Austin Trout handed Miguel Cotto his second straight defeat to retain his WBA light middleweight title at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
Trout claimed his 26th straight victory with scores of 117-110 twice and 119-109, to end Cotto's hopes of bouncing back from a points defeat to Floyd Mayweather in May with a fifth world title.
The American southpaw started brightly by wobbling Cotto in the first round with a hard left and keeping the challenger at distance of a long jab.
By the third, however, Cotto began to close the distance and forced Trout to retreat, backing him up against the ropes and digging to the body and head with left hooks.
The Puerto Rican grew more comfortable by the fifth, confidently walking Trout down and blocking his opponent's punches with his gloves.
However, 'No Doubt' Trout, who entered the contest as the underdog against a man whose 20 most recent fights had all been world title bouts, once again discovered his rhythm by the midway point.
He returned to peppering Cotto, 37-4 (30 KOs), with jabs and combinations and limited his opponent's ability to land punches inside by tying him up whenever he was in close range.
By the end of the contest, except for a few rallies when the two men exchanged combinations, Cotto was in retreat, his face swollen and he accepted the result at the final bell.