Miguel Cotto—Absolutely Curtains

By Marc Livitz on December 3, 2017
Miguel Cotto—Absolutely Curtains
Cotto was swaying to the music. (Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)

Sadam Ali, a boxer who made his initial jump into the division, had Cotto gassed midway through the contest and made him box as opposed to fight…

The final demise of Puerto Rico’s sole four-division champion at the hands of a fighter eight years his junior wasn’t likely the most prevalent thought in the minds of fight fans on Saturday evening. There were many, to be sure who thought that Miguel Cotto’s choice of New York City native Sadam Ali for what was billed as his last professional contest was not quite laughable, yet not exactly admirable. Although Ali was a representative of the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, his career in the paid ranks is not one we’d use to throw into the ring with a seasoned veteran like Cotto. Well, perhaps we can take consolation with the following thought.  Actually, there’s a few to be mentioned after Ali’s fair and undoubtedly correct unanimous decision victory at Madison Square Garden.

Firstly, we can be glad that Ali (26-1, 14 KO’s) has been more of a natural welterweight competitor over the last seven years and lacks the necessary punching power to inflict serious damage on someone who’s fought as high up in poundage as a middleweight. Next, imagine if many of us had our wish or perhaps our proverbial druthers appeased and Cotto signed off against a fighter such as Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd or Erislandy Lara. Jump back a few hours in time and recall the right hand Sadam landed on Miguel’s chin in the second round. The shot was perfectly placed and suddenly, Cotto was slow dancing and swaying to the music.

Last month was eight years ago from the time when he faced Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas and in the fourth round, he was popped by a similar shot, yet closer in and by a world-class talent. This would be the second knockdown in as many rounds and his body went momentarily limp and loose after the punch. He went on to have the eggs scrambled out of his skull before the bout was mercifully stopped in the twelfth.

Fast forward back to Saturday night in Manhattan. Sadam Ali, a boxer who made his initial jump into the division, had Cotto gassed midway through the contest and made him box as opposed to fight. Strategic or luck of the Brooklynite, it worked and although the thought may be tempting and the dollars could add another zero, Ali would be wise to strongly consider whether or not he’d like to stay at 154 pounds.

As before, many will point to the losses on Cotto’s boxing ledger and use them as demerits against his case as an all-time great. The fact that he won titles in four weight classes is a commendable accomplishment but in terms of his home nation, he’s neither Wilfredo Gomez nor Tito Trinidad. Gomez had his epic moments, such as his 1978 victory over then undefeated Mexican terror Carlos Zarate and his epic win over Lupe Pintor, which took place exactly 35 years ago this Sunday.

In terms of the ‘Mexico vs. Puerto Rico’ rivalry, the aforementioned battle with Pintor is often cited at or close to the top of the list as the best of the bunch. Trinidad, of course, was magic in the ring long before he shocked the boxing world with a close win over Oscar De La Hoya in the Fall of 1999. That particular contest should have taught many of us to not necessarily believe the hype penned to a high profile fight, yet most of us will always ignore such a warning.

Cotto began to capture the first of his world titles in the mid to early 2000’s. By his own admission, his 2005 knockout win against Ricardo Torres was his personal arrival on the boxing marquee as a sheer force in the game. To many, however, his absolute finest hour was two years later in a festival of fire with Shane Mosley. After Antonio Margarito pummeled him in the Summer of 2008, the fix, love it or hate it, was in according to some within the boxing world.

If a fighter was able to make Cotto fight off of the back foot, then a win could come easier. Manny Pacquiao made him do this, as did Austin Trout. He wasn’t able to hit Floyd Mayweather but then again, who was? He was a name to fill in the blank by the time he faced Canelo Alvarez two years ago. As was the case at the time, Canelo is a star on the rise and one of the shooting variety wasn’t going to change that, save for a knockout. So, the question must be put forth. What is to be defined as Miguel Cotto’s signature win? Who is his Lupe Pintor or Oscar De la Hoya?

He’ll retire with a record of forty-one wins against six losses. Impressively, he has 33 knockouts and just two stoppage defeats. We can’t criticize. Clearly, he doesn’t need to fight anymore. We only ask the question of where to put him among the talent we’ve seen over the last twenty years, give or take. What say you?

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  1. Klaus Kinski 11:54am, 12/04/2017

    @Fan-I like the way your mind works!

  2. Fan 11:03am, 12/04/2017

    Boxing should have Marathon Boxing to help boxer dieseling.

  3. Your Name 07:18am, 12/04/2017

    “Lacks the necessary punching power to inflict serious damage on someone who’s fought as high up in poundage as a middleweight. “

    Cotto NEVER fought at MW. He was a shameful MW champion. Awesome at the lighter weights though.

  4. fan 07:05pm, 12/03/2017

    Boxing should have upcoming fight
    1. de la hoya vs hopkins
    2. female heavyweight
    3. ufc vs wbo

  5. Klaus Kinski 06:18pm, 12/03/2017

    Thanks Koolz! Portillo so desperate to get to Troyanovsky’s chin that he literally dove/stumbled chin first intoTroyanovsky’s fist!

  6. Koolz 05:01pm, 12/03/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCR5xYbTJDQ

    Toka Kahn Clary vs John Vincent Moralde

    wow what a south paw!

  7. Koolz 04:35pm, 12/03/2017

    After this fight and with an injured bicep Cotto tells Cotto it’s time to retire.

  8. Koolz 03:47pm, 12/03/2017

    I can’t find the full fight you will have to watch it in parts

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd5zVI4L9yU
    parts on the right hand side of screen.  Here is part one the beginning of the fight.
    Igor Mikhalkin vs Doudou Ngumbu

    Light Heavy Weight is getting more and more interesting.

  9. Koolz 01:23pm, 12/03/2017

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ayxed#tab_embed

    Acosta vs Alejo

  10. Koolz 01:15pm, 12/03/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL0wP7ybb2nT7ugL8Q4DXZmqVwN2CJUeKU&time_continue=2&v=ZDOx-swbouY

    Troyanovsky vs Portillo

  11. Koolz 12:05pm, 12/03/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL0wP7ybb2nT50AWJNiTeOM0JzDiQQijjZ&v=Kku8U0XksL4

    Cotto vs Ali

  12. don from prov 11:38am, 12/03/2017

    “...as demerits against his case as an all-time great.”

    He isn’t an all-time great; he is a good, solid (and willing) fighter.

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