Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win

  • Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win

Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win

Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto goes out a warrior, but not a victor, after dropping a unanimous 12-round decision on Saturday to Sadam Ali in a world title fight he vowed would be his last.

The biggest win of his career by far, Ali earned the WBO world super welterweight title by playing spoiler and has certainly opened up great opportunities for himself going forward.

"I worked hard for it", said Ali, who won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113.

Ali added: "I want to thank team Cotto".

Pre-fight many within the industry were critical of this fight, stating it would be nothing but routine for Cotto. After seemingly winning a close ninth round, Ali had more success in the 10th round, catching a tiring Cotto along the ropes with a left hook and then a right hand.

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.

Cotto suffered a torn left biceps just after the midway mark of the 12-round bout, but Ali hurt him twice before Cotto was injured. The 12th round saw a reemergence for Cotto which may have saved the day given how close some of the rounds had been.

The rapturous welcome he received upon entering the ring was repeated as he departed in defeat. "I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport".

"I already know that's gonna come", Ali said during a post-fight press conference. He won all three of those rounds on all three scorecards.

The Garden had a familiar ring for Cotto.

"Good things happen to good people", Ali said.

"I am proud to call MSG my second home", Cotto said. "I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown". They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too.

Unless Cotto yields to some unforeseen urge to withdraw his pledge to stay retired, his legacy shall forever remain beyond reproach or cause for sympathetic tsk-tsks.

But Vargas, 27, also landed dozens of body blows and rarely allowed the 30-year-old Negrete inside. Sadam Ali didn't read that particular script however, claiming an tight unanimous points verdict after the fight went the championship distance. Had he dominated Ali, one could imagine him perhaps getting the itch to take on a Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, which was the initial plan. He fought gamely, trying his best to apply pressure and bore his way in with compact power shots, and did make this a competitive farewell encounter, even rocking Ali with a straight right in the 6th.