NEW YORK — Miguel Cotto battered a one-eyed Antonio Margarito over nine lopsided rounds then won a TKO decision amid confusion in the corner before they came out for the 10th on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto (37-2-0) earned a punishing measure of payback for his loss to Margarito three years ago. With the New York crowd going wild for the Puerto Rican Cotto, he was never seriously threatened and retained his 154-pound title, shuttering Maragarito's right eye to cause the stoppage.
Margarito beat Cotto in July 2008, only to later have his career and reputation tarnished when he used illegal hand wraps before a loss to Shane Mosley. Margarito didn't box again for more than a year.
He needed surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone following a loss to Manny Pacquiao last year and considered retirement. The New York State Athletic Commission didn't license Margarito until Nov. 22 after ordering another examination of his eye. Cotto took quick aim on the eye and it was swollen shut in the seventh round.
Cotto believed Margarito also used illegal hand wraps in their first fight and claimed he had the photos to prove it.
Cotto stared down Margarito in his corner after the bout was stopped.