Miguel Cotto stops Ricardo Mayorga with a TKO in 12th round
Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 knockouts) defeated challenger Ricardo Mayorga (29-8-1) of Nicaragua with a technical knockout in the 12th round of their World Boxing Assn. super-welterweight title fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Here's a round-by-round recap of the bout by The Times' Lance Pugmire.
Round 1: Mayorga tries to hammer the body early. Cotto jabs to the stomach. Cotto lands left hooks. Mayorga flings a right. Cotto jabs; Mayorga warned not to throw low blows. Good left by Cotto. A scoring right by Cotto, who wins the round, 10-9 (scoring is unofficial).
Round 2: Cotto presses Mayorga to ropes with a right. He dodges Mayorga barrage. The pair have an entertaining exchange. Clean right to face by Cotto. Good left by Cotto. Mayorga lands a right uppercut. Cotto works the body. Mayorga gets in a left, and says Cotto blows aren't bothering him. Cottowins round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 20-18.
Round 3: Cotto lands combination to head. Good right by Cotto. Mayorga can't keep nodding no to shots all night. Mayorga orders Cotto to neutral corner, very animated. A couple exchanges ensue. Cotto left to ribs and gut. Cotto nice combination to body. Good right by Cotto, who wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 30-27.
Round 4: Mayorga throws a right that Cotto blocks. Nice left by Mayorga. Cotto jabbing. Better activity by Mayorga. He slips on wet spot in ring, doesn't fall. Cotto works body. Cotto to belly. Three good rights and a left by Mayorga, but Cotto takes them and smiles at end. Close round to Mayorga, 10-9. Cotto leads, 39-37.
Round 5: Two huge left uppercuts by Cotto rock Mayorga head back. Hard to keep making light of that kind of damage. Hard left to body by Cotto. Left-right combo to head by Mayorga. Good action here. Straight right to face by Cotto. Great left to body and face by Cotto. His discipline shining through. Hard right by Mayorga. Cotto proving he can take it. Hard left to jaw by Cotto, who takes the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 49-46.
Round 7: Quick attack by Cotto, he lands hard rights. Mayorga grimaces. Mayorga on the attack. Cotto takes it and answers. Good right-left combos by Mayorga. Cotto back to working the body. One-two to face by Cotto. Nice right by Mayorga seems to hurt Cotto, he retreats. Mayorga lands two more good rights. Cotto not smiling. Mayorga wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 68-65.
Round 8: Hard left to jaw by Cotto. Good left uppercut by Cotto. Big left uppercut by Cotto. Mayorga letting some momentum get away; he is seven years older. Good jabs and a flush right by Cotto. Mayorga can't find Cotto. He does late, with little effect. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 78-74.
Round 9: Good left by Cotto, he repeats with barrage of lefts. They have a good exchange in middle of ring. Cotto lands an uppercut. Mayorga rallies from punishment with a combination. Mayorga's right eye swelling badly. Mayorga gets in a four-punch assault. Cotto's defense is usually stronger. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 88-83.
Round 10: Mayorga on attack. Nice left counter by Cotto. And another. Mayorga less stable on his feet now. Cotto lands straight left to Mayorga's mug. Cotto uses left to continue pounding Mayorga. He nods those were good ones. Mayorga flings rights, lands one, and gets in a hard right uppercut. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 98-92.
Round 11: Cotto jabs. Mayorga positioning for an attack. Mayorga lands a good left. He asks Cotto to come fight him again. Acts like he's holding mitts. Entertaining scrap. Good jabs by Cotto. Mayorga on the attack late, but Cotto mostly escapes the jam. Mayorga did a bit more, winning round, 10-9. Cotto leads, 107-102.
Round 12: Cotto left hook wobbles Mayorga and he falls to knees for a knockdown. Cotto follows and hurts Mayorga again. Mayorga stops fighting. Referee Robert Byrd puts a stop to the fight at the 53-second mark of the round. Cotto defeats Mayorga by technical knockout. After the fight, Mayorga says he injured his thumb on the knockdown.
Photo: Miguel Cotto, left, lands a left to the body of Ricardo Mayorga during their title fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images