MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada–In a much more competitive bout than expected, Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) became the new WBA junior middleweight champion via unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) by scores of 117-111, 117-111, and 118-110.
Mayweather-Cotto, which many say should’ve happened four years ago, played out exactly as it might’ve played out four years ago. Cotto pressed and looked sharp and effective when he shortened up his punches and varied the angles of his shots.
Mayweather employed most of his usual tricks, but was not as dominant as is usually the case. Chalk it up to a focused Cotto who was not buying into the Mayweather decoys and, perhaps, to a 35-year-old Mayweather who can’t do what he could do back before his name became perpetually intertwined with Manny Pacquiao’s
Cotto did his best work in the middle rounds, making Mayweather bleed from the nose and mouth and, turning the bout into a competitive affair that had many dreaming of an upset.
Mayweather, however, would adapt and gradually create convenient distance with a digging left uppercut and a cuffing right hand that had Cotto hesitant and, at times, in retreat.
The brief respite for Mayweather allowed him to regain full control and win the last rounds while ending any thoughts of the underdog victory. In the twelfth, Mayweather closed the show with a dominant round, moving fluidly, picking Cotto apart, and buckling the Puerto Rican battler’s knees with an uppercut that put a solid end to Mayweather’s toughest bout in ages. At the end of twelve, The Boxing Tribune had a slightly closer score than the judges, seeing the bout 116-112 in favor of Mayweather.
Mayweather now faces an 87-day jail sentence for domestic abuse and infinite questions about Manny Pacquiao.
In the chief support to Mayweather-Cotto, WBC junior middleweight champ, Saul Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) took a one-sided unanimous decision over former three-division world champ, Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs) by scores of 119-109, 118-110, and 119-109.
A cut over the corner of the left eye from a third round headbutt didn’t prove to be a distraction for a focused Alvarez, who picked his shots and landed with authority every time he connected.
Mosley, on the other hand, flicked out a meaningless jab that looked like a range-finder and a set-up for bigger shots to come, but was never followed by that big shot.
The fight played out like one would expect from a bout pitting a 21-year-old fighter on the way up and a 40-year-old legend on the way out. Alvarez had little to worry about and executed cautiously, but confidently throughout. With thudding body shots and head-jerking punches upstairs, Alvarez looked to be picking apart the future hall of famer.
Ultimately, though, Mosley took his beating, lost the lopsided decision, but never went down. At the end of twelve, The Boxing Tribune scored a shutout in favor of Alvarez, 120-108.
At this point, the question of whether Shane Mosley should retire is rhetorical. Mosley, a fighter without a victory since 2009 and one with three one-sided decisions in a row, has been gone for quite awhile
On the undercard–
In a true “go drink a beer in the back yard fight,” Jessie Vargas (19-0, 9 KOs) took a ten round unanimous decision over 35-year-old Steve Forbes (35-11, 11 KOs) by scores of 100-90, 97-93, and 98-92.
Vargas, the 21-year-old prospect, spent the first seven rounds or so on cruise control, shooting a long, solid jab out that kept the naturally smaller Forbes away and made each round very similar to the previous. Unfortunately for the fans, Vargas never followed up his neutralizing jab with anything
meaningful and that made for a very monotonous bout.
In the latter rounds, Vargas began to tire a bit and pump out the jab with less frequency. Forbes, who has now lost eight of his last eleven, did slightly better under these circumstances, but even up close and with an eye for offense, he lacked the power and strength to do anything other than land a few token shots that, ultimately, meant nothing.
After ten, The Boxing Tribune agreed with the judges’ scorecards and saw the fight 99-91 in favor of Vargas.
Is there such a thing as a predictable upset? If so, Carlos Quintana’s (29-3, 23 KOs) sixth round stoppage of underachieving junior middleweight fringe contender, Deandre Latimore (23-4, 17 KOs) was one of those.
Latimore started out alright, pursuing and occasionally touching a Quintana who hadn’t seen in-ring action in 15 months. Later, however, it became clear that Quintana was merely figuring out his fellow southpaw.
Beginning in the third round, Quintana began landing smart counters that clearly affected a still-pursuing Latimore. By the fifth, those counters were stronger and Quintana, feeling more confident, began stepping forward.
The end came in the sixth, when an overhand left from the Puerto Rican, Quintana, dropped Latimore against the ropes. Latimore made a token effort to get up, but his half-hearted rise from the canvas inspired the ref to wave off the contest.
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