Miguel Ángel Cotto Vázquez (born October 29, 1980) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer and the reigning WBA (Super) light middleweight champion. He is the younger brother of contender Jose Miguel Cotto and cousin of Abner Cotto. He is a four-time world champion in three weight divisions (light welterweight, welterweight, & light middleweight).
On September 11, 2004, Cotto faced Kelson Pinto from Brazil, for the vacant WBO Light Welterweight title. This represented the third fight between them, with Pinto being victorious in their two previous encounters, both of which took place while they were still amateurs. Many fight fans feel this was due to the training from Edward Bemis in Puerto Rico. The fight was televised by HBO from San Juan, Puerto Rico. During this card, Cotto utilized a defensive stance with his hands in a high position instead of his usual aggressive orthodox stance. Over the course of the fight Cotto scored three knockdowns and won the fight by knockout in the sixth round.
On December 11, 2004, he successfully defended his title, beating former world champion Randall Bailey by knockout in the sixth round, as part of the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams undercard in Las Vegas. Cotto’s performance was described as a result of hand speed and accuracy. During the fight, Bailey received punches in his face that opened cuts over and under both of his eyes. As a result of the cuts, Bailey was examined by the ringside physician. Following this, Bailey expressed that he did not want to continue and the referee stopped the fight at 1:39 of the sixth round. Eleven days later, on December 22, 2004, the Puerto Rican boxing commission named Cotto as Puerto Rico’s fighter of the year for 2004. Cotto’s second title defense took place on February 26, 2005 in the Rubén Rodríguez in Bayamón, Puerto Rico against Demarcus Corley. During the fight, Cotto practiced a boxing style that was more aggressive than usual, trading hits with Corley over the course of the first round. During the fight, both boxers were deducted one point following illegal low blows. Cotto scored three knockdowns before the fight was stopped by the referee at 2:45 of the fifth round following a combination by Miguel. Corley claimed that the referee stopped the fight prematurely, stating “the ref just stopped the fight premature. If he wanted to stop the fight, he could have stopped it when I had [Cotto] hurt.” Just a few days after retaining the crown versus Corley, Cotto received a personal blow when his stablemate and friend, former 2004 Olympian Joseph Serrano, was shot in the head upon leaving the Bairoa gym. Serrano survived the shot, but was in critical yet stable condition at a local hospital.
On June 11, 2005, Cotto faced former Olympic gold medalist Mohamed Abdulaev from Uzbekistan. As amateurs, Abdulaev eliminated Cotto from the first round of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This time they met as professionals in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Before the beginning of the fight, Cotto received a positive ovation from the public. During the first round, Miguel went on the offensive, scoring hits on Abdullaev’s head and body while he was in a defensive stance. In the fourth round, a left hook by Miguel hurt Abdullaev, who proceeded to focus his hits on Cotto’s body. Abdullaev’s offense was effective in the sixth and seventh rounds and as a result of this, Cotto assumed a defensive stance. Following the eighth round, Abdullaev’s eye was swollen to the point of being almost entirely closed. In the ninth round, following accurate punches by Cotto, the fight’s referee paused the fight and asked the ringside doctor to examine Abdullaev’s eye. After being examined by the doctor, Abdullaev indicated to the referee that he could not continue and Cotto retained the Light Welterweight Championship.
Miguel’s third championship defense took place on September 24, 2005 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, against Ricardo Torres of Colombia. In the first round, Cotto had an offensive advantage and scored a knockdown on Torres. In the second round, after trading hits, Torres scored a knockdown on Miguel. The last seconds of the round were evenly matched with both boxers finishing the round injured. Cotto was apparently in better condition when the third round began and was dominating the fight at that point. With two minutes remaining in the round, one of Cotto’s punches landed in Torres’ beltline. Following this, Torres was granted thirty seconds to recover by the referee. Cotto dominated the fourth round and Torres won the fifth. Cotto scored a knockdown and won the sixth round. At 1:24 of the seventh round, a left hook by Cotto knocked Torres out.
On March 4, 2006, Cotto retained his WBO title by knocking out Gianluca Branco, who had to give up during the eighth round of their bout due to a shoulder injury. Cotto dominated the fight as a result of jab combinations in a card that took place in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
Professional boxing record
|37 Wins (30 Knockouts), 2 Losses, 0 Draws|
|W||37–2||Antonio Margarito||TKO||2011-12-03||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||36–2||Ricardo Mayorga||TKO||2011-03-12||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||35–2||Yuri Foreman||TKO||2010-06-05||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York|
|L||34–2||Manny Pacquiao||TKO||2009-11-14||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||34–1||Joshua Clottey||SD||2009-06-13||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||33–1||Michael Jennings||TKO||2009-02-21||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|L||32–1||Antonio Margarito||TKO||2008-07-26||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||32–0||Alfonso Gómez||RTD||2008-04-12||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ|
|W||31–0||Shane Mosley||UD||2007-11-10||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||30–0||Zab Judah||TKO||2007-06-09||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||29–0||Oktay Urkal||TKO||2007-03-03||Roberto Clemente Coliseum, SJ|
|W||28–0||Carlos Quintana||RTD||2006-12-02||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ|
|W||27–0||Paul Malignaggi||UD||2006-06-10||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||26–0||Gianluca Branco||TKO||2006-03-04||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón|
|W||25–0||Ricardo Torres||KO||2005-09-24||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ|
|W||24–0||Mohammad Abdullaev||TKO||2005-06-11||Madison Square Garden, NY, NY|
|W||23–0||DeMarcus Corley||TKO||2005-02-26||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón|
|W||22–0||Randall Bailey||TKO||2004-12-11||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||21–0||Kelson Pinto||TKO||2004-09-11||José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, SJ|
|W||20–0||Lovemore N’dou||UD||2004-05-08||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||19–0||Victoriano Sosa||TKO||2004-02-28||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||18–0||Carlos Maussa||TKO||2003-12-06||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón|
|W||17–0||Demetrio Ceballos||TKO||2003-09-13||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||16–0||Rocky Martinez||KO||2003-06-28||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón|
|W||15–0||Joel Perez||KO||2003-04-19||Selland Arena, Fresno, CA|
|W||14–0||Cesar Bazan||TKO||2003-02-01||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||13–0||Ubaldo Hernandez||KO||2002-11-22||Coliseo Héctor Solá Bezares, Caguas|
|W||12–0||John Brown||UD||2002-09-14||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||11–0||Carlos Alberto Ramirez||KO||2002-07-30||Lucky Star Casino, Concho, OK|
|W||10–0||Justin Juuko||TKO||2002-06-22||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV|
|W||9–0||Juan Angel Macias||TKO||2002-05-03||Orleans Hotel & Casino, LV, NV|
|W||8–0||Sammy Sparkman||TKO||2002-03-01||Coliseo Guillermo Angulo, Carolina|
|W||7–0||Joshua Smith||TKO||2002-01-11||Coliseo Héctor Solá Bezares, Caguas|
|W||6–0||Arturo Rodriguez||KO||2001-07-28||Staples Center, LA, CA|
|W||5–0||Rudolfo Lunsford||TKO||2001-07-01||Pier 10 Arena, San Juan, PR|
|W||4–0||Martin Ramirez||UD||2001-05-20||San Juan, PR|
|W||3–0||Waklimi Young||UD||2001-04-28||Hammerstein Ballroom, NY, NY|
|W||2–0||Jacob Godinez||TKO||2001-03-30||Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX|
|W||1–0||Jason Doucet||TKO||2001-02-23||Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX|