Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto continued his career resurgence in front of his raucous supporters at New York’s Madison Square Garden adding another boxing title to his already impressive resume. The 33-year-old turned in one of the best performances of his decorated career by taking apart Sergio Martinez to claim the WBC middleweight title when Martinez’s corner called a halt to the proceedings after nine one-sided rounds.
Cotto’s decision to hook up with noted trainer Freddie Roach continues to pay dividends as he executed a highly-effective gameplan against the talented Argentine fighter. The dominance began from the opening round as Cotto utilized an effective left hook and body punches to drop the defending champion three times. He would record a fourth knockdown later in the fight and dismantled Martinez in brutal and efficient fashion.
It was his second-straight win since joining forces with Roach as he’s had a strong rebound after back-to-back losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout. While he gave “Money” all he could handle, Cotto’s effort in the loss against Trout had many observers wondering whether the multi-division world champion was nearing the end of the road. He responded from those losses with a third-round destruction of Delvin Rodriguez and his sensational performance against Martinez, improving his record to 39-4 with 32 wins coming by knockout.
It was a very rough night for “Maravilla.” The naturally bigger fighter was blitzed in the first round and seemingly could never recover from that onslaught. Martinez showed plenty of heart for staying around as long as he did, but inflicted very little damage on his opponent. His seven-fight win streak was halted as he dropped to 51-3-2. With major knee issues plaguing Martinez in the last few years, it could very well be the end of the line for the 39-year-old former champion.
Cotto continues to deliver exciting fights and the impressive effort against Martinez has him in line for another major payday moving forward. A potential clash against Canelo Alvarez would certainly have huge box-office appeal. Alvarez faces a tough challenge next month in the form of Erislandy Lara in Las Vegas. If Alvarez emerges victorious, a clash against Cotto would seem inevitable.
Rick LaFitte is a Boxing Writer for Rant Sports.