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Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto, right, lands a right hand on Michael Jennings during Saturday's Madison Square Garden main event. ((Henry Lee Abrams/Associated Press))

Welterweight Miguel Cotto and middleweight Kelly Pavlik each pounded out stoppage wins over overmatched foes on Saturday to begin their respective comebacks.

Cotto (33-1, 27 knockouts) used this trademark body punches to stop Briton Michael Jennings of in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jennings (34-2, 16 KOs) hit the canvas twice in the bout before a large throng of Puerto Rican supporters for Cotto, with attendance over 12,000.

Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs) was declared a winner in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, when Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio stayed on his stool after the ninth round.

Pavlik retained his World Boxing Council title in front of an announced crowd of 7,228, said to be for the largest of any event at the Chevrolet Center. Rubio fell to 43-5-1, with 37 knockouts.

There were no knockdowns in the bout but Rubio was hammered along the ropes for much of the final two rounds.

Despite being held in different locales, the Cotto and Pavlik bouts were presented as part of a pay-per-view card.

Pavlik and Cotto returned to the ring after suffering the first losses of their career in 2008.

Pavlik moved up to light heavyweight but was given a boxing lesson by cagey veteran Bernard Hopkins, losing a lopsided 12-round decision in October.

Cotto held an early lead before being worn down by Antonio Margarito in an 11th-round stoppage loss in July.

Margarito was recently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission over the use of illegal hand wraps in a January loss to Shane Mosley.

Cotto was diplomatic in the wake of the revelation, refusing to accuse Margarito of doing the same in their bout.

"They're the only ones that can answer that question. I can't answer that," Cotto said earlier this month. "All I can tell you is I choose to think he had a good night."

With a Margarito rematch not an option in the near future, Cotto said after winning Saturday he was willing to fight Mosley — whom he beat by narrow decision in late 2007 — or the winner of the May blockbuster between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.  

With files from the Associated Press