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Sadam Ali spoils Miguel Cotto’s farewell party at The Garden


PhilBoxing.com





New York - After decades of war, a fighter, if lucky, gets to retire at home - in front of his family and adoring fans.


Madison Square Garden has hosted many of Miguel Cotto’s notable boxing moments. The popular fighter from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has called New York City his second home and The Mecca of Boxing as his primary boxing residence.

But boxing is the “Theatre of Unexpected” and Cotto’s planned farewell party was derailed by a native New Yorker out of Brooklyn - Sadam Ali.

Ali, 29, (25-1, 14 KOs) played the party pooper by beating Cotto, 37, (41-5, 33 KOs) with a deserving Unanimous Decision victory and snatching the champion’s WBO Junior Middleweight belt as a reward.

The fighter out of Brooklyn hurt Cotto numerous times in the fight - with his right hand, a vulnerability in Cotto’s armor through the years. Cotto was a target for his right and he fired it at will.

Ali also utilized another weapon in his arsenal - his speed. Against a typically slow and calculated foe - the challenger was outmaneuvering and outboxing the favored champion.

“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, I thought the fight was close,” Ali mentioned.

When the judges’ cards were revealed, the legion of Cotto fans at The Garden did not happily welcome the results as they saw their hero lost in his final ring outing.

Boos emanate from the crowd as a close score card of 115-113 (twice) and 116-112 were read in favor of the newly minted 154 pound titleholder in Ali, whose outnumbered fans made their presence when they chanted his name whenever he would hurt Cotto during the bout.

“I worked hard for it. 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.”

But despite the loss, Cotto was gracious in defeat and reiterated that this will be indeed his last fight in the ring - a performance that failed to sell out the famed arena like he has done in the past. Official attendance was 12,391 in a venue that can hold up to 16 thousand.

“It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family,” said Cotto who is a six time champ and a belt holder In four different weight divisions.

Cotto is 8-2 here in The Garden. His notable victories include wins against champions Sergio Martinez, Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey, rival Antonio Margarito, and New Yorkers - Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi. His only pair of defeats here came at the hands of Austin Trout in 2012 and Saturday night’s bout with Ali.

“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,” was Cotto’s farewell acknowledgement at The Mecca of Boxing.

You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rich Mazon .


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