Join Inside Fights for live coverage of “Stadium Slugfest,” headlined by Yuri Foreman’s first defense of the WBA 154-pound title against former welterweight and junior welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. On the undercard, undefeated junior middleweights Vanes Martirosyan and Joe Greene square off to see who will take their career to the next level.
Don’t miss a round of the action. Join us at 10 pm EST as the HBO card kicks off from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
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We get an introduction to Yankee Stadium, chronicling some of baseball’s greatest moments from the most dominant franchise in American sports.
They have a cover set up over the ring in the event of rain, but the stadium is dry and humid.
Roy Jones Jr. is on commentary with Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman tonight.
Vanes Martirosyan vs. Joe Greene
Referee: Steve Smoger
Roy says the winner of this fight will become a star. Both men are undefeated, and Vanes is coming off the biggest win of his career against Kassim Ouma.
Greene comes out decked out in Yankees gear, Derek Jeter’s number 2. His team is dressed the same.
The ring walks are taking a long time, and it’s not the fighters’ pace. They are coming from far away to get to the ring. But now both men are in the ring and ready to go.
ROUND 1: Steve Smoger checks to make sure the HBO team is ready before ringing the bell. Vanes attacks early and scores with a left hook. Manny Pacquiao is sitting center stage for this event. Vanes lands another hook. Vanes is hitting a lot of glove now but lands a nice straight right on the chin. The southpaw Greene gets in a left hand but takes another straight right from Vanes. Vanes lands a few solid jabs. Green takes a body shot but lands one in return that goes low on Vanes. Smoger calls a break, and Vanes drops down by the ropes to take a moment. Vanes comes forward, but Smoger tells him he has five minutes. Vanes does some squats to work out the kinks. Vanes scores with two straight rights.
ROUND 2: Both of the shots were pretty much clean, but Vanes convinced Smoger it landed low. Greene lands a jab to start round 2 and one to the body. Vanes with a body shot, Greene lands one back. Vanes lands a body shot, and both men look to Smoger, who says it was fine. Greene lands a body shot, and Vanes hits him with a straight right into the guard. Vanes lands a right uppercut. Vanes with a good jab. Body shot by Vanes. Good right hook by Greene has Vanes backing up. Vanes shoots two straight rights into Greene’s guard. Close round likely goes to Vanes on output.
ROUND 3: Body shot by Vanes. Greene lands a nice straight left. Vanes gestures to Greene to fight. Greene lands a left hand and a combination to the head, fighting recklessly but landing. Vanes with a body shot. Another one as Greene covers up a bit. Vanes lands a straight right. Greene sticks in another straight left. Vanes shoots a wild straight right and nearly spills over the ropes. He lands a straight right to put Greene into the ropes. Greene lands a straight left but takes a pair of body shots. Greene lands a straight left to the body. Vanes lands a body shot, then Greene lands one that Vanes suggests is low, but Smoger says otherwise. Vanes sticks in a pair of straight rights to the guard, but Greene seemed to get in the overall better shots this time.
ROUND 4: Greene sticks in a jab. Vanes lands a body shot. Vanes lands a right over the top. Vanes sticks in a short right as Greene ducks. Greene lands a straight left as Vanes ducks, followed by a right hook. Vanes with a jab but takes a left from Greene. Vanes lands a low blow, and Greene complains. Smoger gives him five minutes but tells Greene his trunks are too high. Greene acts similarly to how Martirosyan acted earlier, doing a bit of a squat. Greene sticks a jab. Vanes snaps his head up with a sharp jab.
ROUND 5: Vanes lands a combination to start. Body shot follows, but Greene lands a combo upstairs and a body shot of his own. Greene complains about getting hit on the back of the head and gets his head snapped up by a jab. Greene lands a nice straight left to the mouth of Vanes. He gets in another left. Greene catches Vanes with a straight left to the body. Nice jab by Greene. Greene looks up at the screen, attacks and slips. Vanes gets in a right but takes a jab. Vanes with an uppercut but catches a right hook. Greene landed the better shots that round, and Vanes’ left eye, which has been reddening for several rounds, is now swelling.
