The 37 year old Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) has seen better years, but the aging veteran who promised to retire after his December bought against Sadam Ali wants to go out with a bang and put on an impressive win against a younger unsafe opponent.
Instead of an easy win over big underdog Sadam Ali, Cotto was nowhere near his best in what he said would be his final fight. Ali beat him and took his WBO junior middleweight belt. Unlike another Puerto Rican of much accomplishment, Hector "Macho" Camacho, who strutted and bragged his way through life in a continuous crusade for attention, Cotto smiled infrequently, mirroring his intense approach to his craft, and always parsed his words as if they needed to meet rationing restrictions.
Miguel Cotto stepped into the ring late Saturday night and the crowd of 12,391 was on its feet at Madison Square Garden, showering the world's most famous boxing stage with high-decibel noise.
"Feeling good with the performance", Cotto said. "Something happened to my left bicep..."
"I have done everything in my career that I wanted to do".
The former four-division champion came back to buzz Ali in the sixth round, and won the seventh and eighth rounds on all three scorecards. It is my last fight.
Cotto would end up going to the hospital after the fight with a torn tendon in his left biceps. He is the only Puerto Rican man to do so, despite the island's rich boxing history.
"He is the biggest opponent in my career, and I'm also moving up to another weight class".
It was Cotto's 10th fight at the famed Manhattan arena.
"I worked hard for it", the 29-year-old Ali said. 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.
In the second round, Ali appeared to stagger Cotto momentarily with an overhand right.
"I have the humility to say that I made my share of mistakes", Vargas said, "but I feel that Negrete fought very dirty and was not a very good boxer".
Cotto finished a sure Hall of Fame career at 41-6 with 33 KOs.
According to CompuBox punch statistics, Ali landed 139 of 647 punches (21 percent), and Cotto connected with 163 of 536 (30 percent).
Others, Ali suspects, still won't respect his upset victory over Miguel Cotto on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
After Cotto cruised through the first round to chants of "Cotto!" Moments later, Ali connected with a left hook and Cotto looked like he was in a bit of trouble, though he quickly recovered.
"I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds", Ali said.
"I dare to be great, like Oscar De La Hoya says".
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