New York, NY - It was a very, very bittersweet night at Madison Square Garden Saturday night when Miguel Cotto stepped into the ring against Austin Trout for the WBA Super Welterweight title. First, a final 10 count was given to Hector "Macho" Camacho who was shot in his home town of Puerto Rico on November 20th. Camacho was taken off life support four days later losing his life at only 50 years old. Then, Cotto who had never lost at MSG could not add another belt to his illustrious career losing a unanimous decision to Austin Trout that was much closer than the scoring indicated.
Two judges, John Poturaj and Steve Weisfeld scored in favor of Austin 117-111. The most lopsided score came from Adalaide Byrd who scored it an obnoxious 119-109 giving Austin the first 10 rounds. This reporter had Austin winning 8 rounds to 4 or 116-112. Perhaps the judges were swayed by how both fighters looked as the fight went on and ultimately ended. Austin did not look like he was in the ring with a five-time World Champion coming away virtually unmarked. Cotto, on the other hand, looked like he was in a street brawl as his face had several red bruises and a welt under his left eye.
"I was blessed with good skin that doesn't swell up," said Trout afterwards about coming out of the fight with no telling marks.
Cotto clearly had trouble with Austin's southpaw style as the former world champion had a hard time getting inside. Cotto did most of his damage when he pinned Austin against the ropes but to the surprise of many, the man they call "No Doubt Trout" was able to get out of any serious trouble by taking the fight to the middle of the ring.
"I think the left hand was a big factor," Trout said. "I caught him with some good left hands, overhands. Stepping around him to my right countered with my jabs was a big thing."
Around the fourth round, the swelling around Cotto's left eye became a target for Austin. He used it to his advantage throwing the hook and uppercut that Cotto could not see. It was at that point that the fight started to sway in his direction. Still, the warrior that Cotto is pressed forward spurred on by the more than 13,000 fight fans in attendance.
When the decision was announced, Austin Trout was not quite sure the result would go in his direction knowing it was a pro Cotto crowd.
"When I heard unanimous, I was a little nervous." Then he heard "and still and my heart dropped."
Miguel Cotto appeared afterwards without sunglasses many fighters wear to hide the results of the fight.
"I was a little surprised at the decision of the judges," he began. "I have to accept it."
He will take time off and spend the Christmas holiday with his family before deciding what he will do next. In his customary classy style he did not offer any alibis or excuses for his performance.
"I accept my defeat, I learn from them and I'm going to continue."