Miguel Cotto solidified his hold on the WBA light middleweight title with a hard fought defense against former WBA and WBC welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The fight started with a bang as the first round sees both men skipping the feeling out process and trading bombs.
The second sees Cotto starting to jab and landing effective left hooks to body. Mayorga has good moments with right hands but is backing up. Mayorga starts to make Cotto miss and gets in a few good counters, which make Cotto a little more defensive.
The third sees Mayorga land a big counter right before Cotto scores with a big counter left. Mayorga walks to the corner, demanding repeatedly that Cotto fight him there, but Cotto remains composed and measured however. Cotto goes back to the body as Mayorga misses with big rights. Cotto lands a big right at the bell.
Mayorga tries to catch Cotto with single counters in the fourth, but Cotto is landing combinations. Cotto goes back to the jab, keeping Mayorga off balance. Mayorga starts backing up again after a big right from Cotto. Mayorga avoids Cotto's jab by crouching, looking to land a bomb, but Cotto makes him miss the clumsy combinations.
A good exchange of left hooks follows before Mayorga gets in a good right hand counter over a Cotto jab but loses his footing on an advertising decal on the canvas, breaking his momentum. A few good exchanges occur before Mayorga drives Cotto back with a sustained two handed barrage.
The fifth sees Cotto pound Mayorga in the corner. Mayorga clowns around in response but Cotto repeats the success. The action moves to ring center where Cotto is outboxing Mayorga but Mayorga lands the occasional hard counter. A good left hook to body has Mayorga backing up again but Cotto walks into a big right.
Cotto gets on his toes, more careful now, making Mayorga miss. A good exchange sees Cotto shake Mayorga to head and body with vicious shots. Mayorga goes defensive and Cotto lands a good counter right over a jab. Mayorga suddenly lands a big overhand right. Mayorga starts to come forward, eats a few shots, before the round ends with a good exchange.
The sixth sees Mayorga holding the center ring, trying to box Cotto but is getting hit and then misses with some wild swings. Cotto goes back to the jab, landing a few combinations. Mayorga rushes forward, landing a hard body combination. Cotto goes back to jabbing but Mayorga rushes forward and lands a chopping right, then a good uppercut. They trade countershots before Mayorga starts backing up again until he lands a big right at the bell.
The seventh sees Mayorga again holding center ring but he's losing exchanges to Cotto. Mayorga suddenly surges forward and Cotto makes him miss but a hard left to the body lands. Mayorga wins the follow up exchange. Mayorga getting hit in exchanges but is still landing big punches. They trade uppercuts and Mayorga is starting to slow down.
Cotto gets in a good body shot and tries to capitalize on a tired Mayorga but misses with his efforts. Cotto is outboxing Mayorga until end of the round when Mayorga lands series of right hands that shake Cotto, who is now backing up. Mayorga surges forward, landing some good shots on a flagging Cotto. This seventh has been Mayorga's best round thus far.
At the start of the eighth, Mayorga is hammering a defensive Cotto again until he's warned by the ref for rabbit punching. This breaks Mayorga's momentum. Mayorga tries a right to the body but is countered by a whiplash left hook. Cotto is boxing effectively from the outside, darting in to land good left hooks.
Mayorga rushes forward, lands a good right. Cotto starting to make Mayorga backup behind the jab. Mayorga rushes forward again to land a left to the body that has Cotto clinching. Mayorga coming forward wininging big shots but Cotto slipping and is countering well. Mayorga again coming forward at round's end, landing a few good right hands but Cotto makes him miss much.
The ninth sees Mayorga pressuring Cotto but in a more measured manner. Mayorga then rushes forward lands a big right at the end of a combination. Cotto comes back behind a piston-like series of jabs. Mayorga drives Cotto back with a series of rights and lefts. There's a good exchange, Cotto coming forward behind the jab until Mayorga lands a good combination.
Mayorga is backing up until he lands another good combination. Cotto responds with a good combination of his own. Cotto gets on his toes, landing the jab. Mayorga rushes forward, gets in a big right, until Cotto scores with a left counter. Mayorga comes back with a series of right hands. Cotto comes forward, walks into a right uppercut. Good exchanges at end of the frame but this was Mayorga's second best round.
In the tenth, Mayorga trying to box Cotto, going forward behind the jab but Cotto makes him miss. Mayorga trying big rights but is getting countered. Cotto land the jab well, Mayorga starting to try wild rushes again but it isn't working now. Cotto lands a good series of jabs.
Mayorga starts coming forward, Cotto on his toes staying away. Cotto gets in a good combination but Mayorga rushes forward and misses except for a good right. There is a good exchange of left hooks until Mayorga comes forward at the end of the round and bangs in a right. Cotto escapes the corner but Mayorga slips a jab and scores with a big right uppercut just before the bell.
The eleventh sees good exchanges that Cotto is mostly winning but Mayorga still getting in rights. Cotto is making Mayorga miss, getting in counters but Mayorga whips in a nice left. Mayorga surges forward with a wild combination and lands one or two. Mayorga is coming forward, but Cotto is on his toes, prompting Mayorga to stand with arms outstretched, daring Cotto to fight.
Mayorga does a lot of clowning until he comes forward and lands a left. Cotto goes back to the jab and there is a good exchange. Cotto is jabbing but a hands down Mayorga is making him miss. Mayorga ends the round by coming forward, flinging both hands but Cotto makes him miss everything.
The twelfth starts and Mayorga's right eye is nearly closed from Cotto's jab. Mayorga launches forward with clubbing right hands as Cotto shells up. Mayorga is winging bombs but is countered with Cotto's best left hook of the night.
Mayorga is staggered and sinks to a knee. Mayorga beats the count but is indicating that he has a hand injury. Cotto comes after him and there's a good exchange. Cotto is backing up Mayorga into a corner, lands a good jab and Mayorga tells the ref that he quits.
The fight is over at 0:53 of the twelfth and Miguel Cotto improves to 36-2 (29), making his first defense of the WBA light middle title. Mayorga drops to 29-8-1 (23), after a very spirited effort.
In the chief support bout of the evening, IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez, 28-3 (12), made his first defense a good one, outboxing ex-IBO titlist Leonardo Zappavigna, 25-1 (17), via scores of 118-110 twice and 117-111.
The undercard also saw the fighter that Cotto defeated for the WBA title, light middleweight Yuri Foreman, 28-2 (8), suffer an upset at the hands of Pawel Wolak, 29-1 (19), when Foreman did not come out for the seventh round.