Welterweight boxing champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico knocked out Yuri Foreman of Israel in the 9th round of their 12-round boxing match at the Yankee Stadium in New York to win the WBA super welterweight crown.
Foreman was leading in most scoreboards when the Israeli boxer slipped over a wet floor near his corner of the ring and twisted his ankle in the 8th round. Foreman was visibly hurt and a towel was thrown from his corner as a signal for the referee to stop the fight. It turned out though that the towel was thrown by an unauthorized member of Foreman's team.
The fight was allowed to continue and Cotto took advantage of the injured Foreman who was hit and knocked down in the 9th round. The referee , Arthur Mercante, Jr then stopped fight and declared Cotto the winner.
"I knew the towel came from that corner, and the fight should have been stopped," said Cotto's new trainer, Emanuel Steward. "There were a lot of bad decisions going on in there."
USA Today reports:
Mercante said he didn't know where the towel came from, thinking it was from someone other than Foreman's corner. It was actually Foreman's trainer, Joe Grier, who tossed it in.
"There was no need to stop the fight. They were in the middle of a great fight," Mercante said. "That's what the fans came to see. I thought I did the right thing. You see a white towel thrown, and if you noticed I called time. They had a extra minute to rest. I went over to Yuri and said 'suck it up, kid.' "
With the win by Cotto, a possible rematch with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao could happen in November if Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum's efforts in negotiating for a Pacquiao-Mayweather match fails for the second time.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Mayweather is taking one to two years leave from professional boxing but Bob Arum has not confirmed or denied the reported statement from Mayweather.