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Miguel Cotto-Joshua Clottey: Round by Round

NEW YORK - JUNE 13:  Miguel Cotto watches the undercard fights prior to his fight against Joshua Clotteyfor the WBO Welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on June 13, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Nick TylwalkCorrespondent IJune 14, 2009

Originally presented live at

We're just about set to see Miguel Cotto in action again on what's become his signature date on the boxing calendar, the Saturday of the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City.

He'll have his hands full with Joshua Clottey tonight, and the HBO broadcast begins with a look at the loaded welterweight division.

Max Kellerman says we'll find out for sure tonight if Cotto has recovered from the beating (and possibly cheating, in Max's words) at the hands of Antonio Margarito. A video package recaps the bumpy road Cotto has navigated since his first career loss.

Emanuel Steward compares Clottey to Margarito in terms of style. He says Clottey will apply pressure and push the pace while keeping his hands up high on defense.

Clottey tells Kellerman that he needs the win badly tonight. He somewhat downplays comparisons to Margarito but does say he will pressure early on.

Clottey doesn't think he needs a KO to win despite Cotto's home ring advantage because they share the same promoter.

The tale of the tape has the fighters equal in weight and virtually identical in reach and weight. Cotto is four years younger.

Clottey comes to the ring first. Can't say I know the name of the song playing. The Grandmaster looks confident.

As expected, the crowd is fired up as Cotto heads for the ring. Steward says he thinks Clottey can win a decision, but he will need to do so very convincingly because of the energy that the fans will provide when Cotto lands.

Michael Buffer does the introductions. Clottey is 35-2 with 21 KOs. Cotto is 33-1 with 27 KOs. And we are ready to go!


Round One

Both men testing the jab. Short right hand from Cotto. Clottey ducks away from some head shots. Left to the body by Cotto. Each man slips some punches inside. Jabs connect both ways.

Cotto flurries but Clottey picks them off with his arms. Clottey flashes some quick jabs. Left upstairs and to the body by Clottey. Left hook by Cotto sends Clottey to the mat right before the bell. Clottey doesn't look hurt but more surprised.

Franchise: 10-8 Cotto
Uatu: 10-8 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-8 Cotto


Round Two

Clottey certainly didn't want to fall behind on points early like that. Both men are cautious through the first minute of Round 2. Left hook upstairs by Cotto. Clottey stays covered up.

Short left hook by Clottey. Jabs from Clottey. Steward likes what Clottey is doing but thinks he is open to counter shots. Jabs from Cotto. Big swings and misses both ways. Nothing huge landed, but Cotto may have taken it on activity.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-9 Cotto


Round Three

Harold Lederman gave Round 2 to Clottey. Cotto tries the body and gets jabs right back in his face. Clottey unleashes a series of left hooks. His jab is still very sharp. Cotto can't land much flush but he's staying busy.

Clottey whips out a nice left uppercut too. Emanuel thinks Cotto should go back to the jab. Cotto has been cut over the left eye, and it looks fairly bad.

Franchise: 10-9 Clottey
Uatu: 10-9 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-9 Cotto


Round Four

Replays show that the cut was caused by a headbutt. The fight will continue for now. The fighters stand and trade a bit in the center of the ring. Clottey comes forward as Cotto digs in and tries to keep him back.

Body shots by Cotto answered by a nasty uppercut from Clottey. Left from Cotto knocks Clottey back a step. Hard right from Clottey and he tries to follow up. Clottey retreats into the corner and ties up. Cotto flurries and backs away. Good action in that round.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round Five

Clottey is landing cleaner shots but Cotto is landing more thus far. It's tough to say how many of Cotto's shots are landing clean because of Clottey's high guard. Nice one-two by Clottey. Cotto almost slips in mid-combination.

Clottey lands a hard right. Now another one along the ropes. Clottey falls down in the corner but it wasn't from a punch...more of a slip/tackle. Clottey is staying down for a while, acting like he's hurt.

The ref tells him to walk it off as the crowd lays into him a bit. There are 40 seconds left in the round. Now we're back to action. They slug it out to end the round.

