LAS VEGAS - So that's why every welterweight in the world was so scared of Antonio Margarito.
Margarito stopped Miguel Cotto in the 11th round last night, blemishing Cotto's unbeaten record and claiming the World Boxing Association 147-pound title with one last incredible barrage of punches at the MGM Grand Garden.
Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs), the Mexican star so often ducked by the division's best fighters in recent years, dropped the Puerto Rican champion twice in the 11th after several rounds of relentless pressure in a fight that lived up to its lofty billing
Cotto (32-1), the respected champion attempting his fifth title defense, won the early rounds with defense and timely counterpunching. Margarito took several major shots on his tough chin, yet still kept up the same relentless attack that finally paid off in the middle rounds.
With Cotto bleeding and woozy, the champion's corner stopped the fight with 55 seconds left, sending Margarito's team into a delirious celebration of a long-awaited victory. Cotto, unable to speak clearly through tears and welts, was taken to a hospital from his locker room.