Cotto vs. Margarito: Miguel Cotto's Victory

Jess Matthew Beltran@sportsalchemistCorrespondent IIDecember 8, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico celebrates after defeating Antonio Margarito of Mexico by a TKO in the tenth round during the WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

During a brief moment in Miguel Cotto’s victory last Saturday, he stared at Antonio Margarito after the bell sounded on his victory. He waited three years for that moment. Finally, all the doubt and anger brought him to where he wanted to be—at the center of the ring looking at his former tormentor.

Ever since his first defeat at the hands of Margarito in 2008, this had been the ghost of his past that haunted him for years.

Vindication, how sweet it is, and Miguel savored every bit of his victory as he looked upon Margarito’s almost-closed eye lid.

All the hard work and countless hours in the gym have paid off. 

Miguel lost only once after his first fight with Antonio. He had wins against Michael Jennings, Joshua Clottey, Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga.

However, nothing compares to his victory last Saturday. This is what defines his legacy—the fighter that fought his way up after being pummeled down.

It was the perfect script, the perfect Cinderella story that ends happily ever after. It was a masterful performance against a slow-footed Margarito. And with Antonio’s surgically-repaired orbital bone, it was relatively easy to find the target.

As Miguel Cotto raised his hands in victory, it was a flashback to see Margarito. This must be how it feels to win against your bitter rival—cherishing every single breath of victory…while watching each hit inflict pain and frustration.

Three years Miguel waited, and there were no shortcuts but he handled the pain and frustration. He had been preparing for this battle, this war. It was his time, and it’s his victory now.

He withstood it all and fought his way back. This is how the story unfolds, and this is how Miguel wants everybody to remember him.