Miguel Cotto and Sadam Ali made weight on Friday for their fight on Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing from Madison Square Garden in New York. Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) came in at a low 151.6 pounds, and his welterweight opponent Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) scaled in heavier at 153 pounds.
(Photos Courtesy HBO/Ed Mulholland)
Cotto won the WBO junior middleweight title last August after beating Yoshihiro Kamegai by a 12 round decision. It was the perfect situation for Cotto. He was given a number 1 ranking by the World Boxing Organization despite not having fought for almost 2 years, and then given the green light to fight Kamegai for the WBO belt rather than someone a lot more difficult like Julian Willims, Austin Trout, Erickson Lubin or Vanes Martirosyan.
Cotto is ending his career at the right time. If he stuck around a little longer, he might run into trouble by losing to one of the contenders. Former WBO champion Liam Smith, and he would be entitled to a mandatory title shot against Cotto if the Puerto Rican star wasn’t retiring.
This is the last fight of Cotto’s career. That’s what he’s been saying. We’ll have to see if that’s true or not. Cotto wanted to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez in a rematch, but he wasn’t available to fight him due to him taking the remainder of 2017 off to rest after his grueling fight against middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin on September 16.
Ali, who is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ stable fighters, agreed to the fight with Cotto after a top welterweight declined it. It’s perhaps a good thing that the other fighters turned it down, because Cotto would have his hands full against someone like Errol Spence Jr. or Danny Garcia. Nothing was said about the other top fighters at 154 being offered the Cotto fight. It seems that only fighters from welterweight and lightweight were offered the fight with Cotto for some reason.
WBC 122 lb. champion Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs) and challenger Oscar Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs) weighed in successfully. Vargas weighed 121 ¼ pounds. Negrete came in at 121 ¾ pounds. The size difference between the two fighters was shocking. Vargas looked like a giant next to Negrete. This fight could turn out to be a one-sided match with Vargas hitting the shorter Negrete at will for as long as it lasts. Negrete is ranked No.10 by the World Boxing Council. It’s not supposed to be a competitive fight. When a champion’s management picks from the 10 and below spot, it means they’re looking to have their champion showcase himself in a sure thing win.