Miguel Cotto will end his boxing career with a fight against Sadam Ali on December 2nd in New York.
In a year filled with high-profile boxers announcing their retirements from the sport, Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto will have his farewell fight take place on December 2nd at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Golden Boy Promotions announced on Wednesday that the current WBO junior middleweight (154 lbs) champion will defend his title against New York’s own Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs). HBO will televise the event at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT.
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring for my final fight at The Garden. I’ve worked really hard my entire career to be at this level,” Cotto said in the official press release. “I am fully concentrated on getting together with Freddie Roach so we can work hard and have a great victory on December 2.”
“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to fight a legend in Madison Square Garden in front of all my fans and on HBO,” said Ali. “My time is now. God willing, I will leave the Garden with the championship belt.”
Ali is a career welterweight whose previous shot at a major title ended in a TKO loss to Jessie Vargas, which is the only stoppage win Vargas has had in the last five years. At best, the 2008 US Olympian can be described as a fringe contender who is currently on a three-fight winning streak. In his last outing against Johan Perez in July, the 29-year-old Ali gave himself a 6/10 performance.
Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yoshihiro Kamegai, capturing the WBO junior middleweight title that was vacated by Canelo Alvarez. He’s won championships in four different weight classes, and has beaten the likes of Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito, Sergio Martinez, and (just because we know you love hearing his name) Paulie Malignaggi. Cotto will turn 37 years old on October 29th, and he’s said for months that he will not continue boxing beyond 2017.
This fight is underwhelming and outside of this being Cotto’s retirement, it’s not captivating whatsoever. Reportedly, Jessie Vargas and Danny Garcia both turned down the chance to face Cotto, as did current 135-pound champion Mikey Garcia, who didn’t want to deal with the headache of locking himself into a deal with a promoter, which led to a bitter dispute with Top Rank.
On the plus side, UFC 218 is also on December 2nd, and that card is looking pretty cool.