Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto has engaged in numerous classic fights and been one of the best fighters of his generation, a Hall of Famer in waiting and a true star in sport that could use a whole lot more of them.
When Cotto heads to the ring on Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) for his 10th main event at Madison Square Garden in New York, however, it will not be for a fight for which there are high expectations. Rather, it is, at least on paper, a celebratory event: Cotto says this will be his farewell fight as he gets set to end a glorious 17-year career in which he has won six world titles and became the first Puerto Rican man to win belts in four weight divisions (junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight).
Cotto has fought some of the biggest names in the sport during his career, faltering against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather but taking down others such as Shane Mosley and Sergio Martinez. A fan favorite due to his willingness to take on boxing’s best and his entertaining style, Cotto will go down as one of the more respected fighters of the past couple of decades.
Cotto vs. Ali Fight Info
When: Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Square Garden in New York City
TV: HBO, BoxNation (UK, subscription required)
Live Stream: BoxNation (UK, subscription required)
Sadam Ali, 29, is not a well-known fighter, but his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions are hoping to help him make a name for himself by giving him this fight. It’s a great opportunity for Ali, but he’s going to need to show some talent and get Cotto’s respect early on. If Ali can’t make Cotto wary of his shots, he’s going to run him over like a freight train.
Cotto-Ali has gotten the attention from the boxing media due to the heavy promotion about it being the last fight of Cotto’s career. But other than that, it’s a fight that has not attracted a lot of talk. The Cotto vs. Ali fight is viewed as a mismatch, and a going away present for Cotto to make sure he doesn’t lose the fight.
HBO agreed to televise the Cotto-Ali fight, even though it’s a poor match-up on paper. For anyone that saw how EASILY Jessie Vargas beat Sadam Ali last year, they have to be more than a little disturbed by Cotto picking Ali as his last opponent of his career. It’s more of a fight that you would expect to see on an undercard on free television rather than in a main event on HBO. The network is giving Cotto a gift by televising his glorified mismatch against Ali after they televised his previous mismatch against Yoshihiro Kamegai last August. Ali is just as over-matched as Kamegai was.