Trout Outpoints Cotto!
Scores Upset in Front of Large Garden Crowd!
December 1, 2012 - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Ringside Report: Mariano A. Agmi and Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos: Ed Mulholland
TO LICENSE PHOTOS CLICK BELOW
WBA junior middleweight champion Austin "No Doubt" Trout had the breakout performance of his career this past Saturday in front of 13,096 mostly pro-Miguel Cotto fans at Madison Square Garden, giving the Puerto Rican icon his first defeat in eight fights at the Garden.
Trout, an undefeated 27-year-old southpaw, made important adjustments during the fight and used his speed, movement and skills to defeat Cotto by wide margins on the scorecards, as Adalaide Byrd saw the fight 119-109 while Steve Weisfeld and John Poturaj had it 117-111.
"This was the moment I've been waiting for," said an ecstatic Trout (26-0, 14 KOs). "There shouldn't be a question about who Austin Trout is anymore. I believe I showed a lot of grit, skills, toughness, whatever you need, I believe I showed that tonight."
The Las Cruces, New Mexico fighter fought on even terms with the Puerto Rican star from the beginning of the bout, using his right jab and movement to avoid and counter Cotto's rushes. A straight left counter in the middle of round one momentarily stunned Cotto, who quickly recovered and engaged the young champion.
Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) pressed the action in the early rounds behind a sharp left jab and a left hook to the head. Cotto also effectively landed short left uppercuts on the inside whenever Trout reached in to hold him. For his part, Trout focused on landing straight right hands to Cotto's gut and a right hook that clearly affected the Puerto Rican's vision as the fight progressed.
"At first I saw a mark, and I kept trying to work that," explained Trout. "Then around the fourth or fifth round, I saw that his eye was really closing up and I tried to start landing that hook uppercut."
Cotto was successful landing left hooks to the head throughout the bout, and just as it appeared like he might take control of the bout in the middle rounds, Trout made the necessary adjustments to avoid most of the incoming and change the dynamic of the fight.
"Miguel Cotto is a great champion," said Trout. "He's strong. He doesn't miss a step. He comes on, he comes back, and he comes fast. I definitely felt some punches. After the first quarter of the fight, my coach Louie Burke said 'You're giving the fight away.' He told me to use my speed and stop trying to get into a slugging match. He reminded me 'You're in the Garden. He's undefeated here and they want to keep him undefeated.' We had to go back to the game plan because I was kinda falling into his game plan. That was the point where I said 'I have to let these hands go.' I then got into a better rhythm and I was able to take advantage of my skills."
Trout became more aggressive beginning in round six, as Cotto took on the role of the boxer with Trout following. However, as is his character, the 32-year-old Cotto (153.6 lbs) never stopped engaging and often seemed to get the better of the exchanges.
"I had to show him I was the bigger guy," said Trout (154 lbs), who definitely appeared to be the bigger man in the ring. "I felt I had to push him back a couple of times to show him he had no advantage there."
In round eight, Cotto's face began to show the wear and tear of a fighter who has been in several wars. His left eye quickly swelling up, the former three-division titlist swung wildly but missed many of his big shots.
"He was a really slippery boxer," admitted Cotto, who landed 183 of 628 punches (29%). "He was a southpaw, so it was a difficult fight. He knew how to move, how to use his elbow and shoulder so that I couldn't reach him."
Each man pressed in round ten, both attempting to land something big. Trout began to land more consistently with straight left hands and left uppercuts.
"I think the left hand was a big factor," said Trout, who landed 238 of 779 punches (31%). "I caught him with some good overhands. Stepping around him, to my right, and countering with my jab was a big factor."
Trout landed an uppercut in round eleven that momentarily buckled Cotto, who employed some crafty defense and intelligent boxing to weather the storm.
"I felt I did hurt him, but I didn't want to be too hasty," explained Trout. "I did go in to try to go in for the kill, but he neutralized it with his defense, which showed me that he wasn't that hurt, so I fell back to my game plan."
The fighters continued to trade into round twelve, a round in which Trout seemed to win. The question now was whether Trout could win a decision in what some perceived as a close fight in Cotto's pugilistic home.
