Boxing: Jennings’ dream broken by Cotto

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The Independent Online

Michael Jennings was sent tumbling to the canvas three times by Miguel Cotto, hit with vicious punches to the body, head and ear but his only injury was a broken heart at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night.

The fight for the vacant World Boxing Organisation welterweight title came to an end after two minutes 36 seconds of round five with Jennings on his feet but in no condition to survive the sickening and precise punches of Cotto a second longer.

Cotto took control in round four when he switched with ease from chin to stomach to drop Jennings in pain and expose the gap in quality between the two boxers. Jennings pleaded with his trainer Brian Hughes for the chance to go out for round five and the crowd, watching the debate on the Garden’s big screen, applauded his bravery.

“He was better than I expected and deceptive,” said Jennings. “There were times when I thought I was out of range and he would just catch me with a good shot from nowhere.”

In round five Jennings, with Cotto looking for a knockout, had no alternative but to take risks. It was an intense round until the final 30 seconds when a right behind his left ear, and a left hook into the pit of his stomach, sent Jennings down for the third and last time. The referee continued counting to 10 as Jennings regained his feet when the count reached eight.