Junior middleweight champion Austin Trout came, saw, and conquered Madison Square Garden and its current boxing hero Miguel Cotto.
Trout dominated all three scorecards in route to a unanimous decision.
Trout took Cotto’s best, punches, survived some his straight ahead bullying tactics and got an impressive victory in front of 13,096 fans who were there to see Cotto, unless they were related to Trout.
“Miguel Cotto is a great fighter. It was just a great honor to be in this ring, and an even greater honor to beat him in New York,” Trout said. “To have my hand raised with a kingpin like Miguel Cotto, it is a dream come true.”
Austin Trout withstood the pressure from the boxer and the crowd better than I anticipated he would.
He wasn’t rattled by coming to the ring first even though he was the champion.
He didn’t get rattled by the hail of boo’s rained down on him by the raucous Madison Square Garden crowd.
Most importantly he didn’t get rattled as Cotto gloves in front of his face, walked him down and tried to turn the fight into an ugly war.
“I’ve been preparing for this fight for my entire life,” said Trout, a 27-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, N.M., who was virtually anonymous before facing Cotto. “Fighting someone like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true for any fighter like me, waiting for their big moment.”
“I knew some of the rounds were close, but I felt I pulled out a lot of the close rounds,” he said. “If there is any doubt that I won the fight, I’m all for a rematch.”
Sho stats compubox numbers show just how close the fight was.
Both fighters threw a lot of punches but neither connected on more than 31%.
Trout tried to keep Cotto at bay, throwing 349 jabs, but only landing 46.
Both fighters threw a ton of power punches and Trout again landed more than Cotto with a 192-154 advantage.
The question now is where do both fighters go from here.
Cotto has a set rematch clause in his contract, and I have no doubt it would be an entertaining contest, it just seems both fighter are staring at different obstacles at this point.
Cotto blew a major payday when his loss cost him a big money match against Canelo Alvarez in May.
Alvarez was ringside and clearly rooting for Cotto to pull this one out.
Once again Alvarez had to watch Cotto take the same crushing as did Victor Ortiz when he lost to Josesito Lopez and cost Alvarez money then.
The now 26-0 Trout was aware of Canelo being in the building, and took the time to issue a challenge.
“Hey, Canelo! Tu quiero [I want you], Canelo!” Trout called to Alvarez from the ring after the fight. “It’s time to unify this division.”
I had the Cotto vs Trout contest being much closer than the ringside judges did.
Judge Adalaide Byrd scored it 119-109, judge John Poturaj scored it 117-111, and Steve Weisfeld scored it 117-111.
The question now lies in where Miguel Cotto goes from here.
Cotto stuck to his form of behaving poorly after losses, only answered one question from Jim Gray before walking off hastily.
“If I agree or not, that was the decision,” he said of the scores. “Ask the people in here and they will tell you [who won].”
“I can’t do anything but just walk away,” Cotto said later in his dressing room. “I’m satisfied with the job I did tonight. I’ll go back to Puerto Rico and think.”
Trout started the fight off a little rocky allowing Cotto to draw him in to a typical trade of punches, and Cotto tried to bully Trout.
Trout for his part would have none of it.
“I felt like I was the bigger man and I wanted to prove that and push him back if I needed to,” Trout said. “He wouldn’t let me box, so I had to push him back and show him he had no advantage there.”
“After the first couple of rounds, I went back to the corner and my coach [Louie Burke] gave me the instruction to use my speed and stop trying to get into a slugging match,” Trout said. “I’m a really teachable fighter.
“I then got into a better rhythm. I was able to take advantage of my skills. I was anxious coming in to fight a guy like Miguel Cotto and I knew he would be strong. When you fight a guy like Miguel Cotto, it makes you a little nervous, but this was the moment I was waiting for.”
I’m not certain where either fighter goes from here.
The skies the limit for Austin Trout who showed that he can be strong, and skilled in hostile situations.
Will he continue to take on obscure opponents, or can he get the beast, Canelo Alvarez to step up to the plate, in what would be the ultimate measuring stick for Austin Trout.
For Miguel Cotto, he can go back to Puerto Rico, regroup and figure out what he wants to do from here.
He took his typical beating to the face, and at some point should consider hanging it up.
Miguel Cotto is a warrior, and the reception he got from the New York crowd speaks volumes about the legacy he’s provided.
I know one thing for sure, Austin “NO Doubt” Trout is an up and coming player in the boxing world.