Miguel Cotto and Weekend Boxing Recap: Where Do Winners and Losers Go from Here?
March continued to deliver quality fights, even if the opponents were not as valued as fans may have wanted them to be.
The middleweight division may be on the fast track to giving us bigger and better matches very quickly. Middleweights Sergio Martinez and Andy Lee picked up impressive KO victories in the same venue at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Masantucket, Connecticut.
The same night, WBA Light Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto defeated Ricardo Mayorga at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada via 12th-round TKO.
Also featured on that card was former WBA Light Middleweight Champion Yuri Foreman. He was dominated by underdog Pawel Wolak for six rounds before quitting on his stool before the seventh round.
This is where they should all go from here, and the good thing is they aren't afraid to take on the most dangerous challengers.
Loser: Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KO)
“I’m going to retire. I think I need to look for a job.”
This post-fight press conference quote answers the question of where Mayorga goes from here.
It was an entertaining fight while it lasted, and Mayorga did better than many had expected him to. It all came to an end in the final round when he injured his thumb, and the referee waved off the bout. The scorecards read 107-102 unanimously for Miguel Cotto.
“I said at the start of this promotion that I would retire from boxing if I lost, and I think it’s time to retire.”
Winner: Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KO)
Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez should be on the horizon as he gets adjusted to the larger fighters in the weight division. Since moving up from the welterweight division after losing to Manny Pacquiao, he has defeated Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga.
His next match may come this summer against Mexican rival Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO). It's a rematch Cotto wants. It was the first loss of his professional career and seemed to be the start of a decline, at least in fans' eyes, for the fighter from Puerto Rico.
Cotto has since rebounded with fair success against solid competition, but fans are still looking for a sign that he can return to his old form.
Either fight would be huge for his career, and each could be a major sign of resurgence if he is victorious.
Loser: Yuri Foreman (28-2, 8 KO)
It's hard to predict whether Foreman will return to the ring again in 2011. After being dominated by Wolak, he now has two losses back-to-back.
In the post-fight interview, Foreman insisted he should take some time off from the sport but only after he claimed he had taken too much time off after his fight with Cotto last June.
One thing that Foreman lacks is power in his punches. With only eight knockouts, he has to do one of the hardest things in boxing, and that's out-point every opponent he faces. There's no denying he can do it because he went 28 fights doing just that.
It's one thing to get back on the winning track, but he needs to do it against top opponents. It may be too much after losing twice in a row, but bouts with Vanes Martirosyan or Sergiy Dzinziruk could be interesting if he wants to stay in the top 10 in the division.
Winner: Pawel Wolak (29-1, 19 KO)
There's no argument it was the biggest win of his career when Pawel Wolak stopped Foreman.
There are two opponents Wolak is aiming for: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Miguel Cotto. If he is to fight either of them, Chavez is the most likely choice at this point in his career.
It could be the perfect fight in setting up the next challenger for the winner of Cotto vs. Margarito.
Loser: Craig McEwan (19-1, 10 KO)
For nine rounds, McEwan seemed to be on his way to a close decision-win versus Andy Lee when he was suddenly knocked out in the final round of their 10-round bout.
The previously unbeaten 28-year-old looked impressive against Lee but quickly gassed late in the fight. The judges had the fight scored 86-84, 85-85 and 85-85 going into the last round.
A rematch with Lee could be intriguing in determining a contender for the top fighters in the middleweight division. If this doesn't happen, fights with lesser-known opponents may be the only choice he has until he can create another solid winning streak.
Winner: Andy Lee (25-1, 19 KO)
A bout with Sergio Martinez may not be the best choice for Lee, who is coming off a 10th-round comeback victory over Craig McEwan on the undercard of Martinez vs. Dzinziruk. He may end up with it though.
It may take a fight or two before Lee impresses promoters and fans enough to get a fight with the top contenders in the middleweight division, but he could settle for fights with Dmitry Pirog or David Lopez. A win over Pirog would be huge for his career.
Loser: Sergiy Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KO)
Dzinziruk moved up from the junior-middleweight division to face the WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez.
Dzinziruk, who is known for his excellent jab, was out-jabbed and out-boxed by Martinez for the majority of the fight before being knocked out in the eighth round. It was the first loss of his career and was not anything close to the kind of showcase he hoped to show the audience in the U.S.
Losing to a top "pound-for-pound" fighter like Martinez shouldn't hurt his career as much as it probably did. Unless he gets another high-profile fight on a HBO or PPV card, he may be back to where he was before and unknown to the casual fan.
Possible opponents include Kermit Cintron, Ryan Rhodes and Vanes Martirosyan.
Winner: Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KO)
The best thing about Martinez is he will fight anyone. Just look at his last five opponents: Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams twice, Kelly Pavlik and Sergiy Dzinziruk.
Of those five fights, he managed to have a "Fight of the Year" candidate and the "Knockout of the Year" for 2010, as well as become Ring magazine's "Fighter of the Year" in 2010. On top of that, he has become one of the best "pound-for-pound" boxers in the sport.
So who's next for Martinez?
The winner of Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto would be the most intriguing and the best choice. If Margarito wins, it sets up the rematch between Martinez and the first man to ever defeat him. If Cotto wins, it means he was able to avenge his first defeat, which would spark a whole new level of confidence in himself and the fans.