Miguel Cotto finds a way to comeback and win his fight

Miguel Cotto is bloodied in bout with Joshua Clottey, but hangs in for win.
Miguel Cotto is bloodied in bout with Joshua Clottey, but hangs in for win.

Manny Pacquiao was sitting with promoter Bob Arum at ringside of the Miguel Cotto-Joshua Clottey fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. After seven rounds, blood from a deep gash over Cotto’s left eyelid streamed into his eye. Pacquiao leaned over to Arum and said maybe Cotto’s corner should halt the fight because of his blurred vision and send the matter to the scorecards.

 “He kind of hoped they’d stop the fight because he thought Cotto was going to be in big trouble and he was far enough on the scorecards to win a decision,” Arum said of the conversation with Pacquiao. The thought never entered Cotto’s head.

“I’m never going to (use) any excuse in any of my fights,” Cotto said.

With blood blurring his vision from an accidental clash of heads in the third round, Cotto battled and won a 12-round split decision to retain his WBO welterweight title.

A fight can be sent to the scorecards after five rounds when one of the boxers suffers an accidental injury such as the head butt and the ring doctor decides to stop it.

“Gutsy,” Arum said of Cotto’s performance. “I think Clottey was very good. Cotto had to fight with adversity with that cut eye the whole fight. He could have taken the easy way out. I saw a lot of rounds where he couldn’t collect himself because the blood was running through his eye.”

Cotto said the blood did impair his vision, but not enough to make him quit. That is why Cotto won the fight.

Clottey lost because he didn’t take control. Clottey never took advantage of the fact that Cotto couldn’t see the right hand coming. Cotto was there for the taking. He was hurt. Clottey never put together enough punches to even send Cotto to the canvas. The lone knockdown came in the first round when Cotto caught Clottey coming in and dropped him with a short right. Clottey wasn’t hurt.

“To be frank with you, he never hurt me,” Clottey said. “I didn’t even feel his body shots.”

In the fifth round, Cotto picked up Clottey and body-slammed him to the mat. Clottey stayed down for a minute and had to be helped to his feet by referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. Clottey said he injured his right leg during the takedown. That wrestling move, illegal as it was, might have saved Cotto from getting knocked out, because Clottey was not the same after that. Clottey became less active in the later rounds and took a punch in the back of the head in the 11th.

“He’s hitting me with low blows. He picked me up and threw me down. He hit me behind the head. The referee is trying to protect him because he doesn’t want the Puerto Rican fans to be mad,” Clottey said. Clottey was speaking of the majority of the 17,734 who supported Cotto on the eve of the Puerto Rican Parade.

“I’m very, very upset. I’m very, very mad about everything,” Clottey said. “I think I won the fight, but I didn’t get the decision. The best thing that could make me happy is to get the rematch.”

That seems unlikely. Clottey was one of the most arduous tests that Cotto has ever had and Pacquiao has seen enough vulnerability in Cotto that he’d probably jump at the opportunity to fight him.

Arum is already looking at making Pacquiao-Cotto for November.

“This showed me that Cotto and Pacquiao is a dead even fight. I think it is a very competitive fight,” Arum said.

As for Clottey, it was a double loss. He just cemented his reputation as the toughest out in the welterweight division. That means he is in for a future of frustration in his attempt to get the big names to step into the ring with him.


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