|Cotto's comeback was worth the weight|
Boxing is a highly complex sport filled with complicated rankings, officiating, scoring, promotion, and expectation. Each time any given prizefighter advances himself to the next level, the rules change. Getting to the top is no longer the desired objective contrived by the fans for their ring hero.
No, it's far more dramatic than that. You see, boxing at its best often mirrors romantic comedy at its worst. Getting the girl isn't enough. Losing her and getting her back, that's the real story. With boxing, it's the rise, the fall, and the inevitable comeback. Boxing loves to see its marquee losers comeback and win again.
|There were doubts after Cotto's loss to Trout|
|Roach was the key to Cotto's comeback|
Once again, nothing was certain, even the prospects of Cotto rising to middleweight for a shot at the universally recognized champion Sergio Martinez. Yet on June 7, 2014, Miguel Cotto challenged Martinez for the WBC middleweight championship of the world at Madison Square Garden, Cotto's adopted home arena. Cotto fever was rampant, but it was equally countered by Martinez support.
Regardless, the ease with which Cotto dispatched Martinez was unanticipated.
Behind a short, pumping jab, Cotto set up his right hand and produced three first round knockdowns. The less mobile Martinez looked like the clichéd sitting duck against Cotto's bruising attack. Cotto took away Martinez strengths by cutting the distance on him effectively and crowding him with power shots. Martinez' legs could not carry him to safe harbor against this raging "tiburon." Martinez kept his composure and survive the round, but never found a way to avoid Cotto's left hook from the third round on. The mid-rounds saw Cotto beating Martinez with his jab and forcing the champion to fight off the ropes without his desired space. With hardly a backward step in his road to victory, Cotto drained the will from a champion once celebrated for that very attribute. After dipping toward the canvas in the ninth, Martinez received another count from the referee in spite of summoning the strength to keep his footing. The referee's misjudgment proved elementary though as the accumulated punishment absorbed by Martinez through nine rounds forced a tenth round corner retirement.
|Cotto made the best 2014 boxing comeback|
Special recognition goes out to Rocky Juarez, Cornelius Bundrage, and Jermain Taylor for also mounting laudable comeback wins in 2014.
Photography by Jeffrey Freeman, KOD EIC