In what can best be described as a coming out party, WBA junior middleweight champ Austin Trout, successfully defended his title against former three-division champ Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In front of 13,096 fans, Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) brushed off a mostly pro-Cotto crowd and used his height, reach and slick movement to outbox a frustrated Cotto.
Trout started off well, using a sneaky jab, plenty of movement and a quick left hand to keep Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) on the outside, though Cotto finally managed to work his way on the inside during the middle rounds. Cotto was able to land hooks while in-close, but Trout began to make adjustments and dominated the exchanges, both from range and inside. Though the fight appeared competitive, Trout was pulling away on the scorecards as the fight reached the latter stages.
Working Cotto to the body, Trout was able to slow him down and simply outboxed him down the stretch. Scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 119-109 for Trout, who handed Cotto his first loss at the Garden, knocking his record down to 7-1 all-time.
“Miguel Cotto is a great champion,” said Trout after the fight. “He’s a great fighter and it was an honor to be in the same ring as him. It’s even more of an honor to be the man to beat him. To have my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true.
Cotto left the ring after the decision was announced but after being asked by Showtime’s Jim Gray on whether or not he’d fight again, Cotto shouted “probably.”
After the fight, Trout called out Canelo Alvarez, who was seated at ringside and holds the WBC 154-pound title.
“Give me Canelo – it’s time to unify this division” Trout said. “There are a lot of good fighters out there and I want to be the best.”
“I’m satisfied with the job I did tonight,” Cotto said later. “I’ll go back to Puerto Rico and think. He came at me with both hands and it was a great fight. He fought until the end. I’m really thankful for all of my fans who were here to support me tonight. There’s nothing like fighting at Madison Square Garden.”
In the co-feature, Jayson Velez s(20-0, 15 KOs) topped Salvador Sanchez II in the third round. Velez dominated the action in both the first and second rounds, flooring Sanchez II at the end of round 2. In the third, Velez dropped Sanchez II (30-5-3, 18 KOs) again, before a combination of punches forced a stoppage at 0:38.
In the opening bout, Danny Jacobs (24-1, 21 KOs) continued his comeback from cancer with a dominating TKO win over Chris Fitzpatrick. After a barrage of punches to close out the fifth round by Jacobs, Fitzpatrick quit on his stool.
“I felt pretty good today. I wanted to take my time,” said Jacobs. I heard a few boos, but I hope the crowd appreciates it. I’m satisfied. I let my hands go. I’m just glad that I got five rounds to get the rust out. I’m back as a contender. We don’t want to jump the gun, but I think I’m back.”