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Roy Jones Jr. not surprised by Cotto’s loss to Ali

Image: Roy Jones Jr. not surprised by Cotto's loss to Ali

By Stanley White: HBO commentator and former world champion Roy Jones Jr. says he wasn’t surprised by Miguel Cotto getting beaten by Sadam Ali last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Jones Jr. says once Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) suffered a torn left biceps injury in round 7, it was “fate” that he would lose to the 29-year-old Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) in their fight on HBO Boxing.

Jones Jr. notes that Sadam Ali was a 2008 U.S Olympian, which meant that he had the credentials and talent to defeat Cotto. Both fighters were Olympians, Jones says, and in a match like that, anything is possible.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said Jones Jr. to Fighthub about Cotto losing to Sadam Ali. “You got Miguel Cotto, an Olympian, fighting another Olympian in Sadam Ali. When 2 Olympians lock up, anything can happen. Cotto tore his bicep on his left hook, which is his best punch. I knew coming in he’d probably need to knockout Sadam Ali out to win, because Sadam Ali is the young lion. When the bicep gave out, it was fate,” said Jones Jr.

Jones Jr. is correct about it being fate for Cotto to lose the fight once he blew out his left biceps. You don’t want to take credit away from what Sadam Ali brought to the fight, but once Cotto lost his main weapon with his left hook being out of commission due to the injury, he wasn’t going to win that fight. The only way Cotto would have won at that point was if Ali failed to fight aggressively enough to take advantage of the injury. Ali fought well, attacking Cotto constantly in the championship rounds to take command of the fight and cruise to victory.

Cotto was hurt a number of times in the fight by the fast punches from Ali. The speed of Ali’s punches is what seemed to bother Cotto more than the power. Cotto was getting caught frequently by shots that he didn’t see coming at him. Those punches did damage. Ali could have looked to finish Cotto off when he had him hurt, but he said he didn’t want to take chances and get caught by one of Cotto’s powerful left hooks. Ali said he didn’t realize that Cotto had injured his left biceps. Obviously, if Ali had known that, he would have pushed for the knockout.

”You can’t really put pressure on him to try and knock Sadam Ali out if you hurt him [due to the biceps injury],” said Jones Jr. ”Cotto is probably going to be a Hall of Famer, but you’re still fighting a fellow Olympian. Olympians aren’t just regular fighters. They’re the best at the time for your country for that weight class,” said Jones.

Ali was too good for Cotto to get reckless with him last Saturday night. When Cotto did fight in a sloppy manner, he was staggered in rounds 2 and 4 by Ali’s fast punches. The timing for the biceps injury came at the worst possible time for Cotto in round 7. Cotto needed to be at 100 percent for the final 6 rounds of the fight, and he couldn’t do that due to the injury. If not for the injury, we’ll never know for sure if Cotto would have continued to control the fight. What do we do know is Cotto was the better fighter of the two up until the injury in round 7.

This was a good showcase for Ali displaying his boxing skills to the world. A lot of fans likely tuned in last Saturday night to watch Cotto’s celebration fight before he retires. What the boxing fans got to see was a very good fighter in Ali getting the better of Cotto.

Jones Jr. thinks it’s a BAD idea for Sadam Ali to vacate the WBO junior middleweight title to move back down to the 147lb. division. Jones Jr. says that if Ali gives up his WBO title to move back down to welterweight, he’s not going to be a world champion right away. He’s still going to need to wait for a shot at a world title against one of the champions. When Ali finally does get a world title shot, he’ll need to accept a 75/25 split of the revenue with him getting the smaller money. If Ali keeps his WBO 154lb. title, then he gets to get the bigger share of the money against his challenger for his new title. It makes sense to Jones Jr. for Ali to hold onto his title to try and keep it for as long as he can.

“Why would you vacate a world title?” said Jones when asked if Ali should vacate his WBO 154lb. title. “You’d be an idiot if you move back down to welterweight. You’re not going to be world champion right now. You’ve got to struggle to get that title shot. If you get that title shot, the champion gets 75 percent, and you get 25 percent. You take 25 percent against somebody that’s not equal to Miguel Cotto, because you gave up your world title. No, you don’t,” said Jones Jr.

Ali might be able to keep his WBO title long enough for him to make some good money. If Ali can defend it 2 or 3 times, it would give him some good paydays before he eventually loses the belt to someone. There’s no telling what will happen to Ali if he moves back down to 147. He could wait for a considerable amount of time before he’s given a world title shot.

The way Ali fought last night, he probably should have moved up to the 154lb division a long time ago. He’s clearly better in that weight class than he was when he was fighting at 147.

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