Cotto Soundly Defeats Sergio Martinez to Win the Middleweight Championship

It’s a win “four” the history books for Miguel Cotto

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, in what ESPN calls “an absolute tour de force,” won the middleweight championship of the world and made boxing history on Saturday night by stopping Sergio Martinez in the 10th round at Madison Square Garden.

Miguel Cotto

Cotto scored four knockdowns — three in the first round — in a remarkably dominant performance. After he dropped Martinez in the ninth round, Martinez was still on his stool when trainer Pablo Sarmiento would not let him continue, and referee Michael Griffin stopped the bout six seconds into the 10th round.

The largely Puerto Rican crowd of 21,090, who were mostly there for Cotto on the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Parade in New York, erupted in cheers.

With the overwhelming victory, Cotto made the Puerto Rican history that was his motivation for taking the fight — to become the first boxer from the island to win world titles in four weight classes.

Puerto Rican greats such as Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez and Felix Trinidad — all International Boxing Hall of Famers — each won world titles in three weight classes and became legends.

Now Cotto is one better than them.

“Happiest day of my life,” Cotto said. “This is the biggest achievement of my professional career.”

Cotto, who has won world titles at middleweight, junior middleweight, welterweight and junior welterweight, won every round and was ahead 90-77 on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped.

“I’m proud of Miguel. He worked so hard,” said Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, in only his second fight with Cotto. “He deserves this historic victory.”

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