HBO Boxing is at Madison Square Garden in New York City this Saturday as they bring us Miguel Cotto vs Sadam Ali for Cotto’s WBO world title at 154 pounds.
The big news here is that Cotto, who is the first fighter of Puerto Rican descent to hold world titles in four different weight classes, has declared this will be his last fight. Cotto has been fighting for 17 years and he has put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career with a record that stands at 41-5. Going out on a winning note is important to Cotto and in Ali, he has found the right dance partner.
Ali, known as “The World Kid,” is from nearby Brooklyn, and with a 25-1 record, he is a credible opponent. The word “credible” says it all, because few boxing heads are giving Ali much of a chance in this one. Ali has operated most of his career in the 147 pound welterweight division, and in his lone world title shot there, he was beaten down by Jessie Vargas. That fight occurred in March of 2016 and to his credit, Ali has put together a three-fight winning streak since then.
Cotto is being criticized in some circles for not taking a bigger risk in his final fight, and there is talk that ticket sales are not doing very well. Nevertheless, Cotto has stated that he has banked enough money in his career that he is financially stable so you can understand his choice to book a likely win for his last outing rather than look for one massive payday. Before this fight was worked out, there was talk Cotto would face Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez, another future hall of famer, but Marquez retired before the fight was signed. From Marquez to Sadam Ali is a big drop off in marquee value.
(NOTE: Miguel Cotto Speaks About His Farewell – Fights Sadam Ali Dec. 2nd if you want to link to an interview where Cotto states that he has made good money)
Look for more odds from this card as we get closer to fight day. The Cottto versus Ali main event is supported by a pair of other world title fights expected on the HBO broadcast. WBC world super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (30-0) defends his belt against the challenge of Oscar Negrete (17-0) and an interim WBO world title at light flyweight is at play between Angel Acosta (16-1) and Juan Alejo (24-4-1)
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York – HBO
Super Welterweight 12 rounds –
Sadam Ali +700
Miguel Cotto -1100