“Cotto Wrecks Quintana In Five.”
by Frank Gonzalez Jr.
Saturday night, winter said hello with some icy
wind on a cold, clear night, but inside the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City NJ,
a heated battle was on the menu as former 140-pound World Champion, Miguel Cotto
(28-0, 23 KO’s) of Caguas battled fellow Puerto Rican, Carlos Quintana (23-1, 18
KO’s) of Moca, for the vacant WBA Welterweight Title.
Quintana has good mobility and tenacious boxing
skills, as demonstrated in his recent win over the then unbeaten prospect, Joel
Julio. Quintana’s experience level isn’t close to Cotto’s but the boy has some
skills worthy of recognition. He had some early success countering, landing and
some good shots but he got rocked with a Cotto ‘signature left hook’ that
blasted him cleanly to the liver—making it an early night, after five exciting
We know what Cotto brings to the ring, good boxing skills, ferocious bodywork
and a calm approach to the sweet science. In his last fight, against a very game
Paul Malignaggi, Cotto showed his power and busted up a very mobile and
technically astute opponent. Cotto seems to move in slow motion at times, while
imposing the tempo of a fight and striking when the moment is right. Against the
mobile Quintana, Cotto pressed the action and was able to cut off the ring and
land those body shots that do so much damage. He looks real comfortable at 147.
They felt each other out a bit, Quintana move active, Cotto pressing but neither
doing much punching. During an exchange, the elusive Quintana tried to slip away
from a Cotto barrage and Cotto pushed him into the ropes. Quintana’s mobility
enabled him to counter Cotto, who landed less but with more authority. I thought
it was an even round as neither guy outdid the other. Even.
Cotto becomes the counter puncher and lands a few. Quintana moved so much he was
wasting too much energy for too small a reward. Cotto was the more effective.
Cotto appeared more relaxed as the tempo was taking a tone he favored. Quintana
punched and moved. Quintana landed a low blow and was warned. Cotto took a short
moment, while the crowd booed. Quintana managed to outwork Cotto and land more
but Cotto’s were the harder punches. 10-9 Quintana.
Lots of action as Quintana and Cotto trade punches and both have good moments.
Quintana’s face starting to show signs of Cotto’s punches, particularly by his
right eye. Cotto cut off the ring but missed with his volley of punches as
Quintana’s speedy reflexes translated into good defense. Tough round to score.
Cotto focused his attack on Quintana’s right eye, landing a trio of left hooks
right on it. Cotto changed up to Southpaw and suddenly he couldn’t miss as he
rocked Quintana, whose face was swelling fast. Cotto took charge with his power
and as they jockeyed at center ring, Cotto landed a clean left hook to the body
(on the liver) and Quintana went down. When action resumed, Cotto went for the
kill, throwing a barrage of shots, landing a couple and sending Quintana back
down to the canvas. He barely beat the count and did what he could to survive
the remaining seconds of the fifth round. 10-7 Cotto.
In the corner of Carlos Quintana, things were looking bleak. His trainer stood
over him saying, “Gimme one more round. One more round!” Quintana didn’t look
interested. Quintana told his corner he didn’t have anything left. Pain can do
that to you.
Finally, referee Steve Smoger approached Quintana, asked if he wanted to
continue and then waved the fight off. It was over. Cotto was the winner by TKO
Though he lost, Carlos Quintana has much to benefit from this experience and I
look forward to seeing him fight again.
Next up for Cotto will be the WBA’s mandatory challenger, Oktay Urkal (38-3-0,
12 KO’s). God only knows why.
Urkal’s last two opponents, Robert Cristea (1-8, 1 KO) and Andrei Rimer (2-4, 2
KO’s) have zero bearing on the 147-pound division in any way whatsoever. What
corruption renders Urkal the mandatory challenger for a shot at the WBA
Welterweight Title is beyond my understanding. Though Urkal is tough, he’s never
beaten a premium fighter. We can all think of plenty of other fighters in the
division far more worthy of this honor. Its obvious that Urkal hasn’t ‘worked
his way up the ladder of contenders’ to get this positioning in the WBA.
Whatever happened to sports being a meritocracy?
I’d like to see Miguel Cotto fight other top dogs in the division instead of
fading also-rans like Urkal. What most fans want to see is Cotto against the
likes of WBC Champ, Floyd Mayweather Jr., WBO Champ, Antonio Margarito or IBF
Champ, Kermit Cintron, all of whom would be worthier match ups than Urkal. If
there’s going to be a mandatory match up, why not a rising star like Paul
Williams, or even Luis Collazo, who proved Ricky Hatton unprepared for the
rigors of the Welterweight division.
Congratulations to Miguel Cotto, who has consistently fought top rated
competition, remains unbeaten and has always been a class act. His gracious
behavior is refreshing in a sport that too often emphasizes the negative aspects
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