Cotto clobbers Martinez, wins middleweight title

Sun Jun 8, 2014 2:31am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miguel Cotto used a furious start to win the World Boxing Council middleweight championship as title holder Sergio Martinez of Argentina surrendered the crown when he did not answer the bell for the 10th round on Saturday.

Cotto, with a ferocious left hook and punishing combinations, knocked Martinez down three times in the first round, and continued to dominate the scheduled 12-round bout at Madison Square Garden.

Martinez's corner waved an end to the fight as the bell rang for round 10.

The Argentine, who wore supportive sleeves on both his knees, was cut near his right eye and over his left eye and his knees buckled several times during the one-sided contest.

Cotto, 33, became the first Puerto Rican ever to win titles in four different weight divisions after previously holding the junior welterweight, welterweight and super welterweight crowns.

"This is the biggest achievement I ever had in my career," said Cotto, who improved to 39-4 while the 39-year-old Martinez fell to 51-3-2.

Martinez said he never recovered from Cotto's stunning start.

"I got hit and I never recovered after that. I tried my best," said Martinez, speaking through a translator. "He caught me cold, he caught me hard at the beginning and I didn't recover from it."

Martinez looked set to continue, despite buckling after another powerful left in the ninth round that the referee ruled a knockdown even though the Argentine did not touch the canvas. But his corner surrendered.   Continued...

Jun 7, 2014; New York, NY, USA;  Sergio Martinez takes a punch from  Miguel Cotto in the first round of WBC World Middleweight fight at Madison Square Garden. Cotto by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports