Trout defeats Cotto; Changing of the guard in boxing?

Austin Trout lived up to his nickname Photo: AAP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

SAN DIEGO December 2, 2012 –  The theme of the 2012 Year in Boxing may turn out to be the changing of the guard, a year in which several notable fighters may have fought their last rounds. Erik Morales. Ricky Hatton. Perhaps Miguel Cotto.

In a surprising result, Cotto lost a unanimous decision to American Austin Trout, who remains undefeated at 26-0. While many observers had it close for Trout, the judges saw it as a utter beat down, with scores of 117-111 from judges John Poturaj and Steve Weisfeld, and 119-109 from judge Adalaide Byrd.

But there was no doubt unlike some recent controversial decision that “No Doubt” Trout was the winner. He convinced a lot of doubters among fight fans. Unlike some previous fights, he put on a good show. He was by far the stronger man, connecting with superior precision and getting hit far less often. Although Cotto looks horrible after many of his fights win or lose, he appeared to have taken serious punishment though he didn’t ever seem in real danger of being knocked down.

In contrast, Trout looked fresh as a daisy at the post-fight news conference, as if he’d barely broken a sweat. He admitted being blessed with good skin that doesn’t swell, but it went beyond good genes. He was simply the better fighter and avoided taking the kind of punishment he gave to Cotto. “God pushed me through it. It was a great fight, Cotto is a great champion. He’s strong, he doesn’t miss a step… to be able to beat a fighter like Miguel Cotto is a great honor.”

Austin Trout poses with his championship belt after beating Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico, in their WBA super welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Trout won the 12-round boxing match in a unanimous decision. AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

Trout said he was numb, that it would probably hit him tomorrow. Trout said he knew there were a lot of close rounds, and because he was fighting in Cotto’s house, Madison Square Garden, he didn’t know if he was ahead.

Trout said it was a big “I told you so” moment. “I hope the fans are happy and I hope they bring me back to New York.” At the end of the fight, Trout called out Mexican star Canelo Alvarez, who was sitting ringside watching the fight, anticipating a bout with Cotto next. Trout asked. Trout said he’s like to clean out the division, and said Alvarez should be next.

Trout said May 5th would be the perfect time. He said he’d also be willing to fight in February and again in May. This perhaps alludes to the fact Cotto has a rematch clause, and might want back in the ring with Trout. The pair could fight in February, with Trout setting himself up for a fight with Alvarez on the big Cinco de Mayo fight weekend.

The result was all the more shocking considering Cotto’s strong performance despite a loss against Floyd Mayweather in May, and his destruction of Antonio Margarito a year ago. It was Cotto’s first loss after seven victories in the Garden.

Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico, blows kisses to the fans after losing the WBA super welterweight title fight to Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Trout won the 12-round boxing match in a unanimous decision. AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) now has to seriously be asking himself whether it’s time to retire. In his brief post fight interview, Cotto said “I’m just a little disappointed with the decision of the judges’ but I have to continue, I have to accept it. I’m looking forward. That’s all I have to say.”  Cotto said he would spend Christmas with his family and rest, and “take this time just to think. I’m not finished yet.” Cotto said he didn’t question the decision, but he did think the margin of Trout’s victory was “too much.”

In the undercard fights, Danny Jacobs (24-1) could have closed the deal with another early round knockout over Chris Fitzpatrick (15-3). But Jacobs hasn’t notched many rounds after returning to the ring following the fight of his life with bone cancer. So he showed a little patience and took his time, using the fight with Fitzgerald as nothing more than a challenging workout. Fitzpatrick refused to come out for the sixth round, giving Jacobs the victory.

After the bout, Jacobs said “I felt pretty good today. I wanted to take my time. The first time, I got a quick knockout, so I wanted to get more time. I heard a few boos in the crowd, I hope they appreciate what I was doing.” Jacobs got a few cheers with a salute to Hector “Macho” Camacho at the end of his post-fight interview. 

Jayson Velez, right, of Puerto Rico, lands a punch on Salvador Sanchez of Mexico in the third round of their WBC Silver Featherweight boxing match at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Velez won with a third round TKO. AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

Jayson Velez (20-0, 15 KOs) won a decisive victory over a tentative Salvador Sanchez II (30-5-3, 18 KOs) with a third round knockout. Sanchez went down at the very end of round two, and Velez moved in to finish him off with ease within the first seconds of the third round. Sanchez looked plain awful, and it wasn’t just the 70s Afro and old school trunks. Nevertheless, Velez was gracious and charmingly humble in victory. Velez told his fans, “I love you – this is just the beginning.”

Velez now gets the opportunity to fight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon early next year. That’s a fight to put on your calendar, another in the great Puerto Rican vs. Mexican rivalry. At least there was one bright spot for the Puerto Rican fans in attendance at the Garden.


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at” when quoting from or linking to this story. 

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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