Austin "No Doubt" Trout scored a resounding 12-round win over Miguel Cotto to retain the WBA super welterweight title at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time - after seven victories - that Cotto had been defeated at the Garden.
The fight started out close, but Trout began to pull away in the middle rounds. He looked sharper and was busier than Cotto throughout the contest. He even looked bigger. Trout had trouble making the 154-pound limit at the weigh in and by fight time looked a full weight class bigger than Cotto.
Cotto moved in throughout the bout, trying to smother Trout with pressure and a steady body attack. And while it worked early, Trout was in complete command at the end. The scorecards were a bit too wide -- 117-111 twice and 119-109 - but Trout (26-0) was a clear winner. The vaunted Puerto Rican fan base at the Garden could not propell Cotto to another stirring victory.
“Miguel Cotto is a great champion,” said Trout. “He’s a great fighter and it was an honor to be in the same ring as him. It’s even more of an honor to be the man to beat him. To have my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true.
“Those shots that Cotto hit me with were strong and I knew he’d be strong, but it reconfirmed that take those shots. It was definitely the hardest fight of my career and when you fight someone as big as Miguel Cotto, it motivated me. "
*The attendance was 13,096, disappointing for a Cotto fight.
*It was Cotto's 21st consecutive title bout.
*It's always hard to judge a fighter after a win against a great fighter who is aging. Clearly, Cotto is on the downside of his career. Could Trout have done the same thing against the Cotto who beat Sugar Shane Mosley at the Garden? We'll never know. But ...
*... Canelo Alvarez was ringside and the plan was for Cotto to meet Alvarez next. If Trout goes on to beat Alvarez, well, that further enhances his performance against Cotto... But ...
* ... Don't be surprised if Cotto-Alvarez still happens. A Cotto-Alvarez fight means a lot more in terms of dollars than Alvarez against Trout. Remember, Zab Judah was upset by Carlos Baldomir before he was supposed to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. But it was Zab who fought Floyd next, not Baldomir.
*However, Trout beat Rigoberto Alvarez, Canelo's brother, to win the title. So there is a storyline there.
* It was the 236th world title bout at Madison Square Garden.
* Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs dominated Chris Fitzpatrick en route to a technical knockout victory on the undercard. Jacobs (24-1, 21 KO’s) won every round before Fitzpatrick didn't answer the bell for the sixth round.
* Don't forget Showtime's "All Access" follow up on Cotto-Trout, which airs Dec. 15.
* While on the subject of Showtime, here's a portion of a news release: Boxing returns to network television when Showtime, Golden Boy and CBS team up for an unprecedented day-night doubleheader that features up to seven live fights on two networks on Saturday, Dec. 15 from the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
A special Saturday of boxing will begin with a live afternoon doubleheader of “Showtime Boxing on CBS” (4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, CBS). In the main event, voracious young IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KOs) will face fellow unbeaten Alberto “Metro” Guevara (16-0, 6 KOs) of Mazatlan, Mexico.
Later that evening, Showtime Extreme (8:30 p.m. ET/PT) and Showtime (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) will present an additional slate of boxing on the premium network. The live fistic marathon will culminate with popular fan favorite and former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion and British superstar, Amir “King” Khan (26-3, 18 KOs), of Bolton England, facing undefeated contender Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KOs), a former National Amateur Champion from Norwalk, Calif., in a 12-round junior welterweight fight.