Sadam Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) says it would have been a different story if Jessie Vargas was inside the ring with him last Saturday night instead of Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ali beat Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) by an impressive 12 round unanimous decision to win his WBO junior middleweight title.
The great Muhammad Ali failed to do it, Sugar Ray Leonard failed to do it, George Foreman also came up short. While the greatest boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, failed to tick this particular box himself. And on Saturday night in New York, Miguel Cotto’s name was added to the long, long list of great, great fighters who were unsuccessful in their attempts at going out as a winner in their final fight.
We all knew Sadam Ali could box, and last night’s win over an admittedly faded (but still great) Miguel Cotto put “World Kid” on the world stage once again. Ali, 26-1(14) has rebounded well from his March 2016 stoppage loss to Jessie Vargas, the 9th round TKO being the sole defeat on the record of the 29 year old.
Ali rebounded to beat three solid fighters in Saul Corral, Jorge Silva and Johan Perez, and now he has the scalp of future Hall of Famer Cotto on his resume. What next for the new WBO super-welterweight champ? Ali has shown he is as fast as a 154 pounder and he was down at welterweight (where the loss to Vargas took place) and he has looked strong also. It would be great to see Ali in there with the other reigning 154 pound champions – Jermel Charlos, Erislandy Lara and Jarret Hurd.
Arguably the finest fighter to have come out of Puerto Rico, four-weight champion Miguel Cotto said goodbye last night in New York, leaving the sport he lit up in a major way with class and dignity. Cotto doesn’t go out with the win he and his fans wanted – a faster, younger, bigger Sadam Ali instead winning a pretty wide 12 round UD over the 37 year old great, but Cotto goes out on his own terms all the same.
Cotto was unable to cope with the speed and movement of Ali, 26-1(14) and the former king also injured his biceps in the seventh-round. Dropping a decision that read 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 again, Cotto walks away with a 41-6(33) record. But more than that, Cotto walks away “feeling good,” with no excuses.
On a night that Madison Square Garden and the boxing world bid farewell to a boxing legend in Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs), Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) stole the show, winning a unanimous decision victory and the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship in front of 12,391 fans and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. The final scores were 115-113 twice and 116-112.
Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Brooklyn, hurt Cotto twice in the early rounds and used slick defense and solid counter-punching to keep Cotto at bay throughout the 12-round bout.
World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) retained his title on Saturday night in beating Oscar Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)
Vargas suffered cuts to each eye during the contest, but he fought well despite dealing with the blood. The judges scored it 119-108, 119-108, and 120-108.
A superstar enters the ring for the final time when HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: MIGUEL COTTO VS. SADAM ALI AND REY VARGAS VS. OSCAR NEGRETE on SATURDAY, DEC. 2 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Madison Square Garden in New York City, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) hosted a media workout today at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles ahead of the final fight of the future Hall of Famer’s career, which will be against Sadam “World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) for Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship. The action will take place at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.