MIGUEL COTTO, with Kronk legend Emanuel Steward heading his corner for a second time, successfully defended his WBA super-welterweight title by stopping the rough and rugged Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 12, 2011.

Under Steward’s guidance, Cotto had become a more methodical warrior, slowly studying his prey before unleashing his famous left hook.

Mouthy Mayorga tried his utmost to lure poker-faced Cotto into a brawl, but the Puerto Rican simply “shook his head and goaded his torturer.”

READ 10 great Miguel Cotto nights

Mayorga’s wide looping punches were finding a home on occasion.

Late on in the fight, with both men slowly tiring, he connected with a left hook which resulted in a swarm of sweat from Cotto’s head striking the front three rows at ringside. But these moments weren’t enough to change the tide of the contest in the challenger’s favour.

In the 12th round, the Nicaraguan took a knee after shipping a masterful Cotto left hook, couldn’t protect himself from a vicious Cotto onslaught, and the referee had no option but to stop the bout then and there at 0-53.

The win pushed Cotto’s record to 36-2, with Mayorga’s ledger falling to 29-8-1.

The Puerto Rican hero would move on and avenge his punishing defeat to rival Antonio Margarito.