Convicted Artist Magazine

May 14th
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boxing-arenasSergio Martinez suffered three knockdowns in round 1 against Miguel Cotto last week, and this would have ended things in many rings.  Effectively, it did anyway.  This is a day and age where fights are more likely stopped too soon, than too late.  In fact, Sergio regained enough of his old form that he may have been able to come back and win, had he not been facing a world class opponent.  By his own admission, however, he never recovered from the temple shot that separated his mind's intentions from his body's capabilities.  That was not the first time the fight was essentially over after a disastrous first round... long beatings have ended many a career when 8 or 9 rounds of extra punishment were incurred.  However, some times men recover from a bad first stanza.  Here are examples in both directions, modern and historic.

Finished Early
Leslie Stewart TKO 9 Marvin Johnson
This was a rematch for the WBC Light Heavyweight title.  Their first fight was a fight of the year candidate for 1986, and it took place in Johnson's hometown of Indianapolis.  Johnson was now a 3-time champion, and a 33 year old.  That is very old for a pressure fighter who fights a war every time out, and had done so in one of the strongest talent-laden division in history.  He had even made his first successful defense in all 3 reigns, again in his hometown, before granting Stewart a rematch.  While the momentum of the first bout was clearly in Johnson's favor, Stewart was stopped on bad eye cuts.  This time, Stewart wasted no time establishing control, as he was the hometown fighter in the rematch.  Stewart dropped Johnson twice and rocked him badly in round 1.  8 more rounds of suffering happened, however, before Johnson's corner finally threw in the towel.  It was a poor reflection on Stewart's ability to finish off a hurt opponent, as the result was decided a few minutes in.  It was the last fight for Johnson, which was a wise move.  Let's hope Sergio does the same.

Mikey Garcia TW10 Orlando Salido
Salido showed heart and toughness, and might have even won a round or two had the fight gone on.  However, he took 4 spills, 2 in the early going, in a fight that was decided early on.  Garcia showed maturity in not giving Salido a chance to score a lucky comeback punch, but it was the native Mexican who absorbed far too many unnecessary shots.

Tito Trinidad KO12 Fernando Vargas
True, Vargas scored a knockdown, and won a few of the middle rounds, but that happens in every Trinidad fight.  Vargas was also concussed in the first round, and showed tremendous heart fighting to the final bell.  He was never the same after this fight, and the first left hook is what did it.

Came Back
Archie Moore KO10 Yvon Durelle
The comeback fight of all time, actually started like Cotto-Martinez, with Durelle sending Moore to the canvas 3 times in round 1, and continuing the beating over the next 5 rounds.  The Canadian even scored another knockdown in round 5, but was himself dropped in round 7.  Moore, spurred on by a tiring challenger, scored multiple knockdowns himself in round 10 and 11 to score the TKO win... later saying, "this was my finest hour!"

Michael Grant TKO10 Andrew Golota
Grant will not make many scribes lists for anything positive, nor will Golota make anyone's "heart and toughness" lists.  However, after being dropped by a legitimately hard puncher in the Pole, Grant took many rounds to recover, but gradually worked his way back into the fight and won a few rounds.  When he dropped Golota in round 10, it looked to be a minor hiccup on the way to a decision win for the Polish fighter... but Golota surprisingly quit, giving Grant the biggest win of his career, and setting up his ill-fated title shot against Lennox Lewis.   

Chris Strait

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Ghost |
Alghough Cotto is a damn good fighter, I too was surprised to see Martinez lose the fight. Was it luck for Cotto?
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