Franchise: 10-9 Clottey
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round Six

Steward and Kellerman argue about whether or not Cotto threw Clottey down. Clottey flashes quick hands again. Cotto backs Clottey up in response. The crowd urges Cotto on as he punches his way forward. Clottey tries to fight his way out.

Cotto fires a straight right and an uppercut. Clottey's responses are mostly with the uppercut. Mean hooks by Miguel. Clottey weathering the storm fairly well. Now Clottey scores with a big right.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-9 Cotto


Round Seven

Clottey returns to the jab that served him well earlier. Body work by Cotto. Nice right uppercut from Clottey. Cotto covers up and tries to counter. Both men still have some bounce in their legs.

Cotto is pawing at his bloody left eye. Good combination to the head by Clottey. Cotto is backed into the corner and he tries to duck away. Sharp right by Clottey finds the mark.

Franchise: 10-9 Clottey
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round Eight

The momentum shifts in this fight have been pretty dramatic. Some wrestling to start this round. Clottey works nicely in tight. Cotto goes on offense and backs Clottey up. Clottey backs his man up against the ropes but Miguel works his way out.

Sharp combination punching from Clottey. Cotto can't see right hands coming because of his eye. Cotto ties up and then turns things around. Clottey lands a quick left before the bell.

Franchise: 10-9 Clottey
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round Nine

Clottey is still stalking and Cotto is trying to stay mobile. Cotto landing the occasional shot but Clottey has the effective aggression. Clottey lands and backs up a bit.

Now Cotto goes on the attack with some hooks to the head and body. Clottey digs back in and Cotto has to tie up. Both men try to slug for the last 10 seconds.

Franchise: 10-9 Clottey
Uatu: 10-9 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round 10

I don't envy the judges in this fight. Lederman has it even after nine. Clottey comes forward once again. Cotto trying to stay active even as he retreats. Clottey isn't throwing much for the time being.

Cotto switches southpaw and they tie up. Clottey flurries and mostly misses. Quick counter by Clottey but Cotto lands two quick ones at the bell.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey


Round 11

Cotto looking good early in this round. Clottey shook out his leg a bit and hasn't let his hands go much so far. Both men land right hands. Left hook counter from Cotto.

Serious swings and misses by both guys. Cotto flurries a bit to the body and head. Clottey picks out a few quick shots. Sharp right by Clottey and Cotto fires right back.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Clottey
Spartan117: 10-10


Round 12

It's always tough to tell with judges, but one would think this last round is important. Lederman has it even after 11. Clottey scores first, then he almost slips along the ropes. Clubbing shots fly in both directions. The ref checks Clottey left glove.

Cotto throws double left hooks. Cotto stays circling and lands a left hook. Cotto hits Clottey in the back of the head, but the ref admonishes Clottey for turning his back.

They return to action, but the ref warns Clottey for a low shot. Left hook by Cotto. Thirty seconds to go and they tie up. Cotto is doing more work when it counts. They fight to the bell and we'll see.

Franchise: 10-9 Cotto
Uatu: 10-9 Cotto
Spartan117: 10-9 Clottey

Franchise: 115-112 Cotto
Uatu: 114-113 Cotto
Spartan117: 115-113 Clottey

The judges score it 116-111 Cotto, 114-113 Clottey and 115-112 Cotto. The winner by split decision... and still WBO welterweight champion... Miguel Cotto.

Jim Lampley doesn't think the decision was questionable, but Kellerman thinks the 116-111 score was ridiculous. HBO's cool punching graphics show that Clottey was not as effective going to the body as one may have expected.

Lampley talks to Cotto about another test with the cut to his eye. Asked about the last few rounds, Cotto says he just tried to forget about the blood and make his fans proud.

Does he feel like it was the greatest win of his career? Yes he does, and he also gives props to his cutman for his effort.

Cotto sort of ducks a question about fighting Manny Pacquiao.

Lampley talks to Clottey about his hard luck, and he's disappointed because he says he came forward and blocked so many of Cotto's punches. He wants a rematch.

Clottey knows he didn't throw much in the final rounds but says he was fighting cautiously to avoid Cotto's single punches.

Kellerman feels that Cotto's habit of overcoming adversity while displaying vulnerability may give him an even better shot at landing a megafight with Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather.

Steward says he thinks Clottey won the fight but he fell in love with Cotto's performance.

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