Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto – Results

By Boxing News - 12/03/2017 - Comments

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results

By Jim Dower: In a surprising upset, 10 WBO fringe contender Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) sent WBO junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) into retirement with a 12 round unanimous decision loss on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. The scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 115-113, all for Ali. Boxing News 24 scored it 116-112 for Ali.

(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)

Cotto was gassed out badly in the second half of the fight, mouth-breathing and looking like an old timer inside the ring.

Cotto complained after the fight about him having torn his left bicep in round 7. From that point on, he couldn’t fight the way he wanted to. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of life for aging fighters. The end result of an old lion like Cotto messing around with a younger fighter like Sadam Ali is a debilitating injury. It goes with the territory. It doesn’t change the results in the record book. Cotto lost. Cotto had things his way during his career against injured fighters like Sergio Martinez and Yuri Foreman. Now the coin has flipped and it’s Cotto’s turn to be injured. The injury to Cotto’s left bicep doesn’t explain away why he was mouth breathing and looking so tired. That was age that did that. Age and inactivity. When you don’t fight very often, this is what happens to you. Cotto didn’t fight from 2015 to 2017. When he came back from a 2-year layoff, Cotto was allowed to fight journeyman Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title. If the WBO had insisted that Cotto fight someone like Julian Williams, we probably would have seen Cotto’s career end last August instead of tonight. Williams would have likely done a number on Cotto.

Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance,” said Cotto after the fight. “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. Thank you for all the fans, I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport,” said Cotto.

Cotto, 37, looked his age in the fight, with his eyes and face swollen from Ali’s punches. Cotto gassed out after the 7th round, and appeared to lose rounds 8, 9, 10 and 11 before coming back to win round 12. Ali probably would have won the 12th as well if he hadn’t been celebrating his victory early.

Ali danced around too much in round 12, and let Cotto win the round by default. It would have been better for Ali not to take chances and continue to wear down Cotto. Ali probably could have gotten a knockout of Cotto if he had pressed the action.

In hindsight, Cotto should have picked his opponent from the 140 lb. division tonight instead of selecting from the 147 lb. division in hand-picking Sadam Ali. Someone like Adrien Broner would have been perfect for the ring rusty Cotto to beat.

Cotto looked his age tonight. The way that Ali was wearing Cotto down was exactly how Antonio Margarito did it 9 years ago. The difference was Ali wasn’t willing to go all out for the knockout the way that Margarito did.

Cotto was hurt several times in the fight, and he looked on the verge of being stopped a number of occasions. Ali doesn’t have the killer instinct.

If Cotto was going to pick someone from the welterweight division, he should have opted for a well-respected fighter like Errol Spence Jr. for his final fight. At least by fighting someone that is considered a good fighter, he would save himself from being criticized. If Cotto had taken on someone like Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin or Jermell Charlo, it wouldn’t be a big deal that he lost to those guys. Losing to Ali made Cotto look bad.

With the victory tonight, Sadam Ali is the new WBO junior middleweight champion. He’s a very unlikely fighter to be holding down a world title at 154. It’ll be interesting to see if Ali vacates the WBO belt or defends it against WBO mandatory challenger Liam Smith. That would be a tough fight for Ali, as Smith is bigger and stronger than him. Ali would need to use more of his boxing skills to beat a fighter of Smith’s caliber. It’s likely Smith’s promoter will attempt to get the fight to be staged in the UK, where Ali will have a tough time potentially winning a decision.

Ali needs to stay far away from the likes Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Those guys are bad news for Ali. It’s unlikely that Ali will vacate his WBO 154lb. title, as this might be the only time in his career that he’ll ever be a world champion. If Ali moves back down to 147, he would be facing a daunting task of trying to capture a world title beating guys like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. or Jeff Horn.

The ball is now in Cotto’s court to decide if he can live with this loss or not. Given that it was a such a mediocre fighter Cotto lost to in Sadam Ali, it wouldn’t be surprising if his pride eats away at him to the point where he absolutely is forced to make a comeback to try and avenge his loss to Ali. if that’s a fight that Cotto absolutely has to take, he better speak up soon and let Ali and Golden Boy Promotions know that he wants the rematch, because Liam Smith will be looking to press the World Boxing Organization to get his mandatory title shot against Ali.

“I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds,” said Ali. “I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th, I thought the fight was close. Whatever GBP has next, I’ll take it.”

The injury to Cotto’s left bicep has me wondering whether it was a preexisting injury or not. Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach spoke on Friday that he wanted him to use his right hand more in this fight. Roach mentioned repeatedly that he wanted Cotto to use his right hand, and he even predicted that he would win the fight by knockout with a right hand to the head. The fact that Roach was saying he wanted Cotto to use his right hand could mean that he possibly had an injury. I’m guessing here, but it seems suspicious that Roach would talk so much about wanting Cotto to use his right hand instead of his left for the Ali fight. Why would Roach say that? I’d hate the idea of Cotto taking the Ali fight with an injury to his left biceps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. Cotto was nowhere near the same fighter tonight that he was in his previous fight against Yoshihiro Kamegai. Cotto started badly immediately against Ali, giving away rounds right off the bat. Things got worse as the fight wore on with Ali pounding Cotto like a drum. Was Cotto injured from the moment the fight started? I guess we’ll never know for sure.

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results

Image: Sadam Ali defeats Miguel Cotto - Results