Cotto survived a cut in the third to retain his title in New York
Miguel Cotto defended his WBO welterweight title with a split points victory over Joshua Clottey.
The Puerto Rican 28-year-old overcame a cut from an accidental headbutt in the third round to defeat Ghanaian Clottey 116-111, 115-112, 113-114.
Cotto had Clottey down in the first with a neat left hook before a clash of heads in the third left the champion with a nasty cut along his left brow.
But despite blood pouring down his face Cotto held on to retain his title.
Clottey was also down in the fifth after an accidental slip and the former IBF champion appeared to hurt his knee in the fall.
Cotto saw that as his opportunity to take control of the fight and had Clottey up against the ropes in the sixth.
But the 32-year-old held on and rallied to dominate the next three rounds.
Cotto reasserted his control in the final three rounds, catching the eye of the judges with quick flurries and did enough to shade the fight at New York's Madison Square Garden.
"I just tried to keep my plan and forget about the cut," said Cotto, who now holds a record of 34 wins and one defeat with 27 knockouts.
"I just tried to forget about the blood running into my eye and make my people proud."
Clottey who moves onto a record of 35 wins, three defeats with 20 knockouts, complained bitterly about the result.
"I fought my heart out," he said.
"I'm chasing the guy. He's running. I'm blocking the punches. So I don't know what I have to do to win the fight."
On the undercard, Ivan Calderon retained his world junior flyweight title after an accidental headbutt forced a stop to his fight against Rodel Mayol and the judges declared it a draw.