ROUND 6: Vanes lands a long straight right but takes a counter jab on the eye. Vanes lands a right and sticks in another one on Greene against the ropes. Vanes lands a body shot. Greene scores with a big straight left against the ropes. Vanes attacks in response and hits him with a straight right. He’s coming after Greene, and Greene is holding. Greene scores with the straight left but gets his head slammed back against the ropes with a straight right. Vanes is fighting well with his bad eye. He lands another straight right before the bell. Odd takedown as Vanes charges in and Greene folds up, with Vanes landing on top of him before the bell.
ROUND 7: Greene lands a jab. Greene with a body shot. Greene complains about a kidney shot, and Smoger tells him to fight. Vanes lands a big body shot. Vanes may have hurt his right hand as he winds it up and shakes his head after throwing it. They trade right hands. Greene finally goes on the attack and lands some body shots but takes two better ones from Vanes, followed by a left hook. Greene lands his left but gets his head knocked back by a jab. Vanes lands a clean straight right and a left hook. Vanes lands a straight right, and they trade left hooks. Vanes is just doing far more in these last two rounds.
ROUND 8: Vanes lands a straight right as Greene ducks. It hasn’t been a pretty fight, but most of the clean blows are being landed by Vanes. Greene gets in a straight left. Another left lands for Greene and a jab. Body shot by Vanes that makes Greene complain, but Smoger says it’s legit. Greene lands a left. Vanes lands a straight right, but Greene gets him with a straight left. Greene is cut over the right eye after some jabs land. He shakes his head, and it’s bothering him already. Vanes tries to wind his right up and misses badly, but he wins another round.
ROUND 9: Greene lands a straight left. Vanes lands a body shot. Pair of body shots land for Vanes, and Greene calls low blow as he winces and hops in complaint. Smoger says they are clean and orders them to fight. Vanes with another body shot. Greene is doing a good job of slipping the biggest punches, but he’s still getting hit with jabs and landing nothing in return, so he isn’t winning any rounds. He takes a left hook but lands a body shot on Vanes. Greene gets in a straight left but takes a body shot and a stiff jab.
ROUND 10: Last round, and both guys are having eye troubles. Greene lands a left and a combination to the head. Greene lands a right hook around the glove. Greene keeps looking at the clock but lands a straight left to the body. Roy Jones calls his right hand “the missile.” Never knew that. Vanes doesn’t really land anything significant in the round until 30 seconds left. Then he lands a straight right and a left hook on the back of the head, knocking Green off balance and then to his gloves on the canvas. Smoger calls it a knockdown, but it was a rabbit punch. They embrace at the bell.
Inside Fights scores it 98-91 for Martirosyan, as does HBO’s Harold Lederman.
The judges waste no time submitting the scores.
The scores come as 98-91 and 96-93 twice for Martirosyan.
Larry Merchant narrates a piece about the history of boxing in Yankee Stadium, featuring Joe Louis, Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali.
An interview between Miguel Cotto and Kellerman is run, and Cotto says he will show what he has left tonight. He believes his father will be with him in every step of the ring.
Kellerman thinks Cotto is going to have the majority of the crowd on his side tonight but that Foreman has an opportunity to show the Jewish population he’s the truth.
WBA Junior Middleweight Championship
Yuri Foreman (Champion) vs. Miguel Cotto
Referee: Arthur Mercante Jr.
Cotto and new trainer Emanuel Steward come out in Yankees colored baseball attire, though theirs isn’t plastered with the Yankee logo the way Greene’s was. He’s coming off a devastating loss to Manny Pacquiao, who dropped him twice and eventually stopped him in the final round back in November.
Foreman comes out to traditional Jewish music, which soon transfers over to Pantera’s “Walk” song that Rob Van Dam was known for in ECW. The crowd is definitely pro-Cotto as the fans boo Foreman during his introduction.
ROUND 1: Cotto lands a nice jab to start. He gets in a glancing hook, but Foreman shoots a straight right. Cotto is certainly outsized. Foreman fires a combination into Cotto’s gloves. Cotto scores with two jabs. Foreman lands one to the body. Cotto shoots in a right hand. Cotto jab knocks Foreman off balance as he stumbles back along the ropes. Cotto lands another jab and comes back with a left hook. Cotto gets in a left hook and one to the body. Foreman thinks it was low. Cotto backs Foreman into the ropes with a right to the gloves. Foreman jabs to the body. Cotto gets in a body shot. Foreman shoots a straight right into the glove. Foreman lands two jabs of his own now.
