Jermell Charlo: If I could replace Sadam Ali for Cotto fight, I would

By Boxing News - 10/16/2017 - Comments

Image: Jermell Charlo: If I could replace Sadam Ali for Cotto fight, I would

By Dan Ambrose: Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) says he would replace welterweight Sadam Ali for his fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto on December 2 if he could. Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) says he would make Cotto’s final fight of his career worthy.

If Charlo could take Cotto’s scalp and send him into retirement on December 2, it would be a huge boost to his fledgling career. That’s the one thing that is missing from Charlo’s resume. He doesn’t have a name fighter like Cotto. The boxing fans would much prefer to see Cotto face Jermell Charlo than Sadam Ali. That would be a real fight. Cotto-Ali is a head shaker. It’s like Billy Joe Saunders calling out Amir Khan. You have to wonder what was going through Cotto’s mind when he made the decision to fight Sadam Ali instead of someone like Charlo.

If Cotto wasn’t a world champion and defending his WBO junior middleweight title in his final fight of his career on December 2, then it wouldn’t be so bad that he’s fighting a fringe welterweight contender like Sadam Ali. But for Cotto to making a title defense of the WBO belt against Sadam Ali, it almost taints the title in my opinion.

I’m surprised the World Boxing Organization is even sanctioning the Cotto-Ali fight, as Ali isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the WBO at 147 or 154. Why would the WBO let Cotto fight a guy that isn’t rated by their organization? If Cotto fought Charlo, it would be a unification fight on HBO, and a lot of boxing fans would love to see that match-up. It would be a great way for Cotto to end his career on a high note, even if he winds up getting knocked cold.

Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) surprised a lot of boxing fans recently by choosing Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) from the welterweight ranks instead of a top 154 lb. fighter like Jermell Charlo. Cotto will be retiring after he defends his WBO junior middleweight title against Sadam on December 2 on HBO Championship Boxing at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Cotto might not like the idea of ending his career fighting Jermell Charlo. It could be a bad ending to his career. With the way Charlo is punching now, he might put Cotto on the canvas for a long time. Charlo has knocked out his last 4 opponents. 3 of the knockouts were KOs in which his opponent was hurt. Never the less, if Cotto wanted to go out as a hero to his boxing fans, Charlo would be the perfect replacement for Sadam Ali.

If there was a way for Cotto to be brave and replace Ali, Charlo would be the guy to face on December 2. Cotto vs. Ali could be a really dull fight, as Ali is mostly just technician and not a puncher. Ali doesn’t have the size, power or the chin to make it a tough fight for Cotto. Charlo is a different story. He’s got the power and the size to force Cotto to fight at his best if he doesn’t want to get knocked out by him.

Whatever happens in a fight between Cotto and Charlo, you’d have to give the former 4 division world champion Cotto credit for taking the fight. Cotto wouldn’t be facing injured and old 40-yer-old Sergio Martinez at a catch-weight like he did in 2014 to win the WBC middleweight title. That fight was an abomination the way Cotto picked out an old and injured Sergio Martinez to fight for his WBC title, and then had a catch-weight as part of the fight. Cotto should have fought the best middleweight champion in Gennady Golovkin instead of picking the vulnerable one in Martinez.

Charlo just finished destroying his WBC mandatory challenger Sebastian “The Hammer” Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs) last Saturday night in a fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight was shown on Showtime Championship Boxing. Charlo landed a right hand to the jaw of Lubin that knocked him senseless in putting him on the canvas. There was no point in referee Harvey Dock even beginning a count, as Lubin was not going to be able to beat the count in the condition he was in.

Cotto has chosen a weak way of ending his career by selecting Sadam Ali to fight instead of someone that could give him a real test like Jermell Charlo. The pool that Cotto was working with for his December 2nd fight was all over the place. These are the fighters that were being considered for Cotto:

• Mikey Garcia

• Sadam Ali

• Danny Garcia

• Errol Spence Jr.

• David Lemieux

• Lamont Peterson

Spence reportedly turned down the fight with Cotto because his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions wanted options on him. It was the same with Mikey Garcia. It’s unclear why some of the others rejected the fight. Lemieux was ruled out for the fight for whatever reason. It was going to be tough due to him fighting in the middleweight division Lemieux wouldn’t have been able to boil down to 154 to fight Cotto at his weight. Even if he could, it’s unlikely that he would get the fight.

Lemieux was nothing like Cotto’s other opponents on the list of options for his December 2 fight. Lemieux is also very different from Cotto’s last opponent Yoshihiro Kamegai, who he beat by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO 154lb title on August 26. That was an ugly fight due it being such a mismatch.

Kamegai didn’t rate to be fighing for a world title against Cotto, and yet the fight took place and HBO televised it. Cotto vs. Sadam Ali is perhaps even worse than the Cotto-Kamegai fight, because Ali doesn’t have the chin to take punishment. Jessie Vargas looked like a knockout artist against Sadam Ali. Vargas isn’t known for his power, but he was still able to drop Ali in the 8th and 9th rounds.