On Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Sadam Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career as he upset Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) via unanimous decision in Cotto’s final fight of his 17-year career. To become the new WBO junior middleweight champion of the world.
Judges Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld scored the fight 115-113, and judge Mark Marlinski scored the fight 116-112.
We here at Elite Sports NY scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Cotto.
Final punch stats show Cotto landing 163 of 536 punches (30%) and Ali landing 139 of 647 punches (21%).
Most of the 12,391 fans in attendance were pro-Cotto and paid him homepage by chanting his name when the fighters were announced, and throughout the fight.
Watch exclusive highlights from Sadam Ali's unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto on Saturday night from MSG. #CottoAli #TheLastOne @RealMiguelCotto @realworldkidali @GoldenBoyBoxing @TheGarden pic.twitter.com/zDGzfDWtId
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) December 3, 2017
Losing a close fight wasn’t the way the future Hall of Famer Cotto wanted to end his glorious career, but he has nothing to be ashamed of especially after it was revealed after the fight that he tore his left bicep. Cotto talked about the injury in the ring shortly the scorecards were announced.
“Feeling good, feeling good with the performance,” Cotto said. “Something happened to my left bicep, 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.”
Few gave Ali a chance winning since he was moving up in weight to face the hard-punching Cotto after just being stopped by Jessie Vargas at welterweight in March 2016.
But Ali showed that he had the chin to take Cotto’s punches and actually hurt Cotto with his power in rounds two and four with his straight right hands and left uppercuts.
After the fight, Ali talked about making the most of his opportunity.
“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 to.”
The 29-year-old Ali who is from Brooklyn, NY, now has many options open to him. He can stay at junior middleweight and defend his title in the spring, or look to avenge his only loss and go back down to welterweight and have a rematch with Vargas.
For the 37-year-old Cotto who is the only Puerto Rican fighter to win titles in four different weight classes, he can look back relish the fact that he was one of the best and most respected boxers of his era, and that he had an extraordinary career.