Judges John Poturaj and Steve Weisfield scored the bout 117-111, while judge Adalaide Byrd had the fight 119-109 for Trout. Trout (26-0) retained his WBA Super Welterweight crown and his undefeated record.
The crowd cheered Cotto (37-4) on until the end, but it was obvious even to the spectators that Trout had won. Trout kept the hard-hitting Cotto at bay with his left hand, long arms and height, which was the undoing of Cotto, whose eyes swelled up as the fight went on and had trouble seeing by the end of the bout.
Cotto came out strong and was winning in the early rounds.
“The score didn't reflect what I brought to the fight,” Cotto said after the match.
Trout said after the fourth round his corner said that he was fighting at the famed Garden and had to pick it up. Trout took control of the fight from that point on.
“I was fighting Miguel’s fight before that,” he said. “I have a good left and I know how to use it.”
While the fighters waited for the scorecards, a lot of people thought the judges might lean toward Cotto, but in the end they named Trout the winner.
“When I heard it was a unanimous decision, I got nervous,” said Trout.
Before the fight, Bob Spagnola, Trout’s manager, was asked if he though Trout would have to score a knockout to win.
“We’re well prepared, we worked real hard for this fight,” said Spagnola. “I think we will get a fair shake, we have to win rounds and styles make fights. I don't expect us to win a close fight, but I expect a fair shake.”
“It hasn't even hit me yet,” said Greg Cohen, Trout’s promoter, after the fight. “I knew Austin was in control. I didn't know the score, I just knew he was well ahead and I just wanted him to finish on his feet.”
As for what’s next for Trout, Cohen said, “we would love [Saul] ‘Cannelo’ [Alvarez]. We would love to unify the title, but whoever it is, there is only good things ahead for us.”
Trout praised Cotto as a great champion.
“He is a great fighter and it was an honor to be in the same ring as him,” Trout said. “It is even more of an honor to beat him.”
Trout said he would like to fight Alvarez next, as well. The Mexican boxing sensation had planned to fight next with Cotto, but that fight might be derailed after this loss.
“I want to go home and enjoy Christmas and give some thought, but I am not done with boxing,” said Cotto.
Photos: Kenneth B. Goldberg