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ROACH IS HAPPY IT'S ALI FOR COTTO'S FAREWELL FIGHT AND NOT GARCIA


PhilBoxing.com




Several fans wanted to see Mikey Garcia move up two more weight divisions to challenge Miguel Cotto, Freddie Roach is happy that it didn’t push through. Roach believes Cotto would beat Garcia and is afraid his fighter would not get the proper credit for giving Garcia his first loss because he is too small for the super welterweight. Garcia, the WBC lightweight champion, went up from 135 lbs to 140 in his last fight, a unanimous-decision win over Adrien Broner on July 29.

* * *

Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) announced last week that he refused to accept an offer to challenge Cotto on December 2 at Madison Square Garden because he did not want to sign a long-term contract with Golden Boy Promotions to get the title shot. Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) instead signed up for a farewell fight against Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs), a welterweight contender from Brooklyn who will move up from 147 lbs. to 154 lbs. to face Cotto for his WBO super welterweight title.

* * *

“Cotto-Garcia could’ve been a big fight, but I’m not really sold on it,” Roach told BoxingScene. “A Puerto Rican against a Mexican is good value, but how well does Garcia draw? If Miguel beats up on a little guy, then people are gonna say the guy was too small anyway. So instead he’s fighting a guy who’s popular here in New York, the fight’s here at The Garden and it makes good sense. He’ll have a good fan base, we’ll have a good fan base and it should be a great night.”

* * *

This is not the first time that Sadam Ali is predicted to lose in an HBO televised bout. Three years ago, Argentinian Luis Carlos Abregu was heavily favored to destroy Ali in their welterweight fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Abregu is a powerful puncher who was beaten only by Timothy Bradley, while Ali was undedefeated but untested. Ali dropped Abregu in the sixth and ninth rounds on his way to winning by ninth-round TKO in November 2014.

* * *

The 2008 Olympian’s unexpected yet impressive stoppage strengthened Ali as a legitimate welterweight contender and it catapulted him to a world title fight. His TKO of Abregu gives Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) the bigger confidence to pull another surprise when he challenges Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) on December 2 at the Madison Square Garden. Ali once again will be the great underdog when he fight for Cotto’s WBO super welterweight title in the Puerto Rican legend's farewell bout.

* * *

“This is huge, definitely a big one,” Ali said in a press conference. “I’m really excited. I’m ready to step up and this is a big fight. I’m moving up in weight a little bit, going up against a legend. I know I am a huge underdog. I’d say about 90 percent of people are going for Cotto, but that’s understandable." He added he has been in this position before and it’s even worse now. In the Abregu fight, he said 90 percent of the people thought he would be stopped, but he proved them all wrong.

* * *

Manny Pacquiao has been tied up to his political career and has not made any public statements on when he fights again. Even Top Rank President Todd DuBoef has no hint when their popular boxer will ever fight again. DuBoef explained that neither Horn or Crawford can wait any longer for Pacquiao decide on his boxing future. Crawford is charted to make his welterweight debut early next year and Horn will return in December in a title defense against British Gary Corcoran.

* * *

“I think it’s wait and see. Right now he’s predominantly consumed with his job of being a politician and I think probably the best thing to do is wait and see what he wants to do and what his intention is and how he wants to proceed," DuBoef told Boxing News. “Because now he’s an elected official, he’s there for the people, that’s his primarily role. We are sitting here. We wait for him to let us know what his intentions are and what he feels like doing and then we go from there.”

* * *

“Horn’s not waiting for Pacquiao and Terence Crawford’s not waiting for Pacquiao," added DuBoef. "The welterweight division is a wonderful division and they’re not going to wait on guys. If he wants to dedicate himself to the people in the Philippines, that’s what his duty is, that’s what he should do and if he wants to come back and have a fight in the fall or the spring, winter, whatever it is, obviously we love working with him and his team and facilitating his boxing career."

* * *

Vasyl Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux at Madison Square Garden. This historic encounter will become the first time two-time Olympic gold medalists will fight each other professionally at the elite level. Tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux world championship event were sold out two months in advance.

* * *

It is Lomachenko's second advance ticket sellout in his past three fights. Last April 8 in his title defense against former world champion Jason Sosa tickets were sold out the MGM National Harbor one month before the fight. Lomachenko promises a big fight to happen. "It will be a big battle for boxing fans and boxing history," said Lomachenko. "This battle will open our maximum potential. It will be the best New Year's present for boxing fanatics. Trust me on this one!"

* * *

"I am excited about Vasiliy stepping back in the ring before the year is over. It is a great fight for all boxing lovers and the fans from around the world who asked for it," said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager. He added it will be a date with history in professional boxing. "It is a historic bout for boxing where for the first time, two boxers, two world champions, each holding two Olympic Gold medals, will meet in the professional ring. I am looking forward to seeing it."


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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