Miguel Cotto Edges Out Joshua Clottey Via Split Decision
Turning in an extremely gutsy performance after an ugly cut opened over his eye due to a head butt in the third round, welterweight champion Miguel Cotto defended his title successfully against challenger Joshua Clottey on Saturday night.
Clottey and Cotto both came out flashing quick jabs in the first round. Clottey seemed to have the advantage in the early going, but a stiff jab from Cotto sent Clottey to the canvas in the final seconds of the opening round. This would prove to be decisive in the fight, as a 10-9 Clottey round instantly changed to a 10-8 round in Cotto’s favor.
Clottey continued to be busy, working both the body and the head. His shell defense also proved to bother Cotto, who had trouble landing his shots in between Clottey’s guard. In the third round, a hard head butt opened a gash over the left eye of Cotto that immediately began streaking blood down his face.
The cut would never be closed and would be a major factor for the rest of the evening. Cotto at times was very bothered by the blood, pawing at his eye while in the ring as blood covered his face. He also began having trouble getting out of the way of Clottey’s right hand as a result to his reduced vision.
Clottey then was banged up when he fell to the canvas after leaping into Cotto. Clottey jumped in and Cotto pushed him off, spinning Clottey to the ground. It appeared he hurt his left knee, and for several rounds Cotto was able to take advantage of the slowed Clottey battering him against the ropes.
Clottey recovered and would do his own damage in rounds eight through ten, as the cut over Cotto’s eye was getting bad enough that it could have been and almost was stopped by the ringside doctor. However Cotto toughed it out and won the last two rounds over Clottey, who suddenly stopped throwing enough punches. It was enough to turn the tide in Cotto’s favor and earn him the close decision.
The final results were a split decision in favor of Cotto. Included amongst those scores was a lopsided 116-111 score for Cotto that is in no ways accurate or descriptive of the fight. In fact, a strong case can be made that Clottey won the encounter, although it’s Cotto who walked away with the W.
Next up for Cotto could be any number of potential large fights, although he will need plenty of time to recover and heal from the vicious cut. Cotto may be in the running for a match up against Manny Pacquiao. A showdown with Floyd Mayweather is also a possibility, as is a rematch with Shane Mosley. Clottey in the meanwhile will be hunting for the rematch against Cotto.