• Floyd Mayweather Jnr v Miguel Cotto

Masterful Mayweather teaches Cotto a lesson

ESPN staff
May 6, 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jnr furthered his claim to be discussed as one of boxing's all-time greats with a masterful victory over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Mayweather, now unbeaten in 43 fights and the new WBA light-middleweight champion, grabbed a unanimous decision 117-111 117-111 118-110.

In only his second fight at 154lbs - and his first since 2007 - Mayweather was as slippery as ever, with Cotto's colossal, aggressive effort rewarded with precious few clean connections.

Mayweather's achievement was all the more impressive considering he has an 87-day jail sentence, which will begin on June 1, hovering over his head.

He came to the ring flanked by WWE's Triple H, 50 Cent and Justin Bieber, and was mostly booed by the pro-Cotto crowd. In contrast, Cotto made an understated entrance, his arms on his son's shoulder as he headed to meet his opponent.

Mayweather was slightly the tidier in a nervy opening stanza, and although Cotto picked up Mayweather in the second and pushed him against the ropes, seemingly trying to prove his strength, the challenger kept his composure and found the mark often enough to take the round.

Cotto looked frustrated in the third, applying pressure early on and then retreating when Mayweather got himself out of harm's way. The American's power froze Cotto's footwork in the fourth, and his legs briefly buckled having been caught.

Cotto stepped up the pace in the fifth, yet still he couldn't help but miss the always-moving target in front of him. However, he did have some success early in the sixth, and kept his own defences tight for the remainder on the round in what was a rare sustained spell of success.

Mayweather cruised through the seventh, but Cotto appeared to unsettle him in the eighth, as blood poured from Mayweather's nose and he shook his head as if to convince everyone he had not been hurt.

There was little between them in the ninth, Cotto pressing and Mayweather keeping his head, while Mayweather showed his peerless stamina by controlling the pace and direction of the tenth. The 11th was again even, both men enjoying spells in the ascendancy, and a big left uppercut in the 12th send Cotto staggering.

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