Miguel Cotto loses his last fight inside Madison Square Garden
Cotto fought valiantly, but he could not stop Sadam Ali from making his own moment
There was a certain aura inside Madison Square Garden last night (December 2nd). As Miguel Cotto stepped inside the ring for the last time, you could feel the energy of the announced 12,391 fans as they were cheering a legend who once dominated the sport of boxing. There was no storybook ending for Cotto (41-6) however, as Sadam Ali won an exciting 12-round fight via unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112 and 115-113). In the process, Ali won the WBO Light Middleweight Title.
Miguel Cotto made his grand return to a place where he created both great and terrible memories. Before his fight, the 37-year old was ringside, cheering on young fighters. Maybe he was looking in a mirror, reminding himself of how young he was when he first started. As time was passing by, the crowd got more and more anxious. And then it was time.
Miguel Cotto walked slowly to the ring without any music, basking in the cheers of the crowd. By the time Michael Buffer finished his piece, the crowd would not sit down.
Sadam Ali (26-1) looked like the aggressor in the first two rounds. He had an early edge over Cotto, who was holding his own but couldn’t quite keep up. It wasn’t until round five when Cotto finally felt loose and dominant. He kept on hitting body shots on Ali, showing his power that helped cement his status as a great fighter. By round seven, Cotto caught Ali with numerous jabs that kept him against the ropes. After three rounds in a row, it looked like Cotto was back on track.
The veterans defense was on point after round eight, but Ali was starting to heat up once again. While Miguel was playing the aggressor, soaking up the crowds energy, Ali had a clear advantage. He kept on hitting body shots that seemed to be too much for Miguel. The judges saw that as well, ultimately giving Ali the win.
— Daniel Yanofsky (@DanYanofsky) December 3, 2017
Speaking to his fans after the fight, Cotto got emotional, while also discussing the damage the fight did to him. With no regrets, Cotto stated:
“Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance. Something happened to my left bicep, 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.”
A stunned and sad crowd applauded Cotto for his efforts for several minutes. A multiple-time champion in multiple weight classes, Miguel Cotto’s class and dignity will be his lasting impression in the boxing world. He can finally be with the family who has supported him for many years, through all of his ups and downs.
As for Ali, the New York native has finally proven he belongs with the elite. Where he goes from here is unknown, but the biggest gift he received was a platform to get the big win.
Father time continues to be unbeaten. For Miguel Cotto, his final match will be one to remember, regardless of the outcome. An era has ended in boxing, one that cannot ever be repeated.
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