WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto (29W-0L, 24KO’s) was victorious in what should be his final tuneup before a summer showdown with Brooklynite Zab Judah. Miguel’s opponent, the battle tested but aged Armenian Oktay Urkal (38W-4L, 11KO’s), had a solid showing but was simply no threat as his lack of power kept him from hurting the champ despite the fact that HBO’s compubox numbers had him landing more powershots than any opponent Cotto has faced in his 29 career victories. Oktay at times made the fight somewhat sloppy by repeatedly headbutting the champ, (albeit unintentional), and the resulting cut he caused over the left eye of Cotto seemed to faze the Champ for a few but in the end Cotto’s assault to the body was simply more than Urkal could handle. After a couple points were deducted as a result of the headbutts, Urkal’s camp decided to throw in the towel, citing after the fight that a combination of poor officiating and a lack of attention on the refs behalf to the questionable body shots Miguel used was more than too much to overcome in the Champs homeland. The body shots appeared to be legal during the fight, but after further review, a few of the shots were somewhat questionable. Never-the-less, Cotto has now done his part to solidify a summer showdown against Zab Judah on the weekend the huge Puerto Rican day festival in New York City. Zab Judah was in attendance, but had no initial comment on the fight or its results.
In a battle between two known brawlers that most felt inevitably would culminate in a knockout, the highly anticipated war between Columbian Edison Miranda (28W-1L) and Allen Green (23W-1L) was nothing short of action packed. Both fighters had their moments throughout the fight with each going down, but in the end, Miranda’s heart and power seemed to be more than Green was able to deal with. Green appeared to be battling fatigue more than anything as he was spotted numerous times throughout the fight looking down at his legs with a ‘why aren’t you moving when I ask you to?’ type stare. He was able to score a knockdown in the middle of the fight as he caught Miranda backing up, but this would turn out to be his only great moment in the fight as he was simply not busy enough and could not overcome the two knockdowns he later sustained in the match. Things in the middleweight/super middleweight divisions will continue to heat up as Miranda continues to make a name for himself. Despite the loss, Green is one solid performance away from having his name re-entered in the mix as well.
IBF Bantamweight Champion Rafael Marquez (37W-3L, 33 KO’s) destroyed WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Israel Vasquez (41W-4L, 31KO’s) in a fight that was nothing short of a slugfest. Vasquez appeared to be on his way to pull off something special after a third down knockdown of Marquez, but Marquez would have none of it as he continued to press the action and give the fans what they came for. The knock down drag out brawl would continue until surprisingly Vasquez quit on his stool after the 7th round due to an apparent breathing problem from what appeared to be a broken nose. The ending was unfortunate but at the pace these two fighters maintained there was no way that a fight like this could go the distance.
IBF/IBO Flyweight Champion Vic Darchinyan (27W-0L, 21KO’s) was victorious over Victor Burgos (39W-14L-3Dr, 23KO’s), in a very lopsided affair. The champion stalked the overmatched and undersized Burgos throughout the fight and never really appeared hurt despite taking a few shots that were clean and flush. The toll of Darchinyan’s shots finally culminated in a stoppage in the 12th round as the brutally beaten Burgos had to leave the ring in a stretcher for medical assistance . Key Notes: In an undercard match on the HBO televised card in Puerto Rico fans watched a young stallion who most feel will be the boxer to carry the torch of great Puerto Rican champs, as Juan Manuel Lopez (16W-0L, 14KO’s), played the ‘assassin’ role against Dominican Juan Brea. His assault began early and often and ending with a second round stoppage as his opponent was clearly out of the fight. It will be interesting to see how the future of this