Quite the week in boxing, with upsets galore and new horizons shining through...
[C] Antonio Margarito TKO11 WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto [PPV - HBO]
--I thought that Margarito had a chance at beating Cotto, but not a very strong one based on the opposite paths both men were walking come Saturday's highly-anticipated match. Cotto, based on reports, appeared to have been in control of the first half of the fight and was "boxing beautifully" as many have wrote. Margarito, to his credit, hung in and continuously pressured the undefeated champion and kept him on the move. All of this appeared to have had a very negative effect on Cotto, as he seemed to run out of gas at the end and looked haggard. Still, Margarito laid it on, until the point when Cotto could not take anymore shots and took two kneels in the penultimate round, leading to his corner throwing in the towel.
I really have to give Margarito props for reliving up to his hype and reminding everyone why he was so feared and avoided for so long. He didn't look remarkable against Paul Williams and it seemed like he fizzled on the big stage, yet he redeemed himself on an even bigger one against the welterweight juggernaut many considered to be unflappable. Even in defeat, Cotto didn't let the light from his illustrious figure go out, as he was widely praised for this applying of boxing skills and taking Margarito's powerful punches for so long. However, it looks like all of those glimpses of a shaky chin showed true Saturday night. There are other bad, exploitable areas in Cotto's style (follows through opponents' punches too much, inadequate defense, somewhat one-dimensional), so hopefully he will learn much from this loss and become a better fighter because of it.
Not Previously Noted
[C] :Wed.07.16.08: (Vacent WBO NABO Heavyweight Championship) James Toney TKO3-->NC Hasim Rahman [Fox Sports]
--In an air of old-school flare, both fighters agreed to a stipulation before the match that the loser would have to retire. That never came to fruition, as an errant clash of heads caused a bothersome cut over Rahman's eye in the third. He complained during the break that he couldn't see due to blood getting in his eye and the doctor, who had the authority to stop the match, took that as a sign that he could not go on. Instead of the match being ruled a "No Contest" due to the headbutt-caused stoppage occuring before the fourth, Toney was awarded a technical knockdown and the title. Over a week and a half later, on July 28, the Rahman camp was successful in getting the ruling overturned to its correct mandate.
:Wed.07.23.08: Jeff Lacy MD Epifanio Mendoza (Super Middleweight) [ESPN2]
--The fight was close and both had their moments (especially Lacy in the second). Mendoza began to turn things around in the second half of the fight and had Lacy hurt a few times, until Lacy disgracefully tackled him to the ground in the latter rounds in "apparent" exhaustion. It seemed to take the wind out of Mendoza's sail in the two final rounds and Lacy escaped with the win.
:Fri.07.25.08: James McGirt Jr. UD(10) Raymond Joval (Middleweight) [ESPN2]
--The son of the famous boxer-turned-trainer surprised observers by defeating the veteran Joval. It was a good, competitive bout, and McGirt did what he had to to win over him.