Trout Leaves No Doubt by Shocking Cotto at MSG

By David Matthew on December 1, 2012
Trout Leaves No Doubt by Shocking Cotto at MSG
“Having my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true.” (AP)

Yet again—boxing—theater of the unexpected—produced an unpredictable concerto of elegant warfare…

Before the scorecards were even announced, many were preemptively writing about the robbery that some felt was going to take place in Madison Square Garden Saturday night. Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout engaged in a highly competitive war that featured tremendous ebb and flow. Ultimately, however, Trout owned most of the big moments against Cotto and earned a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117-111, 117-111, and 119-109.

Ironically, the scores were arguably too favorable for Trout, who certainly won the fight, but not in a lopsided manner that would render a 119-109 scorecard. That said, Trout deserved this victory, going into the heart of Cotto culture in New York City and taking the fight to the future hall-of-famer. Cotto had his moments, but ultimately Trout found his pocket in the middle of the fight as he did the more meaningful work with consistently crisp combination punching at ideal range.

The mathematics certainly favored Trout, who landed 238 punches to Cotto’s 183 based on the always imperfect yet useful CompuBox totals. While volume punching isn’t the sole indicator of who wins a fight, it is significant—particularly when the guy who lands the bulk of the punches also lands the more meaningful power shots—which Trout was able to accomplish in this fight.

“Having my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto,” said a jubilant Trout, “is a dream come true.”

Indeed it was. For those who questioned whether Trout belongs at the championship level, he proved his merit, showcasing tremendous poise and class with a competently crafted offensive arsenal.

As the fight started, it became instantly apparent that Trout’s ranginess and size was going to be difficult for Cotto to overcome. But it wasn’t just Trout’s size that bothered Cotto, it was how he used his size.

Miguel came out firing effectively with a piercing straight jab in round 1, where he built a barrage of left hooks and straight right hands from the jab jousting. Trout sized Cotto up for most of round 1, doing effective work as he fought from a safe pace.

After a competitive first round, Trout came out aggressively in round 2—tightly composed with effective jabs and snappy straight left hands. Cotto began digging to the body in order to find Trout upstairs, but Trout’s defense proved to be sufficiently elusive for Cotto all night long.

Cotto cranked up the pressure in round 3, stalking forward with digging body punches that seemed to momentarily slow Trout down enough for Cotto to effectively score.

Round 4 developed into a chess match of distance. Trout worked to keep the fight on the outside and in the center of the ring where Trout got off with jab-straight left hand combos, while Cotto marched forward forcing Trout into the corners and ropes where Cotto effectively scored to the body.

Trout’s brilliant utilization of length and precise straight work scored well in round 5, while Cotto scraped Trout on the ropes with short left hooks and thumping body shots. Still, Trout simply had more moments.

And so the pattern emerged: Cotto excelled in tight quarters, roughing up Trout on the inside, while Trout glimmered on the outside and in the center of the ring, using his ranginess to target Cotto with precise combinations. The difference, however, was that Trout was also effective on the inside, while Cotto was really only able to effectively score when Trout was pinned on the ropes. Thus, Trout’s ability to adjust and fight in a variety of styles owned the fight.

Round 6 featured a shift in texture as Cotto shifted from stalker to boxer-puncher, bouncing on his feet and jabbing effectively going backwards. Trout was encouraged to come forward, and efficiently scored with the left hand.

Cotto’s defense tightened up in round 7 as he suddenly became much harder to hit for Trout. Cotto took advantage of Trout coming forward and caught him coming in, while Trout did some solid long-range bombing. Cotto closed the gap at this point, but it was in these middle rounds where Trout went into overdrive.

Round 8 featured even more adjustments as Cotto resumed stalking, feeling a sense of urgency after Trout’s efficacy began to enhance.

Trout really found his groove in rounds 9 and 10, doing the more impacting work with crafty uppercuts and thundering hooks. Trout was getting off first, while Cotto’s face began to swell and animate with concern and frustration.

Cotto jumped on Trout in round 10, coming out with more assertive purpose as he stalked forward and scored to the body. Trout responded well with a myriad of combinations. The round was punctuated by an electric exchange where both men flurried, landing impacting power punches that did damage.

Round 11 was a good round for Trout, who rocked Cotto with a brilliantly looped uppercut at an angle Cotto couldn’t see.

Round 12 featured the ebb and flow that typified a fight of tremendous shifts. Both men were live in the final stanza, but it was the champion—Austin Trout—whose application of the sweet science proved to be the most proficient. Trout fought with brilliant determination and focus in an extremely pro-Cotto environment, and earned this victory with an experience that will serve him well as he marches forward through the junior middleweight division. While the pro-Cotto fans in the Garden were upset at the outcome, they were nonetheless thrilled yet again as their champion provided them with another electric chapter in the tumultuous war novel that is the fascinating career of Miguel Angel Cotto.

Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of Cotto—who was visibly disheartened after the fight. In an awkward on-the-fly interview after Cotto stormed out of the ring, Jim Grey asked Cotto if he was ever going to fight again, to which Cotto bewilderingly replied, “Probably.” It would be a very difficult way for Cotto to exit the sport, and a lukewarm final impression for his legions of adoring fans. That said, Cotto has provided more memorable moments than arguably any fighter in the modern era, and it’s understandable if his tank is running low at this juncture of his journey.

As for Trout, the game changes for him as he has arrived. While before the fight many were already sizing up a Canelo-Cotto matchup, it is Austin Trout who will likely be the man that Saul Alvarez challenges next. Beaming with confidence after the fight, Trout was looking for Canelo, urging for that fight to be made and showing no sign of uncertainty on boxing’s biggest stage. Yet again—boxing—theater of the unexpected—produced an unpredictable concerto of elegant warfare, signifying a shift in power that organically arrives on a timetable that nobody can foresee.

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  1. Ayunk 08:30am, 07/26/2013

    In the words of Dougie Fischer,  I’ll never understand Fight fans who don’t respect Cotto.  True fans know what he has brought to this sport. A gentleman pugilist and family man. Fuck all PR fans that criticize his stoicism. No, Cotto doesn’t have the gleeful, personable manner of a Trinidad, but he’s never backed down from a fight or fighter. He’s just a man trying to be a man in a complicated world.

  2. NYIrish 08:53pm, 12/06/2012

    Anybody but the “Let’s get ready to rumble” douche-bag. He’s more than worn out his welcome. Johnny Addie was an announcer. Carnival barkers are a pain in the ass.

  3. Don from Prov 09:23am, 12/03/2012

    Canelo just can’t secure a well-picked fight—

    I’d rather have the MMA guy than Gus Johnson, rather have anyone really.

  4. Your Name 07:59pm, 12/02/2012

    miguel cotto have more than one fight but the physical conditions are down with the age and he think in the retire in the next year because is a great boxer, great person and great father he must be think in his family

  5. raxman 05:39pm, 12/02/2012

    ted - yeah i agree. i love that he has, since he was 19-0 and fought lovemore n’dou, barely taken an easy fight. but his personality leaves a little to be desired. i don’t mind a bit of latin arrogance but there is a surly, petualant quality that seems to go with him - the term spoiled brat springs to mind.
    but if i let personalities sway my fan boy instinct for fighters i sure as hell wouldn’t be a fan of money may.
    cotto will remain a fav of mine but he certainly doesn’t have the affable persona of my main man carl the cobra, who possess the perfect blend of ego required for all great fighters and the humilty and self deprecation required for a decent human being. i wish pavlik wasn’t fighting ward - i wish he was fighting froch - that would’ve been an interesting fight - instead we’re gonna get a virtual re run of kp’s fight with bhop instead of 2 lanky white boys throwing bombs from range

  6. Laurena 05:31pm, 12/02/2012

    The Thresher—I am so glad you made the point about making Trout walk in first. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for mentioning it.

  7. the thresher 05:24pm, 12/02/2012

    Rax, I think Cotto starts bouncing around, outside boxing because he is fatigued. He has a major stamina issue. And then, when the Ghost of Margo makes his appearance as it did in the 9th round, it’s all over but for the shouting as Cotto backs up and absorbs punishment. I loved this fight because I don’t much care for Cotto’s persona. Never really did. He tends to be a sore loser and making Trout walk in first was total and complete disrespect.

  8. raxman 02:42pm, 12/02/2012

    cotto spent the early rounds getting a look at and feel for trout. my feeling is (and was while watching) that trout looked very stiff and nervous for the first 2min of the fight and i reckon that had cotto recognised this and jumped straight on his throwing bombs the fight may’ve gone a different way.
    a question for you ted - cotto has a fatigue setting in tell. its when he goes from stalking to boxing, bouncing on his toes. as soon as he did this vs trout i knew, barring a lucky ko punch, trout was in the drivers seat. the question is a basic chicken/egg one. does cotto starting bouncing around, outside boxing becasue he is fatigued? or does the bouncey moving cause the fatigue.
    either way cotto’s now predictable lack of stamina was there again

  9. th thresher 12:31pm, 12/02/2012

    Guys like Trout and GGG are what boxing needs. A dose of fresh air.

  10. the thresher 12:15pm, 12/02/2012

    Hmm. Laurena has the beat.

  11. raxman 11:11am, 12/02/2012

    the tache - thanks mate but as i said before and as you say here its bitter sweet - cotto is now gone which only leaves froch for me to fan boy. although he is old he is yet to take the sort of one sided beat downs that cotto took from pac and floyd - and sadly, disgracefully, from margarito (even fight #2 would take a lot out of him) so maybe he’ll stay for a while. i would have loved to see him fighting Pavlik instead of ward. i look fwd to kessler beating magee and then announcing froch vs kessler #2 in nottingham - then a rematch with ward (which i doubt he could win - unless they brought back 15-rounders) and maybe finish his career with another win vs someone - just for his fans

  12. THE THRESHER 10:31am, 12/02/2012

    Mauro Ranello must go NOW!!! He probably wakes up in the morning screaming like a banshee!!

