Saddam Ali beats Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision –

Saddam Ali beats Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision


NEW YORK – Miguel Cotto, who started boxing as an 11-year-old to lose weight, said goodbye on Saturday night, closing a glorious 17-year career, but not as expected.

Instead of an easy victory over the great loser Saddam Ali, Cotto was not even close to the best in what he said would be his final fight. Ali won a unanimous decision to take his junior middleweight world title in a big surprise.

Cotto had arrived at his home, Madison Square Garden, where he headed for the tenth time, to say goodbye to the fans who have supported him throughout his career. A mostly Puerto Rican crowd of 12,391 was available on Saturday.

The infallible first member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, however, could not give them what they wanted and lost 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. , ruining what was supposed to be a celebration of Cotto's excellent career, rather than a serious fight. Ali won the last four rounds on all three cards to block the decision.

"I feel good, I feel good about performance," said Cotto. "Something happened to my left biceps, seventh round I do not want to make excuses Saddam won the fight It's my last fight I'm fine, and I want to be happy in my house with my family" [19659002] Cotto would end up going to the hospital after of the fight with a torn tendon in his left biceps.

Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs), 37, the Puerto Rican legend, was an Olympian in 2000. He continued to win six world titles – most recently a vacant 154-pound belt on August 26 against Yoshihiro Kamegai who Cotto was defending for the first time on Saturday – in four weight divisions: junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight. He is the only Puerto Rican who does it, despite the rich history of boxing on the island.

But his story meant little to Ali (26-1, 14 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, a 2008 Olympic athlete who is counted as a Cotto fan.

Ali was gaining weight for the biggest fight of his career. Few gave him many opportunities, because the only other time that Ali climbed clbad, against Jessie Vargas for a vacant welterweight world title in March 2016, Ali was knocked down twice and stopped in the ninth round. fight to the side.

But Ali seemed strong, quick and determined against Cotto, as he reduced Cotto to 8-2 in the Garden and 20-6 in world title fights, many of them among the most memorable in recent boxing history . 19659002] "I worked hard for it." Ali said. "I took this fight, and I made sure to tell it, I want to thank God and also thank Cotto's team, they could have had an easier fight if they wanted to."

According to CompuBox's statistics of hits, Ali hit 139 of 647 hits (21 percent), and Cotto hit 163 of 536 (30 percent). But Ali really became strong in the second half of the fight, after Cotto said he hurt his left biceps in the seventh round.

After Cotto crossed the first round singing "Cotto! Cotto", Ali was surprised by the second round, landing a clean right hand near the area of ​​the Cotto temple that shook him. Moments later, Ali hit a left hook and Cotto appeared to be in trouble, although he recovered quickly.

"I hurt him here or there in the first two rounds, I knew he had to do something or he would have dug," Ali said. "In round 11, I thought the fight was close."

While Cotto doubled and tripled to enter, Ali stood his ground and fired, catching Cotto with surprisingly clean punches during the early rounds. [19659002] In the sixth round, Ali's right eye began to swell by eating a variety of Cotto left hooks. Cotto then hurt Ali with a clean blow to the head and landed several more punches. Ali walked away, smiling, but was wounded by the shots.

Cotto continued to support Ali in the seventh round; Cotto was so satisfied with his job that he told trainer Freddie Roach on the corner that it was his best round of the fight to that point, but his biceps ached.