San Juan, Puerto Rico:Miguel Cotto returned to a hero's welcome in Puerto Rico after defending his WBA welterweight crown in 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto, who won a unanimous decision on Saturday night over Shane Mosley in New York, was welcomed home by scores of fans chanting his name amid a celebration of national pride at the US territory's Luis Munos Marin International Airport.
"It was worth the trouble, all the sacrifice," the 27-year-old boxer said after arriving to shouts of "Cotto! Cotto!"
Secretary of State Fernando Bonilla, who praised Cotto for "demonstrating what is to be a great Puerto Rican," was among the government officials on hand.
Police cleared the way for the champ's victory ride to his hometown of Caguas, a small city south of San Juan.
On Saturday, Cotto never backed down from the relentless Mosley. Both fighters landed 248 punches, according to ringside statistics.
The judges scored the fight 116-113, 115-113 and 115-113 for Cotto.
Cotto, who is now 31-0, was fighting at the Garden for the fourth time and had a huge following in the crowd.