a strange bloody sport. Love it, though. Goodnight all."
    Graham Parker tweets: "@Busfield Cotto's boxing discipline was admirable. Just about won me round on this fight taking place at all. Hope that's the last of it."
    Thank you and goodnight: Thanks for reading/emailing/tweeting tonight. Some may say that justice was done, although it was perhaps less defining than some hoped. Kevin Mitchell's verdict will be online shortly. And we will be back with more live boxing next Saturday...

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