History | Jul 26 2019

On This Day: Antonio Margarito scores tainted win over Miguel Cotto

Miguel Cotto controversially lost his unbeaten record to a ferocious Antonio Margarito on July 26, 2008
Miguel Cotto
Margarito controversially hands Cotto his first defeat as a professional  |  Chris Farina/Top Rank

THIS fight had a tagline “La Batalla” (The Battle) that ultimately proved apt, although for the first five rounds it resembled more a scintillating procession as Miguel Cotto used speed and precision to dictate. However, Antonio Margarito gradually forced his opponent to fight at a pace he was uncomfortable with, creating his best chance for victory and an enthralling fight into the bargain.

miguel cotto
Cotto and Margarito trade punches in a classic battle CHRIS FARINA/TOP RANK

Cotto was the undefeated East Coast draw coming into his prime, having won world titles at two weights. Margarito was the gnarled, perennially underrated former IBF and WBO welter king who had lost to Paul Williams just three fights before. This was thought to be Cotto’s coming-out party in Sin City.

It certainly began in that manner, as the Puerto Rican hero danced and dazzled his way to an early lead but, ominously, the shots he’d used to destroy fighters in two divisions simply bounced off the durable Margarito.


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