"Because it's in Madison Square Garden and there were a lot of close rounds, I felt I pulled it out but I didn't know if I was going to get it," admitted Trout. "When I heard 'unanimous,' I thought uh-oh. I asked God to give me a fair shake. I don't want anyone cheating for me and I don't want anyone to cheat me. If I lost, I lost. So when I heard that unanimous decision I was a little nervous. When they said 'And still...' my heart dropped."
"It was a great fight," said a disappointed Cotto, who celebrated many great victories on this stage over the likes of Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi and most recently, Antonio Margarito. "We fought until the end. I'm a little disappointed with the decision of the judges, but I have to accept it and I have to continue and look forward. I think it's an appreciation sport. Judges can see the fight differently, but 119-109 and 117-111 is too far from what the people saw and what I brought to the ring."
The Puerto Rican warrior quickly put to rest any speculation that his career might be over after this defeat, the second in a row for a fighter who recently gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. the toughest fight of his career.
"I'm going to take some time this Christmas and the rest of the year to think," stated the future Hall of Famer, who was being considered for a unification bout against Mexican idol and WBC titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez had he won this bout. "I'm not finished yet. Boxing is still on my mind. I'm really thankful for all of my fans that came out to support me tonight. There's no place like Madison Square Garden."
Trout would love to step into Cotto's shoes for a unification bout against the aforementioned Alvarez, who sat ringside. Trout immediately addressed Alvarez after the fight.
"You would think he would be ready to fight me since I'm the one who beat Cotto," said the champion. "I beat his brother [Rigoberto] and I beat Cotto, those are the two people that Canelo wanted to avenge and he wanted to fight. I want to beat the best, so to me, logically, he should want to fight me. Why would you not want to unify? There's nothing left for him to do besides fight a real junior middleweight and get another belt. So Canelo should be next, which would be my dream scenario. He wants to fight May 5th, and I think that's perfect timing."
Let's hope this impressive performance lands the talented southpaw the fights and recognition he deserves. -- Mariano A. Agmi
Trout vs Cotto Photos
Velez Blows Away Sanchez in Three!
Unbeaten featherweight sensation Jason Velez (20-0,15 KOs) captured the vacant WBC silver featherweight title in convincing fashion, dropping Salvador Sanchez II (30-5-3, 18 KOs) twice en-route to a third round stoppage, in their scheduled ten round championship contest.
Sanchez, the nephew of the legendary Mexican world champion Salvador Sanchez, looked to be quite a test for the 24-year old Puerto Rican Velez, but it was not to be.
Early in the second round, Velez power took over as he backed Sanchez II up with a right hand-left hook combination. Velez was in control from that point on as he landed almost a will with whatever he threw. In the closing moments of the round, a heavy five-punched combination sent a withering Sanchez II to the canvas. Sanchez rose to his feet and looked in bad shape, but the bell sounded before any more damage could be done.
It would not make a difference though, as Velez attacked like a tiger on his wounded prey as soon as the bell rung for the third round, immediately flooring Sanchez II with a huge right hand on the button. Sanchez was in bad shape, but gamely rose to his feet. Velez seized the opportunity and immediately wobbled him in the corner with two unanswered heavy right hands. Referee Harvey Dock had seen enough and called a halt to the carnage at thirty eight seconds of the third round.
Next up for Velez is a battle with WBC champion Daniel Ponce de Leon. -- Kurt Wolfheimer
Velez vs Sanchez II Photos
Jacobs Destroys Fitzpatrick!
Popular Brooklyn super middleweight Danny Jacobs (24-1, 21 KOs) continued his comeback after recovering from a spinal cancer named osteosarcoma. The "Miracle Man" battered Chris "The Irish Ghost" Fitzpatrick (15-3, 6 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio for five rounds before the Irishman called it quits.
As a tribute to the late Hector "Macho" Camacho, Jacobs (161.2 lbs) began the fight from the southpaw stance and wore the Puerto Rican flag on his trunks. Jacobs later switched to orthodox and began catching the slower Fitzpatrick (163.3 lbs) with sharp jabs and stinging left hooks to the head and body.
