Cotto stops Foreman in bizarre fight
NEW YORK — Miguel Cotto showed he has more left to give, Yuri Foreman showed considerable courage and the crowd Saturday at Yankee Stadium was witness to a bizarre night.
Cotto outboxed Foreman and ended up stopping him with a vicious left hook to the body 42 seconds into the ninth round to take Foreman's 154-pound title, Cotto's fourth belt in three weight classes.
That was almost a side note, though. Foreman slipped several times in the seventh and eighth rounds, apparently aggravating an old injury to his right knee.
The Israeli gamely fought on but was taking considerable punishment, prompting his trainer to throw a towel into the ring in an effort to stop the fight.
The handlers of both fighters then entered the ring, believing the fight was over. However, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. refused to accept the corner's surrender because he believed Foreman was defending himself effectively.
The ring was cleared and the fight resumed after three minutes. Foreman, now hobbling because of the bum knee, fought courageously as Cotto attacked for the remainder of the eighth and early in the ninth.
Foreman couldn't handle the hook to the liver, though. He went down on one knee and was in considerable pain when Mercante finally ended it.
“I'm a world champion, now a former world champion,” Foreman said in the ring after the fight. “You can't just quit. You need to fight.”
Cotto (35-2, 28 knockouts) was coming off a 12th-round knockout loss in November, his second setback in four fights, which let many to believe in was in decline.
The victory, while not monumental because Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) was not considered elite, keeps him in line for big fights.
Foreman, who perhaps made more fans in defeat than in any of his victories, must rebuild and deal with the knee injury. It wasn't clear after the fight how serious the injury was.