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On June 7, 2014, Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) defeated Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) to win the WBC and Lineal Middleweight titles and became the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four weight divisions.
The fight, which was held at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, was presented by Top Rank Promotions, Di Bella Entertainment, and HBO Pay-per-view.
In an exciting and unexpected start, a visibly slower and uncomfortable Martinez was knocked down three times by a powerful left hook that would find a home for the entire fight.
Martinez was getting caught with it early in the round, but it was only after landing it two or three times that Cotto was able to knock him down.
The end seemed near as Martinez got up for the third time with more than 30 seconds before the round’s end. The veteran Martinez finally managed to clinch as he made a desperate return to the corner.
Cotto continued his dominance in the second and third rounds, while Martinez struggled to find his rhythm, occasionally dropping his hands to illustrate his comfort.
Nevertheless, Cotto’s left hook kept finding a home—a fact Martinez was clearly aware of and which prevented him from finding his rhythm.
In the middle rounds, Cotto seemed to take his foot off the gas as he spent part of the seventh round on his back foot, allowing Martinez to miss wildly.
In the ninth round, Cotto landed a powerful right hand that hurt Martinez, which began a rally that ended with Martinez being knocked down by a jab.
A frustrated Martinez went back to a corner that subsequently stopped the fight, realizing that his knee could no longer support him.
Martinez’s knee was clearly a problem, but an unexpected factor was Cotto’s speed.
Martinez was unable to deal with the speed of a fighter who had won titles at Junior Welterweight, Welterweight, and Junior Middleweight.
Furthermore, Cotto seemed to easily defend Martinez’s offense, which was slowed by his injured knee.
Cotto dominated the entire fight and his career is rejuvenated as lucrative Middleweight and Junior Middleweight fights may be in his future.
Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15 KOs) vs. Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. (23-4-1, 19 KOs)
In the co-main event, Marvin Sonsona scored a unanimous decision victory over Wilfredo Vasquez Jr in a ten-round Featherweight bout.
The fighters previously met four years ago in a Super Bantamweight bout in Puerto Rico–a fight Vasquez won via knockout in the fourth round.
Tonight, however, an admittedly better prepared Sonsona was more active and accurate throughout the fight.
Indeed, Sonsona dropped Vasquez in the first round with a body shot, overwhelming him with his speed and energy.
In what seemed to be a wrestling match at times, Sonsona got the better of the two as he often landed combinations on a slower Vasquez.
In the sixth round, Sonsona backed Vasquez into the corner and landed powerful hooks to the body. However, Sonsona was deducted a point in the same round after landing a clearly intentional punch to the back of the head.
Vasquez had a nice rally in the eighth round and had his moments throughout the fight, but Sonsona was able to land more punches en route to winning a vacant NABF Featherweight title.
One judge scored the bout 96-92 for Vasquez Jr., while the two scored it 96-92 and 96-92 for Sonsona.
Javier Maciel (29-3, 20 KOs) vs. Jorge Melendez (28-4, 26 KOs)
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In the second televised bout, Javier Maciel scored a majority decision victory over Jorge Melendez in a 10-round Light Middleweight fight.
Melendez was overwhelmed early as Maciel came forward and closed the distance with hooks to the body and to the head.
Melendez, however, managed to find the center of the ring by the end of the round to land power punches, something he would do often for the next few rounds.
In the fourth round, Melendez landed a powerful right hand that Maciel responded to with an even harder right hand of his own, rallying to knock Melendez down with a shot to the temple.
Maciel finished the round with several more right hands that continued hurting Melendez.
It was clear early that Melendez needed to box from the distance, but he often allowed Maciel to close the distance several times.
Maciel was most effective when he was pushing Melendez against the ropes, measuring Melendez with his left hand before launching his powerful and looping right hand.
One judged scored the bout 94-94, while the two scored it 96-92 and 97-91 for Maciel.
Andy Lee (33-2, 23 KOs)vs. John Jackson (18-2, 15 KOs)
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In the first televised bout, Andy Lee knocked out John Jackson in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round Light Middleweight bout.
Lee was previously a contender at Middleweight, but the 29-year-old decided to begin a campaign at Light Middleweight in a crossroads fight against Jackson, the son of former Middleweight champion Julian “The Hawk” Jackson.
In the first round, Jackson dropped Lee with a thunderous looping right hook.
Lee was able to get up and continue fighting, but took several right hooks before finding the center of the ring again.
The early knockdown was an ominous sign for Lee, who can usually take a punch. The drop in weight seemed to have affected his ability to take harder shots.
Indeed, in the fifth round Lee was hurt again, as he was pushed against the ropes to receive several right hands from Jackson.
Lee managed to move around Jackson, only to once again get cornered against the ropes.
However, as Jackson had completely thrown caution to the wind, Lee handed a check right hook as Jackson was throwing a right hand, knocking Jackson out immediately.
Lee was losing every round of the fight before his sudden knockout win.