Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win
Dec 04 2017
Sadam Ali, right, scored a surprising unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto on Saturday night, in what Cotto has said would be his final fight.
Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali airs live on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Puerto Rican boxing legend Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) came up short in his final Saturday night in front of 12,391 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The 37-year-old had announced before the fight that his defence of his WBO light-middleweight title would be the last time he would enter the ring.
The 37 year old Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) has seen better years, but the aging veteran who promised to retire after his December bought against Sadam Ali wants to go out with a bang and put on an impressive win against a younger risky opponent. He may have been on the wrong end of the scorecard, but his fans could hardly feel cheated.
Ali looked confident and loose from the opening bell, showing quick hands and constantly bouncing around the ring.
Ali rocked Cotto with a right in the second, but the Puerto Rican veteran held on and gained the upper hand in the middle rounds, doing damage with his left hook and catching Ali with a punishing right to the head in the sixth. Previously the aggressor, Cotto began to fight backing up, which had the effect of emboldening Ali to increasingly turn up the pressure. "I knew I had to do something or he would have dug in", Ali said.
Both fighters were hurt during the contest but after 12 rounds Ali got the nod from all three judges by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112.
"We are getting a chance at that, and we'll see how good he really is".
Ali continued to go forward in the 11th round.
"I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds", Ali said. Now that he's a world titleholder, Ali will surely get some high-profile opportunities in the near future.
Earlier, Angel Acosta dominated Juan Alejo before knocking him out in the 10th round for the WBO junior flyweight crown that Japan's Kosei Tanaka vacated last Friday.
However, this result showed that it might be better for him to hang up the gloves, with a great, entertaining Hall of Fame-worthy career to show for his efforts. He had the momentum and was trying to finish strong in a fight that tightened up significantly in the second half.
"Whatever [Golden Boy Promotions] has next, I'll take it".
"Thank you to everyone", Cotto said in English. This is the opportunity of a lifetime in Madison Square Garden.
"I've been fighting since I was eight years old, and I've been in big arenas".
After the fight, the crowd lingered for a video presentation of Cotto's career highlights on the JumboTron.