By Xavier Porter –

December 3, 2017

Brooklyn, NY (Madison Square Garden) –

Last night, Madison Square Garden was packed with 12,391 fight fans in attendance, to witness the last fight of one of boxing’s best fighters in history. Miguel Cotto, one of the best fighters/boxers in not only the history of the sport, but also in Puerto Rico’s rich boxing history gave his best effort against a young, hungry, talented lion in Sadam Ali. Ali controlled the pace of the fight from the beginning, winning a unanimous decision with scorecards reading 115-113 (x2), 116-112. With the victory, Ali captured the WBO Junior Middleweight title and has taken his boxing abilities to a higher plateau.



MIGUEL COTTO, Caguas, PR (41-5, 33 KOs) vs. SADAM ALI, Brooklyn, NY (25-1, 14 KOs)

When the fight began, Cotto, the great veteran that he is, landed several lead jabs while trying to land his patent left-hook to the body. Ali quickly realized his opponent’s attack and landed two glancing right hands over Cotto’s left guard to put his opponent on notice that he was ready for this fight.

During the second round, Ali landed a strong right hand to the jaw of Cotto, which quickly stunned and wobbled the legs of the “Future International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee.”

Cotto, the savvy veteran, showed great poise and continued to pressure Ali with his left hooks to both the head and body. As the third round commenced, both men traded in the center of the ring. Ali continued to box on the outside as Cotto focused more of his attack and pushed forward to corner and pin his opponent along the ropes. Ali boxed extremely well this round as he clinched and smothered Cotto’s output of punches, while also sliding out the way to lessen ant effect of his punches.

During the third round, both men continued to take the fight to the center of the ring where they exchanged left hooks. As the fight progressed in the coming rounds, Ali began to land uppercut during the inside exchanges. During the fourth round, Ali again stunned and wobbled the legs of Cotto after landing a powerful left hook, followed by a strong right hand. Cotto, stunned and wobbled, managed to finish the round, as the crowd began to chant “ALI! ALI! ALI!”

Cotto, sensing he needed to change the turn of fight, began to pressure Ali, with the intent of knocking out his opponent. Cotto often landed hard left and right hooks to the body of Ali during the fifth and sixth round. However, Ali would trade hooks with Cotto during these exchanges, while also landing a series of “one-two combinations” that would make Cotto fight off his back foot and re-measure the distance at hand.

Ali, who came into the fight as the taller, longer, and younger fighter would countlessly thwart the former champion’s attack with a nullifying lead jab, right hands that landed over the lead jab of Cotto; strong left hooks to the body, and uppercuts that would also stun Cotto and reset his own attack strategy.

As the fight progressed, Ali stepped-up his punch output and began firing shots from all angles. By doing so, the newly crowned WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION took control of the fight and ensured his place as the man to face in his division (s).

Both men, whom are former Olympians, put on a phenomenal display of great boxing skill and technique, from two separate generations of fighting.

Cotto, the six-time world champion, who has won world championships in four different divisions, who also fought in his tenth and final appearance at Madison Square Garden, shared his thoughts on the judges’ decision and his future as he officially retired from the sport.

“I feel feeling good,” Cotto said, “I feel good with my performance.”

“Something happened to my left bicep, during the seventh round but I don’t want to make excuses. Sadam won the fight.”

“This is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home, with my family. Thank you. For the all fans, thank you. I am proud to call Madison Square Garden my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”

Ali, who met with the media and shared his thoughts on defeating a legend in Miguel Cotto, also expressed his future as he furthers his career as defending his WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

“I want to Thank God first and foremost,” Ali said, “I want to thank my coach, my trainer, my team, and thank Team Cotto.”

“I also want to thank my promoter (Oscar De La Hoya/Golden Boy Promotions). I worked hard for this fight. I took advantage of the opportunities that I saw. I made sure to make my punches count. I had him hurt here and there in the first couple of rounds.”

“By the 11th round, I felt the fight was close. I knew I had to do something. I was the better fighter tonight. My speed, distance, and size helped me to win this fight. Good things happen to good people. I have been boxing and training since I was eight years old. I am glad I got this win in my hometown, at Madison Square Garden. Whatever Golden Boy Promotions has next for me I’ll take it.”

In watching/witnessing Miguel Cotto in his final fight as a professional boxer, you truly understand the greatness of which he possesses. His legacy will forever remain within the hearts, mind, and soul of fight fans eternally. He is a truly people’s champion. Not only for boxing, but also for the millions of Puerto Ricans and the country in a whole. Just like any other culture of fighters from a part of the world, Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican Boxing is the cornerstone of boxing. The love of the people and the fighter himself is what make boxing so great. We are all connected, as in an invisible line of thread, and the love and respect for a fighter and their culture is what connects us all.

For Ali, the newly crowned WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION, he has transcended to the upper echelon of both the 154lb and 147lb division. There are many fights that can be made between both divisions for the new champion. What Ali has shown and proven is that he is a skilled, talented fighter with a great team. In fighting his next opponent, expect Ali to continue to change the minds of the naysayers and once again put on a spectacular fight, with the hope of his next showcase taking place live on HBO Boxing, at Madison Square Garden, and promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.