A clash of heads in round three caused a cut on the top of Fitzpatrick's head, and the 25-year-old Brooklynite immediately pounced on his wounded foe. The beating continued through rounds four and five, with Jacobs battering the Irish Ghost around the ring. Fitzpatrick, who has lost three of his last four bouts, absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment and wisely decided not to come out for round six.
"I took my time a little bit to make sure I got the ring rust out," said Jacobs, who is scheduled to fight again on February 9th at the Barclays Center on the Garcia-Judah undercard. "It's my second fight back after a year and a half layoff, and I feel amazing. Once I let my hands go, I knew it was a matter of time. Man, that guy can take a punch. I was wondering why the referee didn't stop it earlier." -- Mariano A. Agmi
Jacobs vs Fitzpatrick Photos
Melendez Whips Winchester
Heavy handed Puerto Rican super welterweight slugger Jorge "The Destroyer" Melendez (25-2-1, 24 KOs) impressed the raucous crowd at The Garden with a four round destruction of James Winchester (15-7, 5 KOs) of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Melendez was the stronger fighter and it showed as he landed a series of short right uppercut in the opening minute which gained the attention of his opponent. Winchester looked to weather the early rounds with hopes of taking Melendez into deep water. Melendez was patient though and started to do the groundwork for a knockout with strong hooks underneath to the exposed ribcage of Winchester late in the opening round.
The power of Melendez finally showed itself as he dropped Winchester to the canvas with a left hook. Winchester rose to his feet but was rocked again with a right hook up top. Winchester was game though and tried to fight back, but two more right hands on the chin buckled his knees. Winchester showed even more heart and just would not go down as the bell sounded to end the round.
Desperate to change the tide Winchester came out swinging for the hills and actually landed a sharp straight left which Melendez walked through. Melendez rocked Winchester again with a straight right and moments later, another straight right sent Winchester toppling down the ropes and onto the canvas. Winchester rose and clinched as the bell sounded.
Melendez went in for the kill in the fourth and uncorked a heavy four punch combination which caught Winchester off balance and he slipped to the canvas. The referee ruled it a slip and asked for him to get up, but Winchester said he twisted his ankle and was slow to his feet. When he was finally ready continue, Melendez went in for the kill and unloaded his arsenal as Winchester desperately tried to hold on. After eight unanswered shots, referee Ricky Gonzalez had seen enough and stepped and called a halt to the contest a 54 seconds of fourth round. -- Kurt Wolfheimer
Melendez vs Winchester Photos
Fontanez annihilates Arcos
Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Jeffrey Fontanez improved to 9-0 (8) with a spectacular second round TKO over Pedro Arcos (12-3-1, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico. A sneaky left hook dropped Arcos in round one. Fontanez knocked Arcos down again in round two with a big right hand, and a follow-up left hook left the Mexican on one knee with his right hand hanging over the bottom rope. Referee Tony Chiarantano immediately halted the bout at 1:23 of round two.---Mariano A. Agmi
Perez Outslugs Carcano
Newark, New Jersey featherweight sensation Michael Perez (18-1-1, 10 KOs) was put to the test against dangerous Puerto Rican Fernando Carcano (10-5, 7 KOs), even having to get off the canvas to secure a hard fought unanimous decision victory.
It looked like it would not go the distance in the early going as Perez found his mark with a picture perfect one-two, up top that floored Carcano. He immediately rose to his feet and tried push the fight while on the inside. Perez let off the gas a bit as the round wore on and Carcano got his attention with two let hooks. The knockdown earlier still seemed to affect Carcano, who really did not have his legs fully under him and twice fell two the canvas due to being off balance after wild swings.
Perez tried to push for another knockdown early in second round, but got careless and left himself exposed early in the second round. Carcano seized the opportunity as he sent Perez to the canvas with a right hand in the opening minute. Perez rose and took a few moments to regain his composure before setting himself in the pocket and again banging a hard one-two up top. Both fighters went toe-to-toe trading left hooks, but Perez got the worst of it and his knees buckled but he wouldn't go down though. Seconds later he planted a good body shot on the inside as the round came to an end.
Both fighters came out swinging in the opening moments of the third. Neither landed a damaging shot and the bout finally began to settle down Perez was the better technician and he began to land the lead right hand as he boxed his way to the end of the round.