  13. Laurena 09:19am, 12/02/2012

    I was exceptionally impressed with Trout before this fight, and even more now. He fought with precision and incredible composure under very tough circumstances.  I was on the fence from the beginning with this fight, but my loyalty to Cotto pushed me to favor him. He is a fearless warrior who is one of the few shining examples in boxing today.
    Trout clearly won the fight, but I did not have it scored the way the judges saw it. Not by a longshot. To me, yet another example of “what are they watching?” from the judges. Regardless, this is a well desevred win for Trout in all ways. While I love Cotto, I found myself cheeing for Trout at the end. He’s a fine young man and earned this victory fair and square.

  14. Joe 09:14am, 12/02/2012

    Cotto-Another sore loser storming out of the ring and not going to the post fight press conference. The first puertorican fighter who losing a fight make the puertoricans of the island happy because he charged them $49.95 to see the fight when everybody saw the fight free.

  15. The Tache 08:30am, 12/02/2012

    Good pick, Raxman, but I am sad. With the closing chapters looming in the careers of Cotto, JMM, Pacquiao and Froch I am running out of heroes. I like Martinez too and he is no spring chicken either.
    Congratulations to Trout, a very good name to have on your boxing C.V.

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 08:29am, 12/02/2012

    Dave Matthew-Thanx for a great report…which reminds me…it’s all good because Trout won fair and square….but it’s not all good…not really…. Adelaide Byrd’s card was so wrong…damn near a shutout! Jim Gray’s harassing ambush of an “interview” was way over the line as usual. Here’s a prediction for you…Jimbo will go to the well once too often one of these fine boxing nights and end up getting the taste slapped right out of his mouth!

  17. FrankinDallas 08:20am, 12/02/2012

    That guy Mauro Ranello must go. He’s a UFC/MMA announcer and he SHOUTS ALL THE TIME. EVEN WHEN HE DOESN"T HAVE TO. Gus shouts when he gets excited, which is ok, but you DON’T HAVE TO SHOUT WHEN YOU’RE TALKING TO AL BERNSTEIN THE DAY BEFORE THE FIGHT.

    Cotto is too small at 154, and too old for elite boxers. He should stay in PR with his wife (and her world class rack) and children.

  18. THE THRESHER 06:49am, 12/02/2012

    btw, this guy Salvadore Sanchez II must go NOW!!

  19. the thresher 06:38am, 12/02/2012

    “Cotto is smaller, older, and has more miles on him, but he’s still an elite fighter and his resume far exceeds that of his opponent’s. Trout is a somewhat boring fighter but he knows how to win fights by being ring savvy and by doing just enough. Moreover, Trout has had an intensive training camp while Cotto seems to have had too many friends and family members around to distract him. In fact, while Cotto attends basketball games at MSG, Trout is all business. I’m going out on a rare limb and picking Trout to cut up Miguel’s now very cutable face with stinging jabs and then winning a close decision down the stretch. One big intangible is how the judges will see it in Cotto’s home away from home.”

    Trout took the crowd out of the fight early. He also gave the judges an easy night. I had it 118-112. The overly excited Showtime announcers (except for Farhood) must have been watching another fight as they gave the fans the wrong impression. Who is that new guy who makes Gus Johnson look good? Cotto grew old against Mayorga, but had one decent fight left in him and that was against Mayweather. He is done and now must retire.

  20. raxman 03:34am, 12/02/2012

    BK Don - Check out the early pieces on this site and my comment to wit- i’m saying loud and clear that not only was i tipping trout to win but i’d put my money where my mouth was. which past victory gave an indication trout would beat cotto? when a fighter like trout has come up the long way without major support from his promoter you have to weigh more than just a resume -
    Firstly Trout was a gun amateur - one of americas best welterweights - a national champ and an alternative to the olympics - just because trout hadn’t the opportunities to fight good guys doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have beaten them. And secondly, as much as i thought style wise an outside lefty with amateur pedigree could beat a boxer puncher it was more about where cotto was at. i think alot of you measured cotto on his rising to the occasion to fight mayweather - you all must’ve forgotten how below par cotto looked vs mayorga and margarito

  21. Mr Malark 01:18am, 12/02/2012

    Very well written. As his ‘efficacy began to enhance’? Lovely.

  22. BK Don 11:08pm, 12/01/2012

    Anyone who didn’t doubt Trout a little would have to be one of his family or friends or followers. If you were very confident he was going to win, which of his victories could you point to as a sign he was capable of going into the lion’s den and coming out w/a victory? With that said, i take my hat off to Trout. He fought a great fight and deserved the victory. Canelo Alvarez will more than likely not being facing him next. Golden Boy is going to protect their Golden Boy from someone like Trout, for now at least. In fact, Cotto has a rematch clause with Trout. Not sure he would take it, but if he choose not to, I think we see Trout fight someone else next.

  23. raxman 10:56pm, 12/01/2012

    a normal circumstance i could understand why some would, given his pro record, doubt trout. but you have to take in to consideration that he was a gun amateur. also. although not fighting top tier competition, trout was road harden. condition to being in the other guys fan hub

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