Cotto beats Kamegai, wins WBO 154lb title
By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
While most of the world’s attention was focused on the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle in Las Vegas, The action was in Southern California as Puerto Rico’s only four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) returned to the ring Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California against Japan’s Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs).
It was an action packed fight from start to finish with Cotto adding another world title to his legacy in taking a hard fought decision over the Japanese warrior Kamegai who kept bringing throughout the night.
Kamegai came right at Cotto sneaking in the right hands and backing him to the ropes but in the closing seconds Cotto connected with a huge left hook. Continuing to go at Cotto, Kamegai pressed in round two as they went toe to toe. The Japanese kept the aggression in round three as Cotto boxed away landing power shots. Circling the ring in round four Cotto landed big but despite that, Kamegai continued to go at him taking his best shots.
Cotto landed a huge right hand to start the fifth snapping Kamegai’s head back tagging him throughout the round but that didn’t bother to shy away the Japanese warrior who kept coming banging his gloves together. Nothing seemed to bother Kamegai as he kept running into Cotto’s bombs in the sixth and pressing, the Puerto Rican boxed effectively. Past the halfway point in the seventh Cotto continued his dominance but Kamegai’s heart made it a fight as he kept coming.
Late in the fight in round nine the Puerto Rican landed power combinations snapping Kamegai’s head again. In round ten Cotto circled the ring boxing away but there was no stopping Kamegai. The championship rounds was all Cotto as he kept it conservative and sealing it in route to a decision win as the judges scored the fight 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110.