NEW YORK – Austin “No Doubt” Trout controlled the fight early and roughed up Miguel Cotto late to win a 12-round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, retaining the WBA World light middleweight title.
Trout (26-0) left Cotto’s battered face red and swollen after cranking up the pressure over the final two rounds to truly take control on the scorecards. Cotto (37-4) lost his second straight fight after being outpointed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May.
Puerto Rican Cotto had long ruled as the undisputed champion of the New York fight scene, winning all seven of his fights at the Garden, plus one at Yankee Stadium.
Trout, from New Mexico, never wavered even as the crowd was against him from the start. Two judges scored the bout 117-111 and the third had it 119-109.
Trout delivered in easily the biggest and most high-profile fight of his career. The 2004 U.S. Olympic alternate has had a long grind to achieve international recognition.
“I’ve been preparing for this fight my entire life,” he said. “Fighting someone like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true for someone like me waiting for their big moment. I had to show him I was the biggest guy and push him back a couple of times. I kept pushing him back to show he had no advantage there.”
Trout truly swung the scorecards his way with stiff punches to the head and relentless jabs that shook Cotto.
Cotto, a four-time world champion, stormed out of the ring after the 12th and tersely asked who the fans thought won the bout. The 32-year-old Cotto refused to say if he’d fight again.
“I’ll go back to Puerto Rico and think,” he said.
Trout did enough in his fourth title defense over the final two rounds to keep his WBA super welterweight belt. After everyone cleared the ring, Trout hopped on the top rope, pointing to the few fans left calling his name.
“To have my hand raised with a champion like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true,” he said.
Before the main event started, there was a moment of silence and a 10-bell salute for Hector “Macho” Camacho, was shot in the face Nov. 20 while sitting in a parked car and died four days later.