On December 2, four-division and six-time world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) enters the ring for the final time to defend his WBO World Junior Middleweight title in a 12-round battle against Sadam “World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs).
The action will take place at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 pm, EST/PST.
Cotto will make his 24th appearance on the network and his 10th showcase at MSG.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Cotto vs. Ali and let us know who you think will win.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions – 2017
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Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer
As I believe most will say, unless something catastrophic happens, Miguel Cotto will end his career on a dominant win, most likely via decision.
As evidenced by his career, Cotto is far more accomplished as a fighter, and boasts a greater skill set when compared to Sadam Ali–who has never fought at the level Cotto has. Even at 37, I still think he defeats Ali comprehensively.
Ali’s stick and move style may cause Cotto some issues in the early rounds, but once he closes the distance and starts landing his signature hooks, for instance, it is Cotto’s fight to lose, for me.
Furthermore, Ali is going up in weight, and has already shown fragility at 147 by losing badly to Jessie Vargas, meaning a stoppage cannot be ruled out. Once it gets tough in there, Ali may yield, and Cotto could conclude his fantastic career with a stoppage win.
Andrew Kang/Staff Writer
He’s billed as a rising star for this fight, but I do not see much in Sadam Ali to suggest he could pull off the upset and spoil Miguel Cotto’s farewell party.
Cotto, even as he is in the twilight of his illustrious career, will close it on a victorious note.
He has too much experience, skill and that fabled left hook to be more than a sitting duck for the great Cotto.
R.L. Woodson, Staff Writer
Boxing and farewells… I’m not sure the concept of a farewell truly lends itself to the sport. Ideally, fans would like every fight to be (or appear so) a 50-50 contest. So, facing an opponent that could potentially knockout the fighter exiting the game permanently, isn’t exactly an example of “good wishes” on the way out for a warrior.
Sadam Ali rebounded from a ninth-round TKO loss in March 2016 by Jessie Vargas, in a bid for the WBO’s vacant Welterweight title, by earning three straight wins. None of those wins were against a full-fledged Super Welterweight, he’s ranked in the division’s top 10 by the WBO, but he was dropped by single punches in the fight against Vargas. Referee Kenny Chevalier’s stoppage in that title fight might’ve come a little quick for some observers.
In short, I don’t see Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian with a solid professional record, ruining Cotto’s first night of retirement. Cotto soundly defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai back in August, and should be able to put forth a similar punch output at a month and a few days after his 38th birthday.
Since boxing fans couldn’t see Cotto face Jermell Charlo, the Canelo Alvarez–Gennady Golovkin winner, or potentially intriguing matchups with fighters coming up from lower divisions in Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence Jr; maybe Puerto Rico’s only four-division champion will press to stop Ali somewhere in the final 1/3 of the bout.
I don’t think the younger Ali has the game to win seven out of 12 rounds, so Cotto walks away a champion. Which, he would’ve done win or lose.
Mike Burnell, Staff Writer
Miguel Cotto brings a close (allegedly) to a stellar, Hall of Fame career this Saturday against once defeated Sadam Ali.
The fight will take place in Cotto’s home away from home, Madison Square Garden, in front of what promises to be an absolutely rabid crowd, anxious to cheer their hero to a final victory.
Ali’s sole defeat came at the hands of former world champion Jessie Vargas in March of last year. Ali was dropped twice and vastly outclassed on his way to a ninth-round stoppage defeat.
Expect an excellent night of boxing with an electric atmosphere that will be to the benefit of the undercard as well.
The fight itself will be a footnote to the evening as Cotto dominates and stops his foe in Round 5.
Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer
Marking an end to over a sixteen year hall of fame career, Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) is looking to close with an impressive performance against Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs). Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is looking to continue his three fight win streak after suffering a tough knockout loss to Jesse Vargas in March of 2016.
Ali has a significant height and reach advantage and arguably a speed advantage over Cotto. Given Cotto’s Middleweight history, I would be hard-pressed to say Ali is the “Bigger Man.”
I expect the fight to be competitive with Ali winning some rounds on the scorecards. I think given Ali’s reach and speed Cotto will have to work to get inside and find his distance to be most effective.
Cotto’s power and ability to time Ali will be the factor as his will slowly break him down. I can see Cotto scoring a late round knockdown and cruise on to a unanimous decision win.
Ty Paul, Staff Writer
Miguel Cotto’s farewell fight this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City is a swan song. The current WBO Jr. Middleweight belt holder is facing Sadam Ali, who is not only moving up a weight class to face the future hall of famer, he’s getting a title shot. Many people were surprised when the fight was announced.
Nothing against Ali, but it does seem he came across the golden ticket and a career payday, which many don’t honestly think he deserved. Ali, who has looked pretty pedestrian since he was sparked by Jessie Vargas in the 9th round for the vacant WBO Welterweight title back in March of 2016.
What I’m getting at is this is a mismatch. It’s not Sadam Ali’s fault. He took the fight when other higher profile fighters had passed. It’s a swan song for Cotto. Nothing more. He’ll defend his WBO Jr. Middleweight strap for the first time with a knockout in the late rounds. Hats off to Miguel Cotto on a great career.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Miguel Cotto has earned the right to choose his last opponent. He’s setting himself up nicely for a farewell KO victory at Madison Square Garden.
Sadam Ali is good, but not good enough to withstand the pressure and power that Cotto will bring. I like Cotto by mid-to-late-round stoppage.
Salute to Miguel Cotto, a legend who gave us so many fond memories. Farewell!