On Saturday, Miguel Cotto fought his last battle at the house that solidified him as a Puerto Rican legend, Madison Square Garden.
His opponent was the young Brooklynite, Sadam "World Kid" Ali, who hailed from the famed camp of Andre Rozier, the mastermind behind the career of Danny "The Miracle Man" Jacobs.
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Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, hurt Cotto twice in the early rounds and used slick defense and solid counterpunching to keep Cotto at bay throughout the 12-round bout.
"I worked hard for it," Ali said. "I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to Thank God, and also thank team Cotto, They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th round, I thought the fight was close. Whatever Golden Boy Promotions has next, I'll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was eight years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown."
Cotto, a six-time, four-division world champion and the fighting pride of Caguas, Puerto Rico confirmed his retirement after the bout.
"I am feeling good with the performance," Cotto said. "Something happened to my left bicep in the seventh round. I don't want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family. Thank you for all the fans. I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport."
Subscribe for updates - http://goo.gl/meA2GB SHOT By Xavier Porter EXCLUSIVE Miguel Cotto AFTER HUGE UPSET LOSS in Locker room with Sadam Ali.radio rahim. SHOT By Xavier Porter EXCLUSIVE Miguel Cotto AFTER HUGE UPSET LOSS in Locker room with Sadam Ali.radio rahim. SHOT By Xavier Porter EXCLUSIVE Miguel Cotto AFTER HUGE UPSET LOSS in Locker room with Sadam Ali.radio rahim.
The one lingering question that has circulated the boxing world is did Cotto damage his legacy by losing his last fight? Cotto lost the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship pretty handily in front of the 12,391 adoring fans with final scores that were 115-113 twice and 116-112.
Although he was his normal self, maintaining the careful balance of a pressure boxer-puncher, Ali was sharper and noticeably taking advantage of Cotto's slight loss in step. Cotto was the presumed winner before the fight even began but as the rounds went on, the young Ali began to prove why he was matched with the legend, gaining the respect of all.
Regardless of the loss, Cotto will still be remembered as a fighter that put it on the line every time he stepped into the squared circle and that is a legacy that can never be tarnished.