Saturday night mark the end of the road for Miguel Cotto. The farewell tour came up short at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto lost a unanimous decision to Sadam Ali in a battle for the WBO junior middleweight title.
— przemek garczarczyk (@garnekmedia) December 3, 2017
“I worked hard for it,” said Ali, who won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count.”
Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) had been largely outclassed in his lone previous title shot, a ninth-round TKO loss to Jessie Vargas for a vacant welterweight strap last year, leaving many pessimistic about his chances on Saturday against one of the finest champions of his era and the third-biggest star after Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Not least the oddsmakers, who installed him as a 6-1 underdog.
But Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) struggled with Ali’s hand speed, looking every bit of his 37 years as he absorbed a series of big shots in the early rounds, including a right hand to the temple in the second that staggered him and a left hook in the fourth that sent him reeling.
For Ali, who earned $600,000 for Saturday’s work compared to $750,000 for Cotto, it was a career-altering night signaling a star on the rise.
Is this the last we’ve seen on Cotto in the ring? Even in the post-fight, he reiterated that he’s done for good. Cotto gave this sport everything he had over his great 17 year career. Even if he didn’t end it with a win, he still left the Garden as a champion.