LAS VEGAS _ Ricardo Mayorga was never the most technical fighter but he's always brought the fight. Tonight, his age showed against Miguel Cotto. Cotto fought at a controlled pace, peppering Mayorga with jabs throughout before turning it on in the final round to score a TKO finish at 0:53 of the 12th round in front 7,247 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
There were some decent exchanges along with way, but most were highlighted by Mayorga missing and Cotto landing good shots on the counter. The judges, Duane Ford, Jerry Roth and Chris Wilson, had it 107-102 for Cotto. Yahoo!'s lead boxing writer Kevin Iole also had it 107-102.. I scored it 108-101.
The Nicaraguan, knowing he was down big on the cards, went for broke in the opening seconds of the final round. Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) took advantage of Mayorga's wild shots by landing a massive left hook. Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs) froze for a second, began to look in the direction of his left arm and went down. He was hurt badly. Reports from ringside also say that he suffered a dislocated left thumb.on the exchange. Mayorga rose late in the count and began fumbling with his glove.
Once it was re-started, Mayorga tried to throw back and missed badly. His movement was solid for the next few seconds before settling on the ropes where Cotto landed another big left. The stunned Mayorga backed into a corner and put his hands at his side. Cotto backed off and referee Robert Byrd intervened to ask Mayorga if he wanted to continue. Mayorga waved him off and nodded that he was done.
Cotto retained his WBC 154-pound title. He outlanded Mayorga 249-176. Cotto was good on 49 percent of his punches and 55 percent of his power punches. Mayorga was game. In different combinations, the judges awarded him rounds four, seven, nine, 10 and 11. I gave the seventh and ninth to Mayorga.