Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight title with a grueling split decision win over Joshua Clottey of Ghana at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Judges Don Trella and John McKaie scored the bout for Cotto, 116-111 and 115-112 respectively. Tom Miller scored the bout 114-113 for former IBF champion Clottey.
At times it appeared the contest would not last long enough for the judges to play a role.
Cotto knocked down Clottey with a stiff left hand at the end of the first round, but the challenger recovered to take the second, as both men sought to land left hooks and uppercuts to body and head.
At the end of the third round, a clash of heads opened a gash on Cotto’s left eyelid that bled profusely throughout the fight, blocking the Puerto Rican’s vision and leaving him vulnerable to Clottey’s powerful right hands.
Clottey slipped and fell to the canvas during a clinch in the fifth and appeared to hurt his knee. He writhed in apparent pain before referee Arthur Mercante urged him to his feet.
Pressing the advantage, Cotto, 34-1 (27 KOs), dominated the sixth, pinning Clottey in a corner for over half the round, but the Ghanaian rallied to dominate the next three rounds, landing his right hands against the apparently tiring champion.
By the end of the ninth, however, Cotto seemed to have regained his confidence.
He appeared to shade the 10th round on the strength of a pair of powerful left hooks, and spent the final two rounds circling his challenger, firing quick flurries and then moving away before Clottey could respond.
“I just tried to keep my plan and forget about the cut,” said Cotto. “I just tried to forget about the blood running into my eye and make my people proud.”
On the undercard, Ivan Calderon retained his world junior flyweight title after bleeding from an accidental headbutt forced a stop to his fight against Rodel Mayol and the judges declared it a draw on Saturday.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path