Home Columns What in the World Happened with Cotto vs. Foreman and that Towel?

What in the World Happened with Cotto vs. Foreman and that Towel?


Cotto vs. Foreman Results Mysteriously Affected by the Actions of Referee Arthur Mercante Jr.

In the first fight at the new Yankee Stadium, Miguel Cotto applied effective pressure and used his superior strength and power to wear down Yuri Foreman, eventually earning a ninth round TKO victory. However, in an extremely odd sequence of events, a towel was thrown in during the eighth round of the contest, but the fight was not stopped. Apparently for referee Arthur Mercante Jr., the phrase “throwing in the towel” doesn’t equate to surrender or acknowledgment of defeat, but instead means “I get to do whatever I want!”

Yuri Foreman entered the ring for the bout wearing a knee brace, something you rarely see in the world of boxing and a sure sign that he was nursing an injury. This became more apparent as the fight went on and his usually rapid movement was notably less effective than usual. By the seventh round of the fight his legs buckled and Foreman was reduced to basically limping around the ring.

He was already increasingly getting battered by thudding Cotto hooks, but was now a sitting target. This is when the powers that be in boxing – the corner men, the referee and the ringside doctors – are all supposed to use their better judgment and prevent a fighter from suffering an unnecessary beating.

Apparently giving their charge one last round to go out and get something done, Foreman’s corner men did just that. In the eighth round, with Foreman’s movement reduced to a crawl and his face and body taking shot after shot, a towel flew into the ring from Foreman’s corner. Phew, finally, this could have been stopped a round ago!

But it still wasn’t over. Mercante tells Foreman, “I don’t want to see you go out like that,” and after several minutes with both fighters believing they were done competing, he starts up the round right where it left off. Mercante later explained that it was an entertaining fight and he basically wanted to see more. Excuse me, but since when does your perceived entertainment value overrule the wishes of a corner to stop a fight?


——> Read the rest of the Cotto vs. Foreman Towel Fiasco story here.