ROUND 2: Foreman lands his jab. Cotto lands a glancing left hook. Cotto lands a body shot. Another body shot lands and a left hook on the top of Foreman’s head. Foreman bangs in a quick body shot. Cotto scores with a stiff jab to the nose. Another one by Cotto. They trade jabs, and Foreman wobbles back into the ropes. He takes a left hook from Cotto against the ropes. Cotto lands another jab. Foreman gets in a left hook. Foreman finally lands a nice punch with his left hook. Cotto lands a straight right, and Foreman seems to wobble. Cotto senses Foreman is hurt and hits him with a jab. Foreman catches Cotto with a big left hook. Cotto doesn’t seem bothered by it as Foreman jabs his body. Foreman lands a jab to the head. Foreman is bleeding from the mouth a bit.
ROUND 3: Cotto lands a left hook but takes a right hand. Foreman lands another big left hook, but Cotto has been taking them. Foreman gets in a left hook but takes one from Cotto. Cotto sticks a straight right to the head. Foreman drops his mouthpiece, and they start slugging, with Cotto landing a right hand. Cotto lands a body shot. Foreman gets in a big right. Foreman sticks the jab. They trade big shots to the head. Cotto moves Foreman back with a jab. Cotto lands a jab, and Arthur Mercante Jr. finally calls time to put the mouthpiece back in, shouting at Foreman’s corner not to coach. Cotto lands a jab. Foreman lands a jab to the body. Cotto has a bit of swelling under his right eye. They trade left hooks before the bell. Much better round for Foreman, but it was still Cotto’s.
ROUND 4: Foreman lands a big right hand that seems to stun Cotto, but Cotto fights back with a left hook. Foreman lands a left hook, and Cotto goes after his body. Foreman sticks a jab and another big right hand. Cotto comes back with a left hook. Cotto sticks the jab. Foreman jabs the body and lands a body shot. Cotto gets in an uppercut to Foreman’s nose, which is reddening. Foreman with a sweeping left hook and a straight right. Cotto lands a big right hand on Foreman against the ropes. Foreman’s nose is bleeding, but he lands another right hand. Cotto swings wildly with a left hook. Cotto comes with the jab, but Foreman slips in the corner. Cotto lands a body shot and a left hook but takes a left hook from Foreman.
ROUND 5: Foreman lands another clean right hand. Foreman swings wildly and walks into a big left hook from Cotto. Cotto lands a stiff jab. Cotto lands a jab and a right hand. Foreman lands a left hook but takes one from Cotto. Foreman walks into another left hook from Cotto. Cotto adds a straight right. Cotto with a stiff jab. Foreman gets in a left hook, and Cotto drops his gloves a moment to stretch his arms. Cotto hits Foreman with a left hook on the ropes. Foreman gets in a right hand. Cotto lands another hard left hook, but Foreman wasn’t moved by them in this round.
ROUND 6: They trade jabs to start. Foreman sticks a good one. Foreman lands a left hook and avoids Cotto’s. Foreman sticks a jab but takes a left hook. Foreman lands a left hook to the body and one to the head. Cotto answers with a left hook. Foreman lands a right during an exchange. Cotto pushes through a straight right to the nose. Foreman lands a right hand from long distance. Cotto pops Foreman with a jab. Foreman wings wildly and misses. He goes to his corner looking busted up and bleeding from the nose.
ROUND 7: Foreman gets in a right during an exchange. Foreman completely wipes out on the canvas, possibly tripping over a photographer and landing awkwardly. He gets up and tries walking it off but is having serious trouble. Mercante is willing to give him five minutes. Foreman curses as he walks around. Foreman is basically limping as he marches out to fight! Cotto goes after Foreman’s body with both hands. He can’t move as Cotto lands an uppercut and a left hook. Foreman slips and goes down again, unable to stand. Mercante curses and calls time, taking Foreman to the doctor and telling him to suck it up. Mercante changes his mind and comments that Foreman is a game fighter. Foreman marches out and tries to fight but is eating left hooks and a big uppercut. Foreman is slugging back but being destroyed! Cotto lands a huge uppercut and a left hook. Foreman is backtracking on one leg, and Foreman’s corner is letting it go on! Cotto lands an uppercut that sends Foreman’s mouthpiece flying! Cotto lands a body shot, and Foreman is ducking out and trying to get away. Foreman is cut over the eye and bleeding as Cotto tears his body apart. Foreman lands a right hand and somehow makes it to the bell, limping to his corner.
