Miguel Cotto TKOs Ricardo Mayorga

Miguel Cotto continued his climb back to the top of the boxing world on Saturday, forcing Ricardo Mayorga to quit in the 12th round of their WBA World Super Light-Middleweight title match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was the second-straight win for Cotto after he suffered a heavy beating at the hands of Filipino superstar and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in November 2009. Cotto was leading in all scorecards in his first defense of the title when Mayorga decided to quit. Mayorga dropped to the canvass earlier in the final round after he got caught by a vicious left. The 37-year-old Nicaraguan was able to beat the count but later signaled to referee Robert Byrd that he had enough. Mayorga later revealed that he quit because he injured his hand and not due to the knockdown. “I tried to finish the final round but the pain in my hand was too much,” Mayorga said.

Cotto admitted that he felt the heavy hands of Mayorga, who has now lost five of his last nine fights, but he chose to stay calm rather than engage his Nicaraguan opponent in a toe-to-toe battle. “He was very heavy handed, I felt his punches the whole fight,” Cotto said. “The game plan was not to get caught up in any of his antics,” said the defending champion referring to Mayorga’s challenge to turn the fight into a brawl.