Cotto vs Ali

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Miguel Cotto

For a long, long time, Miguel Cotto has been one of my most loved warriors. All things considered, I don’t choose not to see to the reactions one can require against his record, especially after his whipping on account of Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Wins: Yuri Foreman, old Ricardo Mayorga, one-looked at Antonio Margarito, Delvin Rodriguez, one-legged Sergio Martinez, Daniel Geale, Yoshihiro Kamegai

Misfortunes: Floyd Mayweather, Austin Trout, Canelo Alvarez

He gave Mayweather a good fight, better than the vast majority of Mayweather opponents who weren’t being carried to presentability in order to not suffer a fan revolt over a $100 pay-per-view. He gave Canelo a terrific fight, a lot of people argued he should have gotten the nod. And Trout, a good fighter, just wound up a stylistic matchup nightmare for Cotto.

Good for Cotto, though, that Sadam Ali on paper belongs to that “wins” group far more than the “losses” group.

Look, this is being billed as a farewell fight. Miguel Cotto is 37, he’s won world titles in four weight classes over his career, and he’s not looking to go out with a loss, or perhaps even a particularly difficult night. He’s been through the wars. He’s put in his time. He’s given a lot to boxing.  He wants to say goodbye at Madison Square Garden, which has been a professional home for him since his first fight in the building back in 2005, when he beat Muhammadqodir Abdullaev in a WBO 140-pound title defense.

I’ve greatly enjoyed Miguel Cotto’s career and he’ll always be one of my personal favorite fighters. He’s been involved in some of my favorite nights over the last 11 years running this web site. Cotto vs Ali

But I cannot say that I have any real anticipation for this fight, no.

Sadam Ali

“World Kid” Ali is a guy who was once seen as an intriguing prospect, but that bubble was burst — hard — when he stepped up in competition in March 2016 against Jessie Vargas.

Vargas isn’t a big puncher. Vargas isn’t a “dominating” sort of fighter. Vargas beat Ali up, dropping him twice en route to a ninth round stoppage.

It wasn’t like there were never signs of trouble, though. Ali was dropped in the first round of a 2013 fight against Jay Krupp. He’d struggled a fair bit in a split decision win over Jeremy Bryan in 2014.  Cotto vs Ali Wins over Luis Carlos Abregu and Francisco “Chia” Santana in 2014-15 were stronger performances, but Vargas was too much for him.

And what’s Ali done since then? Three straight wins, over Saul Corral, Jorge Silva, and Johan Perez.

Does Sadam Ali “deserve” this fight with Miguel Cotto? Well, no. Not if you’re trying to make logical sense of things. Cotto holds a 154-pound title. Ali, for one thing, is not a true world title contender, having done nothing that suggests he is, and for another thing, he’s never even fought at 154 pounds. (OK, once, in 2010.)

But boxing is boxing, as you all know, and title shots and big fights go to the “undeserving” all the time. The best we can hope is that Sadam Ali can make a fight of it, that he can show the talent he was once hyped to possess, that he can at least give Cotto a legitimate challenge. That’s the hope for fans, anyway. Cotto vs Ali

Cotto vs Ali

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