Cotto crushes Martinez to claim WBC middleweight title
Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) dominated Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) for nine rounds as he claimed the WBC middleweight title on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Argentine's corner waved the fight off knowing he was a long, long way behind on the scorecards, particularly after he suffered the worst possible start to the contest.
Cotto staggered Martinez with a left hook , then knocking him down three times in a quite sensational opening round, as the Puerto Rican threatened to make it an extremely early finish.
But the champion survived the round and in the end he had to settle for a 10-6 round that gave him a healthy lead on the scorecards.
Cotto continued to go on the attack and repeatedly push Martinez back as he landed almost at will.
Martinez was unable to get much going as he was thoroughly outboxed and outpunched by Cotto.
Cotto punished Martinez as the bout wore on and the 39-year-old took another count in round nine when the referee wrongly thought he had touched down.
Cotto became the first boxer from Puerto Rico to win world titles at four different weights when Martinez failed to answer the bell for the start of the 10th round.
Cotto had previously been a world champion at light-welterweight, welterweight and light-middleweight.
"This is the biggest achievement I ever had in my career," he said after becoming the first man to beat Martinez since Paul Williams in 2009. "It was a reflection of my hard work (for) 10, 11 weeks."
His trainer, Freddie Roach, was also delighted at the 33-year-old's performance, insisting 'Junito' had followed the pre-fight plan laid out in their gym sessions to absolute perfection.
"I'm really proud of him," he said. "We had a great game plan and he followed it to a tee. He had him moving into the hook all night long. Miguel is a better boxer than Martinez."
Martinez suffered his first defeat since a points loss to Paul Williams in 2009.
"I got hit and I never recovered after that. I tried my best," said Martinez, speaking through a translator, afterwards. "He caught me cold, he caught me hard at the beginning and I didn't recover from it."
Other reults on the card:
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr L Marvin Sonsona SD 10
Andy Lee W John Jackson KO 5
Jorge Melendez L Javier Francisco Maciel MD 10
Willie Nelson W Darryl Cunningham TKO 1
Jose Lopez W Raul Hidalgo UD 8
Jose Pedraza W Arturo Uruzquieta TKO 1
Felix Verdejo W Engelberto Valenzuela TKO 1
Jantony Ortiz W Elio David Ruiz KO 1