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Cotto edges Mosley in a tremendous battle of wills!

Last night at Madison Square Garden in NYC, WBA Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto retained his title with a unanimous decision over Shane Mosley. Cotto raised his record to 31-0, while Mosley's record fell to 44-5.

For the third time in a span of a month, I was wrong about a prediction in a big fight. First I picked Holyfield over Ibragimov. Dead wrong. Last weekend, I picked Kessler over Calzaghe. Dead wrong again. This weekend, I picked Mosley over Cotto. Wrong three times. Perhaps I can make some really good money by picking a fighter to win a fight, and then betting money the other way. Worth a try, maybe?

Back to the fight - I felt the fight was close as hell. I, for one give, credit to both fighters for giving such terrific accounts of themselves. These are two excellent fighters, fighting at an elite world class level, who tested each other wills in a fight that pretty much went back and forth. That was some truly great stuff to watch in the eyes of this observer.

In rounds one through four, the fight was pretty even and each guy took two rounds. Round one was Cotto's on the account of his cleaner punches and strong jab that was finding its target. Mosley began to loosen up a bit in rounds two and three, finding his bounce and outboxing Cotto. Cotto would begin to turn the tide in round four, however, as he applied pressure and began to nail Mosley with some hard shots to body and chin. To his credit, Mosley hit Cotto with some really good body shots as well. Mosley may very well have underestimated Cotto's hand speed, as so many other opponents have done in the past prior to entering the ring against the Puerto Rican sensation.

Rounds five through seven, it appeared as though Cotto was wearing Mosley down. At one point, I even said, "good thing I didn't put money on this one." Mosley, however, readjusted by getting up on his toes and began to bounce and throw right hands. Mosley hurt Cotto in round nine as well as in the first half of the tenth round. Cotto came back in round 11. Shane finished strong in round 12. It was an terrific fight that featured some toe to toe fighting as well as some boxing and counter punching. Could've gone either way. Both fighters gave as good as the received, but in the end, the three official ringside judges awarded the fight to Cotto by scores of 115-113 (twice) and 116-113. Boxing Chronicles scored the fight a draw, 114-114.

As many of you already know, I'm a Mosley fan. I wanted to see him win. It would've done wonders for his already brilliant career at the ripe old age of 36. Remember, this is a fighter, whom after the first fight with Winky Wright in 2004, many fans and experts believed was shot and had seen better days. Many felt it was the end of Shane's career, but not I. He proved it by fighting 12 hotly contested rounds with a young champion approaching his prime and may one day be great. Mosley had nothing to be ashamed of.

As a fan of his, I'm also an objective viewer who will tell you the fight could've gone either way and I'm content with the decision just as Mosley was after the fight. Props to Miguel Cotto for the big win.

Other results on the undercard:

Joel Casamayor rose from the canvas after an illegitimate first round knockdown to retain his Lightweight Championship with a highly controversial split decision over the game Jose Armando Santa Cruz. There is no way Casamayor won that fight. No way in hell! Santa Cruz was not only the aggressor, but he was the effective aggressor. He was throwing punches and landing some of his punches. Although his accuracy was nothing to write home about, he was landing more shots that Casamayor. Certainly, he was landing more power shots. Casamayor showed the effects of an older champion who had been out of the ring for over a year. He looked off balance. His upper body motion was sloppy. He avoided exchanges with Santa Cruz and looked bad doing it. Official scores were 114-113 Santa Cruz, 114-113 (twice) Casamayor. I scored the fight 118-109 for Santa Cruz, as did unofficial ringside scorer Harold Lederman as well as some other respectful fans and writers. Absolutely dreadful decision. Horrendous showing on the part of Casamayor! Let's call it the robbery of the year. Biggest robbery I've seen in at least a few years.

Joel Casamayor, you need to stop calling Juan Diaz a pussy. Looking like that, you need to stay away from Juan Diaz period. Diaz would appear to be the goods in the lightweight division and he'll eat your ass up like pacman!

Antonio Margarito looked impressive stopping Golden Johnson in less than a round. I didn't expect much from Johnson, but it was nice to see Margarito make such a big statement following the loss to Williams this past summer. He started quickly and wasted no time. Good job, Antonio Margarito. Onto a top five contender now, please.

Victor Ortiz, young 140lb contender from Oxnard, CA, made a tremendous statement in the opening televised bout of the evening with a first round knockout of his own against Carlos Maussa. Maussa, once a world champion, had been in the ring with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Vivian Harris, and Ricky Hatton. He stopped Harris in their title fight in Atlantic City in 2005 to win his world title, but lost it to Hatton in their unification match later that year. The guys who have beaten Maussa did not to him what Ortiz managed to do last night. That was an impressive showing on the part of this young fighter. The Jr welterweight division is wide open. Let's see Ortiz against one of the titleholders; possibly starting with WBO Champion Ricardo Torres being that he is the weakest of the titleholders.

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