The contest continued to go back and forth in round four and the beginning of the round five as each fighter took their turns trying to control the ring.
It looked like it was going to be a chess match the rest of the way as each fighter was finding their spots to land big shots. The fight changed on a dime though as Perez rocked Carcano with a right hand. You could see the confidence of Perez grow as he stepped in with two big combinations. Carcano countered with two hellacious body shots. Perez didn't budge either and continued with his heavy straights shots as the round came to an end
Perez boxed safely on his way to the winning the sixth. Carcano would not falter and went back on the offensive in the seventh with short chopping shots on the inside. Perez fought back though making the round close as each fighter worked on the inside.
The heavier handed Perez changed his attack in the eighth and final round as he stepped back, looking to catch the pressing Carcano. Carcano was careful, as he pushed the action and Perez again changed his attack again going to the body with single shots. Perez looked tired but still had deadly power as he caught and dropped Carcano who was backing out of an exchange with a short left-right combo. Carcano was able to regain his composure and survived until the final bell sounded to end the contest.
All of the judges saw the bout unanimously in favor of Michael Perez by scores of 77-72 twice and 78-71.---Kurt Wolfheimer
Diaz Decisions Sanchez
New Brunswick's Jorge Diaz improved to 17-1 (10) with a six round unanimous decision win over tough Texan Victor Sanchez (3-6-1) in a fiercely contested featherweight bout. Diaz (122.4 lbs), whose only loss is a twelve round unanimous decision against fellow prospect Teon Kennedy, dropped Sanchez with a big right hand in round one, but Sanchez was able to weather the storm and even buckled Diaz's knees in round two from a left hand. Diaz began boxing nicely in round three, mixing up his offense with slick defensive moves. Diaz continued to pick his shots in round four, choosing when to engage his opponent. The gutsy Sanchez made it a competitive fight, but his effort was not reflected by the scorecards as all of the judges tallied the contest at 60-53. -- Mariano A. Agmi
Gomez Out Duels Hernandez
In a battle of undefeated super welterweights, Eddie Gomez of the Bronx, New York, moved to 12-0, 8 KOs with a well-deserved six round unanimous decision victory over a very game Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez (9-1, 5 KOs).
The fighters looked primed and ready as the entered the ring. Once the bell sounded, each combatant tried to feel each other out, tentatively prodding and poking with single shots in the center of the ring. In the closing moments, it was Gomez who finished strong with a three left hook combo that backed up the man from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Gomez continued to step up the pace in the second round, digging in hooks underneath and using his defense to block most of the return volleys. Late in the round, Hernandez did land a nice combo, but Gomez stepped back and found his found his range with a series of snapping left jabs.
The lead began to swell for Gomez as he continued to dig heavy hooks when on the inside in the third, but Hernandez was game and snapped back with a couple combinations of his own to make the round somewhat close. In the closing moments of the round, Gomez complained of getting hit behind the head which let Hernandez unload a heavy flurry. It would not deter Gomez who set himself and returned fire as the round came to an end.
Gomez saw that Hernandez was not going to go down, so he stepped of the gas and boxed his way through rounds four and five. Hernandez tried to push the pace, pressing the attack, but Gomez's defense and movement allowed him to avoid most of the combinations. Gomez's early power shots had finally done their damage and Hernandez's punches were losing their steam.
Gomez spent the six and final round playing it safe, landing well placed single left hooks from distance. Hernandez was game though and tried to turn the tide, but Gomez was the stronger fighter on the inside as mixed in uppercuts which slowed Hernandez even further. Just when it looked like Gomez was coasting he sent an accidental shot south of the border and referee took a point.
The fight went to scorecards with all of the judges seeing it in favor of Gomez by scores of 58-55 and 59-54 twice. -- Kurt Wolfheimer
The Apollo Kid Remains Undefeated
In the opening bout of the evening, "The Apollo Kid" John Thompson (10-0, 3 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Eli "The Fly" Agustama (6-6, 3 KOs) in a middleweight contest. Newark's Thompson controlled the bout with his left jab, but he had to fight through exhaustion in round 6 to win the bout. Scores were 60-54 and 59-55 twice. -- Mariano A. Agmi