4. Miguel Cotto vs Ricardo Torres - September 24, 2005
2005 had a few of the most memorable fights of the decade. In any other year, Miguel Cotto’s battle with Ricardo Torres would have been an easy pick as the best fight of the year.
As it stands, it’s one of the best choices to show any boxing novice an absolutely stellar fight to convert them to a fan.
Cotto was making his fourth defense of his WBO junior welterweight title when he came up against the power-punching Torres. The match would feature multiple knockdowns on both ends, with Torres going down in rounds one, four, five, six, and seven. Cotto was left badly hurt and retreating numerous times and was knocked down for the first time in his career in the second round.
HBO’s Harold Lederman scored five of the first six rounds, 10-8. There was never a dull moment in the fight, with both fighters getting hurt and responding back. Cotto’s conditioning and ability to keep his composure gave him the upper hand.
The future Hall-of-Famer primarily received damage in the middle of exchanges with Torres. But he held a tactical advantage in the center of the ring.
Possibly depleted of all energy due to Cotto’s non-stop body attack, Torres succumbed to Cotto’s pressure in the seventh round, crumbling down against the ropes after a combination. He was unable to rise to beat the referee’s count of 10. Cotto had survived the most arduous battle of his career.
He would cement himself as one of Puerto Rico’s greatest fighters, winning titles in three more weight classes.
Cotto-Torres took place on the undercard of a Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight title defense against Samuel Peter. It isn’t as praised as other fights that same year, such as Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo, but it provides the ideal introduction to the potential mayhem that the sweet science can turn into on any given night.