Only one place to start in an action packed week in boxing is Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening.
Miguel Cotto created history by becoming the first Puerto Rican boxer ever to win 4 world titles in 4 different weigh-classes.
It was a masterclass performance from the 33 yr old, rejuvenated since linking up with Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach at the fabled Wild Card Gym.
This was the best I’ve seen of Cotto for years, he was sensational. He floored Sergio “Maravila” Martinez 3-times in the first round and proceeded to batter him for 9 rounds before the Argentinian’s corner pulled him out at the start of the 10th.
I want to take nothing away from Cotto, I believe if Martinez would not have had the mobility issues with his damaged knees, he would have needed to box out of his skin to beat the Puerto Rican.
Like a carnivore stalking its next meal in the concrete jungle of New York, Cotto smelt blood and could see his prey was weak, limping around the ring as he circled Maravila waiting to pounce.
It felt like I was watching a nature programme, all that was absent was David Attenborough narrating it.
“I just followed the strategy,” Cotto said. “I got him good in the first round, so, I was confident. He got up after three knockdowns, but we kept calm . . . I was a little surprised, but I went in with a strategy, and that’s what worked. Three knockdowns was not the end of the fight.”
Martinez will no doubt retire as I believe at the age of 39, he will struggle to come back and box with no mobility in his legs.
For Cotto, he can pick whoever he wants to fight now at 154-160lbs. Personally, with the reconciliation between Oscar De La Hoya & Bob Arum, a fight in Autumn with Saul Canelo Alvarez really whets the appetite.
I would love to see Cotto also pit his wits against Gennady Golovkin, it would be fascinating to see GGG under the pressure that Cotto would apply, the trademark left hook of Cotto is back and would trouble anyone at 160lbs below.
Andy Lee scored a stunning KO against John Jackson on the undercard in Madison Square Garden to win the NABF Light-Middleweight title.
Irishman Lee, who celebrates his 30th birthday this week gave himself the best possible gift with a career best stoppage in the 5th round.
The 29 yr old displayed some huge grit to climb off the floor in the 1st round and stop Jackson who was a few rounds ahead on most scorecards.
In his maiden outing at 154lbs, Lee absorbed a barrage of punches on the ropes from Jackson and then unleashed a giant hook-uppercut that stopped the fight before the Virgin Islander hit the deck.
“A big thank you to the boxing [Adam] Booth team. On we go, boys. Thank you to Lou Dibella and HBO Boxing. What a night. It will live with me forever”
In the UK we saw the crowning of a new world champion in Newcastle with Paul Butler becoming the IBF bantamweight champion by defeating Stuart Hall on points.
In an exciting fight, Butler won on a split decision.
Age and speed proved to be a decisive factor with the 25 yr old beating the Hall on exchanges, despite a late rally from the 34 yr old from Darlington.
The biggest news in the world of boxing came Stateside with Richard Schaefer resigning as CEO of Goldenboy Promotions with immediate effect.
The resignation isn’t a surprise to those studying the story with a well documented fallout with owner Oscar De La Hoya.
Schaefer has been single-handily running GB while De La Hoya has taken time-out addressing various problems in his personal life.
De La Hoya has now overcome these issues and wants to reassert his position within the company.
The biggest problem he faces is what fighters are actually aligned to GoldenBoy as powerful advisor Al Haymon represents the lions-share of fighters in the stable.
With Schaefer now departed, Golden Goose Floyd Mayweather Jnr has already announced via his CEO Leonard Ellerbe that he will no longer fight on GoldenBoy shows without Schaefer.
What is Schaefer’s next move?
The smart money is on a link-up with Haymon/Mayweather perhaps as a hybrid promoter thus creating a vacuum effect of fighters no longer competing with Goldenboy.
Fighters such as Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana, Keith Thurman, Paulie Malignaggi, Adonis Stevenson, Deontay Wilder to name a few don’t have contracts with Goldenboy which truly leaves them up shit creak without a paddle.
Amir Khan for example is represented by Haymon, but do I believe have one more fight with GoldenBoy but then he is free to be promoted solely by Haymon.
Fascinating turn of events with De La Hoya now on good terms with Top Rank head-honco Bob Arum.
Canelo Alvarez is the biggest star of GoldenBoy and has already come-out this week to publicly back his native Mexican & sworn loyalty to him.
No idea how this will turn out but watch this space as things will certainly get fogger on the boxing landscape before we have any true clarity.