ORLANDO, Fla. — Miguel Cot­to stopped Delvin Rodriguez in the third round Sat­ur­day night in a junior mid­dleweight bout at Amway Cen­ter.

Cot­to improved to 38–4 with his 31st knock­out, work­ing quick­ly in his first fight since los­ing being unan­i­mous­ly out­point­ed by Austin Trout in Decem­ber. Rodriguez dropped to 28−7−3.

“It feels good to win and be able to do it in front of a won­der­ful crowd,” Cot­to said. “I thought I hit him with some good shots ear­ly and I was able to get the stop.”

Cot­to attacked Rodriguez from the sound of the bell, going after him with left hooks to the body. Near the end of the sec­ond round, Cot­to land­ed a strong com­bi­na­tion, fin­ish­ing with a left hook to the head that stag­gered Rodriguez. The Puer­to Rican star fin­ished off his oppo­nent with a flur­ry of head shots that put Rodriguez to the can­vas, with ref­er­ee Frank San­tore Jr. stop­ping it 18 sec­onds into the third round.

Rodriguez said the stop­page came too ear­ly, but com­pli­ment­ed Cot­to on his per­for­mance.

“The ref­er­ee real­ly nev­er gave me a chance to get up and show that I could fight back,” Rodriguez said. “But Miguel showed me his pow­er in the sec­ond round and I’m just going to have to regroup.”

It was Cotto’s first fight with new train­er Fred­die Roach and the box­er said that he feels like a new man. He land­ed 55 of 110 of punch­es and 47 pow­er punch­es, with over half of those land­ing to the body.

“All of the work that we put in over the last month real­ly showed tonight,” Cot­to said. “I’m very hap­py to have Fred­die in my cor­ner. We were able to get back to basics.

Cot­to end­ed a two-fight los­ing streak to pos­si­bly set up a bout with Cane­lo Alvarez, the Mex­i­can fight­er who lost a major­i­ty deci­sion to Floyd May­weath­er last month. How­ev­er, Cot­to said there are some obsta­cles to mak­ing such a match and made ref­er­ence to the feud between box­ing pro­mo­tions Top Rank and Gold­en Boy.

“I am not clos­ing any doors on a fight with Alvarez but there will have to be some dis­cus­sions with Top Rank,” Cot­to said.

Roach also said Cot­to spoke of a pos­si­ble rematch with May­weath­er, who defeat­ed Cot­to by a unan­i­mous deci­sion in May 2012.

“Miguel told me that if he were in the shape that he’s in right now he would have won that fight,” Roach said. “So I’m sure he would def­i­nite­ly wel­come a rematch.”