Cotto Takes Controversial Decision Over Clottey

Miguel Cotto got a split decision victory over Joshua Clottey to retain his WBO welterweight title. Cotto knocked Clottey down in the first round. An accidental headbutt at the tail end of the third round opened up a nasty cut over Miguel Cotto’s left eye. The cut was on the eyebrow and continued to bleed throughout the remainder of the fight. Don Trella scored the bout 116-111 for Cotto. Tom Miller scored it 114-113 for Clottey. John McKaie was the last scorecard to be read and he had it 115-112 in favor of Miguel Cotto.

One of the questions raised coming into this fight was whether or not Joshua Clottey could win a decision in Madison Square Garden against Miguel Cotto on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The outcome of this fight leads me to believe that the answer to that question was a resounding “no.” Miguel Cotto was bothered by the cut above his eyeCotto_Cut and couldn’t seem to get past the self-imposed hurdle that the cut placed on Miguel Cotto. Clottey could have done more in this fight, but he most certainly did enough to win the bout. Cotto ran for most of the rounds after receiving the cut except for a couple of spirited efforts. Miguel Cotto absolutely showed great heart and character in fighting on with the cut. Joshua Clottey displayed better defense, more accurate punches, and pressed the action. Clottey’s fight traits are all accounted for in the scoring of a boxing match. Miguel Cotto’s are not. It is my view that Joshua Clottey should have won the fight. Cotto retreated while landing too few punches. Yet from the scorecards rendered, Cotto had the fight won before the final round even began. Clottey needed to pitch a shutout to win a decision this night.

None of this should take away from the fact that Miguel Cotto is a great fighter. Who knows how the fight would have played out if he didn’t get cut so early? Cotto was a class act and didn’t use the cut as an excuse for a close decision. Then again, it’s easy to be gracious in victory. For his part, Clottey was relatively gracious in defeat as well. He made it known that he felt robbed and was visibly shocked by the verdict, yet still hung around to congratulate Miguel Cotto and conduct a post-fight interview. A rematch should be the call here but Cotto’s people are likely happy to escape this fight with a win and won’t have any desire to do it again with more lucrative fights looming.

I would like to point out that as a boxing fan, I respect Miguel Cotto and find him very easy to root for. I would, however, hope for the HBO announce team to be a little less partisan for Miguel Cotto during his next fight. The trio of Max Kellerman, and especially Jim Lampley and Emmanuel Steward, were blatantly rooting for Miguel Cotto during the fight. It’s not the kind of thing I want to hear during a championship boxing event. This was not a White Sox game. A Cotto win certainly meant better business for the sport of boxing, but just call the fight. I always seem to find new ways to be annoyed by someone on the HBO announce team.

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