Miguel Ángel Cotto Vázquez (born October 29, 1980) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer and the reigning WBA Super Welterweight Champion. He is the younger brother of contender Jose Miguel Cotto and cousin of Abner Cotto. He is a four-time world champion in 3 weight divisions (Light Welterweight, Welterweight, Light Middleweight).
On September 11, 2004, Cotto faced Kelson Pinto from Brazil, for the vacant World Boxing Organization junior welterweight title. This represented the third fight between them, with Pinto being victorious in their two previous encounters, both of which took place while they were still amateurs. The fight was televised by HBO from San Juan, Puerto Rico. During this card Cotto utilized a defensive stance with his hands in a high position instead of his usual aggressive orthodox stance. Over the course of the fight Cotto scored three knockdowns and won the World Boxing Organization Junior Welterweight Championship by knockout in the sixth round.
On July 26, 2008, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Cotto suffered his first loss as a professional to Antonio Margarito in an unsuccessful title defense. Cotto had taken the early initiative, frequently landing a series of punches on Margarito during the early rounds while using his footwork to avoid danger. However, Margarito presented constant offensive pressure of Cotto and eventually began to wear down Cotto's resistance by trapping him against the ropes. Cotto was hurt in the seventh round after a pair of Margarito uppercuts caused his nose to bleed. Margarito continued to chase his opponent down and inflicted further damage towards the end of the tenth round. Margarito then threw a series of punches at the start of the eleventh round, with Cotto against the ropes and bleeding profusely. A combination from Margarito finally forced Cotto to his knee. He got up, but Margarito continued landing combinations. Evangelista Cotto threw in the towel after Cotto again fell to the canvas in the corner of the ring. Two judges had Margarito ahead by a score of 96–94 at the time of the stoppage, while the third scored the fight even. HBO analyst Harold Lederman had also scored the fight even. Cotto's loss to Margarito has since come under suspicion due to Margarito's subsequent attempted use of illegal hand-wraps in a fight against Shane Mosley.
Cotto returned to action on February 21, 2009, in a card held at the Madison Square Garden. This time competing against Michael Jennings for the vacant WBO welterweight title. After both pugilists used the first round to study their opponent's style, the tempo accelerated during the second. In the third, Cotto pursued the offensive more fluidly, connecting with jabs and hooks. One round later, Cotto scored two knockdowns on Jennings, who was able to continue until the recess. In the fifth, Jennings was trapped against the ropes, which Cotto utilized to connect a right hook to score a third knockdown. Jennings incorporated, but the referee decided to stop the fight.With this action, Cotto was awarded a technical knockout victory, in the process winning his second championship in the welterweight division. On April 8, 2009, Cotto fired his uncle from the team's staff, following a violent discussion where his property was damaged. However, neither side expressed interest in pursuing any sort of legal action. Consequently, Cotto named Joe Santiago, who had served as the team's nutritionist as his new trainer.
On June 13, 2009, Cotto defended this championship against Joshua Clottey, in a fight that was originally intended to be an unification that also included the International Boxing Federation's title. In the first round he scored a knockdown after connecting a jab. In the third round an accidental head clash opened a severe laceration over Cotto's left eye. The injury bled profusely during the fourth round, but he was able to control the pace. In the fifth round, Clottey was pushed to the floor during an exchange and was injured in his left knee, receiving time to recover before the contest resumed. In the sixth, Cotto trapped Clottey in a corner and gained offensive advantage. During the next two rounds, Clottey controlled the offensive, noticing that Cotto was unable to see right punches. During the last rounds, Cotto decided to employ his technique from outside, while the fight's tempo remained close. The judges decided the fight's outcome by split decision, awarding scores of 115-112 and 116-111 for Cotto and 114-113 for Clottey.Immediately after this fight, negotiations began to pursue a contest against Manny Pacquiao. Even before Pacquiao defeated Ricky Hatton, Bob Arum, who represents both Cotto and Pacquiao, stated that he was interested in this matchup.
On November 14, 2009, Pacquiao defeated Cotto by TKO 55 seconds into the 12th round, dethroning Cotto as a WBO welterweight champion. The fight generated 1.25 million buys and 70 million dollars in domestic pay-per-view revenue, making it the most watched boxing event of 2009. Pacquiao earned around 22 million dollars for his part in the fight, whilst Cotto earned around 12 million dollars. Pacquiao-Cotto also generated a live gate of $8,847,550 from an official crowd of 15,930.Cotto ended up knocking Foreman down with a signature left hook to the body in the ninth round claiming the WBA light middleweight title, his fourth overall in three different weight divisions.On March 12, 2011, Cotto defeated Ricardo Mayorga in a 12th round TKO, retaining his WBA Light Middleweight title on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Subsequently Cotto was awarded the newly created World Boxing Board (WBB) championship.Cotto is now scheduled to face Antonio Margarito in a rematch on December 3, 2011 in New York. It will be for the WBA and WBB Light Middleweight Title.
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