Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cotto goes to hospital for 'routine' checkup

(image from doghouseboxing.com)
By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

LAS VEGAS — Miguel Cotto walked out of the MGM bruised and battered but unbowed.

“I just came from a fight so that’s how I’m supposed to look,” Cotto, according to Top Rank pointman Ricardo Jimenez, told someone who made a comment that the Puerto Rican fighter looked “beat up and swollen” after the fight.

Cotto took so many blows to the head he had to skip the post-fight press conference. He was taken to the UMC Hospital for precautionary measure, and Jimenez said the ex-champion was to undergo a complete body scan.

“Miguel wants to come out here. He’s a real man. But the Nevada State Athletic Commission wanted him to go straight to the hospital. So he had to go. Not because he wanted to but because the commission wanted to,” said fight promoter Bob Arum.

Cotto, according to Jimenez, was okay as he was brought to the hospital, and needed no help as he boarded the Team Cotto bus that took him to the hospital. The bus was loaded with around 30 members of his family and his team.

Cotto had cuts over or under both eyes and bled from the fourth round onwards. His trunks, white with red bands, were stained with his own blood. Pacquiao did not go home unscathed either as he wore puffy eyes to his post-fight concert.

It took Pacquiao a little longer to attend the press conference because doctors had to do some procedure to drain blood from inside his right ear. So he showed up at the press conference with his head bandaged and his right ear protected.

But it was Cotto who drew sympathy from all those who saw the fight.

“Miguel Cotto has always been a courageous fighter. It’s just that he was in with a guy who’s the best fighter of our era and may very well be the best fighter ever. My heart goes out for him — to see his face and to see the damage,” Arum added.

Even in defeat, Cotto was gracious to acknowledge Pacquiao’s historic win. As the Filipino prayed in his corner, down on his knees, the Puerto Rican, with a bloody face, came up to him to congratulate Pacquiao.

“I’m still proud. I’ve fought everyone, but Manny’s one of the best boxers of all time,” said Cotto, adding that his seconds had wanted to stop the fight a couple of rounds earlier, but he decided to go on.

“I told Joe (Santiago, his trainer) I wanted to continue fighting. It was my decision. It was a real hard fight,” said Cotto who drew cheers from the MGM crowd as he spoke on the microphone and got off the stage.

With his head held high.

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