Best Of

Best Boxing Match

by

When the Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez bout was announced, Martinez was a 3-1 betting favorite against Cotto. Martinez would be too big to be bothered by Cotto’s punches. He would have too much power for Cotto to withstand. On the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the heavily Puerto Rican crowd at Madison Square Garden would certainly go home disappointed. But it didn’t take long for Cotto to show that the oddsmakers were dead wrong. He dropped Martinez to the canvas three times in a stunning first round, then battered him for nine more before Martinez’s corner threw in the towel. It was the finest Cotto had ever looked in the ring. He cut off Martinez and trapped him against the ropes, delivering flurries to the body and hooks to the chin. He attacked with combinations, then retreated faster than Martinez’s hands could reach him. He ducked Martinez’s hooks and danced around the jabs. It was a beautiful display of technical boxing. He won every round on every judge’s scorecard. And as the giddy crowd sauntered out of the arena, there was dancing and joyful shouts and Puerto Rican flags waving. They knew they had seen a show they would never forget.