Saturday August 26th on an HBO broadcast, Miguel Cotto took on hard hitting Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO Super Welterweight World Title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The four division champion entered on a twenty month plus layoff but looked sharp from the opening, using a combination of accurate volume punching and footwork to build an early lead. At the midway mark after hitting Kamegai with everything but his corner stool, Cotto seemed befuddled as the Japanese fighter continued pressing forward despite absorbing massive amounts of punishment.
When the bout entered round twelve, Cotto and all watching were possibly questioning titanium implants in the chin of Kamegai because it appeared almost “Super human”, unfortunately for him and fortunately for Miguel Cotto the boxing skills of Kamegai were not. When the contest ended official scores read 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 all in favor of Miguel Cotto. While all three cards read differently by a point none were off target. With his win Miguel Cotto claimed the vacant WBO junior middleweight title and improved to 41-5 (33), Yoshihiro Kamegai now stands at 27-4-2 (24).
In his post fight interview, Miguel Cotto stated he would fight once more then retire so he could spend time with his family and retirement is long overdue. I don’t think there is anyone who has followed Miguel Cotto and his career that would frown on a decision to retire before taking another fight, it’s been a remarkable career full of exciting performances.
In the co-feature, undefeated Rey Vargas defended his WBO World Super Bantamweight Title against once beaten Ronny Rios. When Vargas last appeared in the United States, it was against Christian Esquivel on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz versus Kiko Martinez and he appeared more like a slugger than boxer en-route to a third round stoppage win. On Saturday, he showed boxing ability by using combinations and footwork that kept Rios normally high punch output to a minimum. There were moments of success for Rios when he managed to put combinations together and stun Vargas several times but he failed to capitalize on those moments. When the bout ended, official scores read 118-110, 118-110 and 115-113 all in favor of Rey Vargas who with the first defense of his world title improved to 30-0 (22), Ronny Rios now stands at 28-2(13).
In Undercard Action–
Featherweight– Joet Gonzalez 17-0 (9) def. Deivi Julio Bassa 19-3 (11) via KO 5.
Super Bantamweight– Emilio Sanchez 15-0 (10) def. Danny Flores 15-10-1(8) via KO 5.
Minimumweight– Janiel Rivera 16-2-3 (9) def. Marco Antonio Sanchez 12-6-3 (7) via KO 1.
Super Lightweight– Genaro Gamez 6-0 (4) def. Eduardo Rafael Reyes 8-11 (6) via UD 6.
Welterweight– Alexis Rocha 9-0 (6) def. Esau Herrera 18-10-1 (8) via KO 1.
Featherweight– Tenochtitlan Nava 7-0 (1) def. Angel Enrique Aguilar Jimenez 8-14 (1) via UD 4.
Super Bantamweight-Javier Padilla 3-0-1 (3) and Ricardo Arias 1-1-1 fought to a four round draw.
Super Lightweight– Ruben Rodriguez 1-0 def. Rolando Padilla 0-3 via KO 2.