LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr.improved to 43-0 with a unanimous decision over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (37-3) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather, who is 35 and facing a June 1 jail sentence on a domestic violence case, remains in line for a super-fight against Manny Pacquiao after serving his time.
Cotto was trying to revitalize himself following the hard-handed loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008, a knockout loss to Pacquiao in 2009 and the death of his father, Miguel Sr., in 2010. He avenged the loss to Margarito in December, but could not overcome his unbeaten opponent on Saturday.
The scoring by the judges: Robert Hoyle, 118-110; Patricia Morse Jarmon, 117-111; Dave Moretti, 117-111.
Here’s a round-by-round recap (with Pugmire’s unofficial scoring).
Round 1: Cotto swings a left that misses. Mayweather throws a left hook, then he jabs. Cotto, with head down, leading with his left. Cotto swings and misses with a right. Mayweather continues to jab. They’re separated twice. Cotto tries a hard right, Mayweather dodges. It happens again. Mayweather sneaks a left to the body. Mayweather wins the round, 10-9.
Round 2: Cotto shields head with both hands. Picks up Mayweather and leans him against the ropes. Mayweather lands right to Cotto’s head. A good combo by Cotto, who continues to cover his head with both hands. Cotto presses Mayweather into the corner, then lands a hard right followed by a combo. Mayweather strikes with a left uppercut. Mayweather lands a right. Cotto holding, pressing. Mayweather turning shoulder, sneaks in some shots. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Fight is even, 19-19.
Round 3: Mayweather lands a right uppercut from inside. Cotto answers with a combination to the body. He wants to do that all night. The pair exchange blows. Cotto gets better of the next exchange. Cotto lands shots Mayweather’s body and head. Cotto lands two good jabs. Mayweather counters with a right overhand. Cotto lands a flush left to Mayweather’s face. Cotto shifting arms in front of body. He can defend too. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads fight, 29-28.
Round 4: Mayweather jabs to open. Mayweather looking to land, flinging rights past Cotto’s gloves to get to his head. Mayweather lands a combination, makes Cotto duck away. Mayweather in middle of ring now, avoiding the corners. But Cotto eventually corners him, and it’s a good exchange. Hard right by Cotto to Mayweather’s head. Mayweather ducks in a late right. Mayweather wins the round, 10-9. Fight is even, 38-38.
Round 5: Mayweather cornered again to open the round. He lands a blow but takes a hard right in exchange. Cotto goes to Mayweather’s body, but takes five or six punches to the head. Mayweather strikes with a left-right combo. Mayweather dodging Cotto’s punches. They exchange soft rights, then Cotton lands a hard right. Impressive combinations by both fighters. Mayweather nods off any effect. Close round. Mayweather wins the round, 10-9. Mayweather leads fight, 48-47.
Round 6: Cotto has some cut cream on his left eyebrow. Cotto jabs, the lands a right. Mayweather smiles. Cotto goes to his left hand. He lands another left while circling Mayweather. Cotto gets in another left. Cotto then goes to the body. They hold until bell. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Fight is even, 57-57.
Round 7: Chants of “Cotto!” can be heard. Cotto covering and blocking Mayweather punches. Cotto lands a good combo, ended with a right to Mayweather’s head. Mayweather back in the middle of ring again. Mayweather lands a combination to the body and head. Cotto’s blocking the head shots now. Cotto ducks in, presses Mayweather toward his corner. They hold. Good Mayweather combination to close. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads the fight, 67-66.
Round 8: Cotto is trying to win this fight. He presses Mayweather to the ropes, barrages him with blows. Mayweather lands a right, but Cotto buries more body shots to Mayweather in the middle of ring. Cottpo gets Mayweather back to corner and works him over with combinations. Mayweather trying to smile through it, but Cotto pounds him against ropes. A right to the body, a left to the head. Best round of the fight. Crowd is roaring. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads the fight, 77-75.
Round 9: Mayweather lands a left to open the round, followed by some uppercuts. The fighters exchange again. Cotto gets in good combination, then throws multiple jabs. They hold. Cotto pushes Floyd off to ropes. “Cotto!” is heard in the arena. Mayweather combo. He’s throwing aggressively. He knows it’s close. Mayweather wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads the fight, 86-85.
Round 10: Cotto opens with a right to Mayweather’s body. Mayweather is looking for openings. He lands a right to Cotto’s head. Cotto answers with a left to Mayweather’s head. Then there’s a good Mayweather counter. Straight left to Mayweather’s face by Cotto. Mayweather jabs. Cotto goes to the body twice, then head. Cotto rocks Mayweather with a left uppercut during a good end exchange. Cotto wins the round, 10-9. Cotto leads the fight, 96-94.
Round 11: Big left to Mayweather’s chest by Cotto, who follows later with a hard left to Mayweather’s face. They’re holding again. Mayweather lands with an uppercut. Two good lefts to the jaw by Cotto. Brilliant combo by Mayweather. Cotto lands twice to the body, then slips a right. Mayweather lands a left-right combo. Close round to Cotto, 10-9. I have him up 106-103, but the technical fan might like Mayweather. It’s close, going to the 12th.
Round 12: Mayweather jabs to open. Pair have good exchange near Mayweather’s corner. Mayweather strikes with a left-right combo. Cotto on top of Mayweather with a combination. Right-left by Mayweather. He hurts Cotto with a right. Cotto jabs in vain. Another hard right by Mayweather. He was at his sharpest this round. Mayweather wins the round, 10-9. I have Cotto unofficially winning, 115-113. We go to judges.