The Last Hurrah: Ali Upsets Cotto

By Robert Ecksel on December 2, 2017
The Last Hurrah: Ali Upsets Cotto
“I don’t want to make excuses. Sadam won the fight," said Cotto. "It is my last fight.” (GBP)

Sadam Ali won a unanimous decision over reigning and defending WBO junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto…

Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, in a fight televised live on HBO Championship Boxing, Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs), the 2008 Olympian and current WBA International welterweight champion from Brooklyn, New York, won a unanimous decision over reigning and defending WBO junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs), upsetting the future Hall-of-Famer from Caguas, Puerto Rico, in the final fight of his illustrious career.

The scores after 12 rounds were 116-112 (Eric Marlinski) and 115-113 twice (Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld).

Cottois retiring at the exact right time. He can still perform at a high level, but he is a diminished fighter fighting above his best weight who relies more on muscle memory than skill. The six-time, four-division champion can also no longer take a punch and reaffirmed after the bout that his career is over and he has no complaints.

“I am feeling good with the performance,” Cotto said. “Something happened to my left bicep in the seventh round. I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family. Thank you for all the fans. I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”

Cotto may not have been an all-time great, but great he was and great is how he will be remembered. The respect he earned will continue to grow. His place in boxing history is assured.

Ali fought beautifully. Ali always fights beautifully. He is a better boxer than fighter. He fights with his head instead of his heart.

“I worked hard for it,” Ali said. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to thank God, and also thank Team Cotto. They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th round, I thought the fight was close. Whatever Golden Boy Promotions has next, I’ll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was eight years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.”

Ali rattled Cotto with a straight right in the second. He stunned the Pride of Puerto Rico in round four. Cotto turned the tables several times and landed a punch in the sixth like he was the Cotto of old. But the rally didn’t last, just as youth doesn’t last, and who knows that better than a 37-year-old fighter after 47 fights?

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  1. Klaus Kinski 12:11pm, 12/03/2017

    Which reminds ....they need to test both father and son for Khat!

  2. Klaus Kinski 11:55am, 12/03/2017

    Who picked this opponent for a farewell party?! Whether Cotto hates Margo or not…that right there would have been a nice revenge KO for Miguel on his way out the door.  Buffer in good voice….that slip coulda’ been scored a knockdown….though very close Cotto won that last round….hard to throw a hook up or down with a tendon/bicep injury….Ali’s dad needs to check that throat slash/beheading gesture in the future!

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