Live From New York: Undercard Results for Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II

NEW YORK, NY–We’re live at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden for the rematch between Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto. Tonight’s card in the main arena and at least two-thirds of the sell-out crowd of 21,000 were seated for the start of the HBO Pay Per View card. Full undercard results after the jump, follow @StiffJab on Twitter for live updates.

Lightweight titlist Brandon Rios prompted plenty of doubts when he failed to make weight yesterday for his fight against John Murray, which cost him his WBA strap. Rios looked gaunt and drawn at the weigh-in but appeared to have recovered when I ran into him while entering the Garden. Still, he began the fight slowly and never demonstrated his usual ferocity. The fight went largely according to script, with Murray and Rios trading heavily on the inside, but Bam Bam’s uppercuts lacked their usual snap. Murray showed admirable skill and toughness of his own while standing toe-to-toe with Rios for the first half of the fight, which I scored even at three rounds apiece.

But a low blow from Murray in the 7th prompted a point deduction from the ref, even though he hadn’t issued a warning previously. The momentary respite appeared to revive Rios, who began asserting himself with stiffer uppercuts from that point onward. Murray bravely soldiered on but Rios’ heavy hands began to tell and the Englishman’s face was soon beyond recognition. A busted nose and two swollen eyes were testament to the considerable power of even a sub-par Rios. By the 11th Murray’s corner must have been considering stepping in when a series of flush, heavy shots from Rios did the job for them. Murray staggered to the ropes before the ref stepped in and saved him from further punishment. 

Rios is justifiably a controversial character in the sport but he has the stuff of which champions are made. Despite facing the real possibility of a letdown he stepped up, withstood the storm and delivered another impressive finish. If a weakened Rios can handle the game and tough Murray then it’s clear he shouldn’t be wasted on any more undercards. A superfight with Juan Manuel Marquez would be ideal, but if not a move up to 140 lbs. and better competition seems more pressing than ever.

Junior middleweights Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak immediately picked up where they left off in their first fight, which is possibly the clubhouse leader for Fight of the Year. Wolak brought the constant pressure as always but Rodriguez again dug his heels in and battled on the inside. Rodriguez looked to be getting the best of it early and turned the Pole’s head with several punches, but Wolak looked to come alive in the 7th and Delvin began showing signs of flagging. 

Rodriguez re-asserted himself in the 8th and raised his hands after the round to assert his superiority. He spent the next two rounds proving it, taking it to Wolak with heavy right hands both overhand and uppercut. The 10th saw Rodriguez land some hellacious uppercuts that looked to seriously hurt Wolak, but the Jerseyite refused to go down. Rodriguez brought the crowd to their feel with his closing flourish, where they remained to cheer after he was announced as the winner by unanimous decision. Wolak was in line for a title shot before he ran into Delvin the first time in July. Now it looks like he may be spending more of his time on the construction site.

Philadelphia welterweight prospect Mike Jones cruised to a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Argentine hard case Sebastian Lujan in the PPV opener. Blessed with abnormal size for a welterweight and some impressive physical gifts, Jones never looked in trouble while using his jab to keep the much shorter man on the outside. The crowd grew restless as each succeeding round began resembling the previous one; Jones reaching with the jab and then throwing quick flurries of body shots that scored but made little impact. Toward the end of the fight Lujan was there to be hit but “Machine Gun” chose not to press the fight, looking a little gassed himself. Jones has been a highly-touted prospect but it’s officially past time for him to step up and take on some real competition.

Light heavyweight prospect Mike Lee scored a 4th-round stoppage of Colorado’s Allen Medina with a strong right hand but failed to impress otherwise. A 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, Lee has become a favorite of Top Rank boss Bob Arum but he looked ordinary against extremely weak competition. Lee’s appeal to Fighting Irish fans should help him sell tickets but he doesn’t look like he has the stuff to become a serious contender.

Long Beach prospect Seanie Monaghan stopped Santos Martinez of Adrian, Mich. in another mismatch featuring a fighter from the sticks flown in to be fed to a popular Irish light heavy. Martinez tried every trick in the book to survive but he was simply not in the same class as Monaghan and truth be told had no business in the ring. A heavy left hook hurt Martinez in the first and was ruled a knockdown after he leaned on the ropes. The end came after another left to the body.

Junior middleweight prospect Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia seized his moment on the big stage by stopping Mike Ruiz in the second round. Tapia took some blows early and was bloodied himself but came back to hurt Ruiz with a huge left hook before showing excellent finishing instinct. Ruiz sprawled on the canvas after collapsing and showed no interest in regaining his feet. 

Tijuana bantamweight Hanzel Martinez earned a majority decision over San Antonio’s Felipe Castaneda in a four-round bout but didn’t look great. Martinez improved to 16-0 (13 KOs), forcing us to question what his handlers have seen in him to justify the investment they’ve obviously made. Puerto Rico’s Samuel Figueroa won the night’s first fight in a split decision over Ibrahim Shabazz, scoring a knockdown in the first to earn his second professional win.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.