Miguel Cotto may have successfully defended his WBO welterweight championship with a 12-round split decision over a gain challenger Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden Saturday evening and his latest conquest does lead to questions.  There were tactics used not accustomed to being seen from Cotto, a fierce cut over his left eye brow, and who is next in line for the champion.Though one question was answered, as it seems Cotto, (34-1, 27KO’s) has overcome his loss to Antonio Margarito last year that left him battered after 11 rounds/ It was a rough fight from the beginning, as expected, with the only knockdown coming from a Cotto punch late in the first round.Clottey, (35,3, 21 KO’s) who gave Cotto the cut in the third round, attributed to a head butt, may have indeed been the winner if it weren’t for that 10-8 first round that went to Cotto  that caused Clottey to briefly hit the canvas.. And the final two rounds went to Cotto with one judge at ringside having 114-113 for Clottey, two others 115-112 and 116-111 for Cotto. This writer gave the fight to Clottey 114-113.After the nasty cut continued to pour blood from the left eye, Cotto had to resort to another strategy. He continued to punch well, landing 723 punches to the 622 of Clottey, but the challenger in the ropes many times was able to take the punishment and land a few power punches of his own.It was the onslaught of punches from Cotto that continued to show how resilient of a fighter Clottey is.  The native of Ghana, now residing in the Bronx, also had to overcome a pro Cotto crowd at the Garden. Most of the 17,734 were Cotto fans waving the Puerto Rican flag, screaming for their fighter throughout the fight, though this was the first time a Cotto fight at the Garden failed to sell out.And if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum hadn’t consoled Clottey immediately after the fight, then perhaps this could have been the last fight for Clottey. Disappointed and annoyed about the final decision Clottey immediately said, “That’s it, I’m done with boxing, I can’t take it anymore.”To which Arum, who promotes both Clottey and Cotto, embraced Clottey and said to him, “a magnificent fight and you have to continue.”  By all means Clottey deserves a return bout, and after listening to Arum and getting over the disappointment, Cottey asked for one.But Clottey may have to wait as Arum is looking to put Cotto in the ring next, possibly with Manny Pacquio considered the best pound-for pound fighter at 147.  Said Clottey, “They robbed me. He was running and I was chasing. I threw the hardest punches.”Hand it to Cotto though, because after the cut he fought like a champion.. Even in the ninth and tenth rounds the cut got worse, of which Cotto said, “The cut made me fight harder but I felt like that I was winning all the way”But there were some tactics from Cotto that haven’t been seen. Perhaps his new trainer, Joe Santiago, who replaced Cotto’s uncle Evangelista, was a reason why Cotto in the fifth round was a different fighter. In the corner with Clottey he spun his opponent around and Clottey, fell face first on the canvas.The result was some time for Clottey to recover after hurting his right knee but he was able to recover by continuing to fight at his pace. “The referee had to do something,” said Clottey who also complained that Cotto used low blows many times, also Cotto hit Clottey in the back of his head late in the fight which also got no warning from referee Arthur Mercante Jr.Now Arum has to look at the future for Cotto.  The Pacquiao fight is what he would like to do and Cotto will evaluate the options.  There is also a possible return bout with WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley, and Cotto, from what has been often heard would like that chance again against Margarito..But Margarito is still serving a one-year suspension for fighting with tainted hand wraps under his gloves which now appears to have been responsible for Cotto’s only loss. “I will see what the company says,” was the response from Cotto about getting Margarito again.Clottey deserves a return bout and it may have to wait, and his courageous effort showed he is indeed one of the top three welterweights.  As for Cotto,: who admitted that Clottey was a tough opponent, it is time for some rest and maybe some readjustments with his new trainer and without cut man Miguel Diaz who he also dismissed.“We made a few mistakes,” admitted Cotto who may still have to prove that he is in the company of other great Puerto Rican boxing champions such as Wilfredo Gomez and Felix Trinidad.  “Everybody will get better,” he said.CALDERON GETS A DRAW: The co-feature on the Garden card saw junior flyweight champion Ivan Calderon (32-0-1, 6KO’s) of Guaynabo Puerto Rico earn a split decision of his 12-round fight that went to the judges scorecard after six rounds because of an accidental head butt. Challenger and opponent Rodel Mayol (25-3, 1, 19KO’s) of the Philippines caused the nasty cut on the forehead of Calderon.As a result of the fight being halted after six rounds the technical rule of the championship bout becomes a decision for the judges. One judge had it even, one for Calderon and the other to Mayol and as a result Calderon retained his title.“I was coming in and he would go down low and that’s when I got hit in the head,” said Calderon/. The butt came in the fourth round and another one moments later. It was the fourth defense of his title.e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com