It’s unclear why Mercante didn’t take Foreman to the doctor but is looking for him now. Foreman is bleeding over the left eye, and Foreman’s wife in the audience is irate, shouting at the corner. There was no tripping over a camera man; Foreman simply slipped.
ROUND 8: Foreman is coming out again, and this is just wild. Cotto lands a left hook to the head. Another one lands. Roy basically advocates leaving water in the ring to make Foreman slip again. Cotto lands a body shot. Cotto lands his jab, and Foreman hunches over as his knee locks up. Foreman fights back, landing a combination, but Cotto is just walking him down. Finally, Foreman’s corner sends the towel flying into the ring. Mercante apparently didn’t want to stop the fight and may have disqualified Foreman because his trainer Joe Grier came into the ring.
Mercante is telling everyone to get out of the ring now, apparently not accepting the towel. He says someone else threw in the towel. THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER!
This is amazing. Mercante knows the towel didn’t come from the corner and wants the fight to continue.
Mercante keeps telling Foreman to walk it off. He tells Cotto the same. This is unbelievable. No one knows where the towel came from. If a fan threw it in, it was a great toss.
ROUND 8 (CONTINUED): Mercante wants Foreman to show him something. Cotto lands his jab. Foreman wobbles after a missed Cotto combination. Foreman fires back with combinations, fighting unbelievably bravely.
Michael Buffer announces that the towel was thrown in by an outside source, not Foreman’s corner, which is why the fight is continuing.
ROUND 9: Cotto lands a big left hook on Foreman. And another. Cotto lands a left hook to the body, and down goes Foreman on a knee. Mercante stops the fight.
Cotto wins by TKO in round 9.
Foreman gets up, tears in his eyes, and shakes his head. His wife is still upset as Foreman is sat in his corner. Roy once again called the fight-ending shot a couple of rounds ago.
Cotto congratulates Foreman on a good fight. He becomes a three-division champion with the win.
Cotto tells Kellerman he executed the plan, which was to work with the jab and pressure Foreman. He says he followed instructions because Steward knows what he’s doing. Cotto says he couldn’t stop fighting just because Foreman hurt his knee. He thought the fight was stopped and that he saw his trainer throw the towel in. Cotto says that even though he thought the fight was over, he had to just keep fighting. He wanted to be the old Miguel and that he feels he is back. Cotto wants rest and then bigger names like always.
Foreman thanks God for keeping them both healthy, more or less. He felt better until the accident and feels he was in the fight. Foreman says he fights with a brace based on an old injury. His knee just gave out on him, and he was in a lot of pain. Foreman says Mercante gave him a chance, but the knee wouldn’t cooperate. He continued to fight because he feels he is world class and that he owes it to everyone to fight. Foreman says he thought it was over when he saw the towel but wanted to continue. Foreman thanks the fans.
Mercante gets an interview as well, saying the towel came in during an exchange. Mercante says he felt it wasn’t necessary and that he disagreed because it was a good fight. Mercante says it was a good fight that the fans wanted to see. Arthur says everyone says it was the corner, but he didn’t know at the time so he let it continue. He called time and gave them an extra minute to rest, telling Foreman to suck it up. Mercante really let himself become too attached in this fight, ignoring a towel throw in and focusing on Foreman’s heart.
Lampley says that at the time of the stoppage, the judges’ scores were 79-73 twice and 78-74, all in favor of Cotto.
Roy thinks doing fights at stadiums like this is huge for boxing and gives fighters more to fight for. He can’t wait for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
Kellerman says Foreman showed he was a fighter in defeat and that Cotto can live off his name if he wants to, fighting less than the best if he wants to. Kellerman doesn’t think Cotto needs to fight Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams to remain an attraction.
The new Yankee Stadium’s first fight proved to be a wild one that fans won’t soon forget.
Tags: Boxing, HBO Boxing, Miguel Cotto, Miguel Cotto vs Yuri Foreman, Yuri Foreman