Miguel Cotto won the WBC middleweight title on June 7 via a 10th round technical knockout of Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden.
With the stunning victory, Cotto becomes the first Puerto Rican to win titles in four weight divisions, per ESPN's Dan Rafae:
"Miguel Cotto, in an absolute tour de force, won the middleweight championship of the world and made boxing history by stopping Sergio Martinez in the 10th round Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. '
"Cotto scored four knockdowns -- three in the first round -- in a stunningly dominant performance. After he dropped Martinez in the ninth round, Martinez was still on his stool when trainer Pablo Sarmiento would not let him continue, and referee Michael Griffin stopped the bout six rounds into the 10th round.
"The largely Puerto Rican crowd of 21,090, which was mostly there for Cotto on the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Day parade in New York, erupted.
"With the overwhelming victory, Cotto made the Puerto Rican history that was his motivation for taking the fight -- becoming the first boxer to win world titles in four weight classes.
"Puerto Rican greats such as Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez and Felix Trinidad -- all International Boxing Hall of Famers -- each won world titles in three weight classes and became legends.
"Now Cotto is one better than them.
"'Happiest day of my life,' Cotto said. 'This is the biggest achievement of my professional career.'
"Cotto, who has won world titles at middleweight, junior middleweight, welterweight and junior welterweight, won every round and was ahead 90-77 on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped.
"'I'm proud of Miguel. He worked so hard,' said Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, in only his second fight with Cotto. 'He deserved this historic victory.'"
RING TV's Tim Smith wrote a fight recap which states Cotto was in command of the bout from the opening bell.
"Cotto blitzed Martinez from the opening bell. He sent Martinez to the canvas three times in that opening round. On one of the knockdowns he ripped a left to the body and followed it up with a right to the jaw that sent Martinez falling back on the seat of his trunks.
"In the second round Cotto raked a left hook across Martinez's temple and he fell to the canvas. But Griffin called it a slip. Just like old times Cotto's left hook was a major weapon in his arsenal. Whenever he decided to unleash it, the delivery point was always somewhere on Martinez's chin or midsection.
"'Sergio keeps his right hand down and it's very easy to get that left hook in,' Cotto said.
"Maybe it was the 14 months away from the ring, but Martinez looked like he had trouble finding his balance even before Cotto rocked his equilibrium. Martinez, noted for being a good athlete in the ring, wasn't even winning that battle.
"Martinez looked winded by Round 5, and he hadn't even figured out a way to get inside of Cotto's much-improved defense. But Martinez picked up his pace in Round 6 and started to get a rhythm by doubling up on his jab and shooting the left behind it. It seemed to keep Cotto occupied momentarily.
"Cotto staggered Martinez with a blistering right to the temple early in Round 7 and then he picked up his body assault, raking hooks to Martinez's midsection.
"Cotto opened up on Martinez in Round 9, landing accurate, straight combinations that whipped Martinez head to and fro. It was the kind of punishment that Martinez had been accustomed to taking as a middleweight.
"Following their heated exchange, the bell sounded to start Round 10 and Martinez tried to make a move off the stool to come to the center of the ring. But (trainer Pablo) Sarmiento blocked his path."
Sarmiento stopped the fight. He told Smith,"He was steady and unresponsive. That's why I stopped the fight. He was hurt badly in the first round and never really recovered."
Roach agreed with Sarmiento's decision, saying it was "the humane thing to do," per the RING TV update.
Fightnews.com reported on June 8 that Cotto is back in his native Puerto Rico. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told the website Cotto is expected to return to the ring either on Dec. 6 or Dec. 13.
Cotto earned $7 million for the fight while Martinez took home $1.5 million plus a part of the pay-per-view (PPV) upside, Fightnews.com added.
Cotto, 33, upped his record to 39-4 with 32 knockouts while Martinez, 39, fell to 51-3-2 with 28 knockouts, per Rafael.