Miguel Cotto Set to Retire, Boxing to Say Goodbye to Another Legend
Boxing champion Miguel Cotto will retire after his final fight this Saturday.
Updated: Nov. 30, 2017 • 7:20 AM ET
Miguel Cotto will retire after his upcoming bout on Saturday.
One of the greatest fighters of a generation will have his swan song on Saturday in an arena he can call a second home. Boxer Miguel Cotto will defend his WBO junior middleweight title this weekend and win or lose, he’ll retire after the fight.
Cotto (41-5), a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer, will defend against 29-year-old Sadam Ali (25-1) at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be Cotto’s 10th time featured as a main event at the legendary arena, where he has an 8-1 record.
Cotto is easily one of the most accomplished boxers of Puerto Rican descent. He turned pro after competing in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and went on a historic rampage in the ring. He has won six world titles and was the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four weight classes (junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight).
The champion has existed in a generation of fighters that have earned big bucks by using their mouths just as much as their fists. Nevertheless, Cotto has never been flashy outside of the ring, nor embraced the idea of being a media darling. He used his all-business, do-or-die approach to win the respect of boxing fans everywhere, and he has never been accused of ducking a fighter, always taking the most difficult fight at the most difficult time.
It’s difficult to remember a Cotto fight that didn’t include some sort of drama that satisfied fans’ desires. Even when losing in a fight, he was never out of it and gave his best effort to pull off a dramatic victory.
Cotto has faced a murderer’s row during his generation, including Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Antonio Margarito, Paulie Malignaggi, Joshua Clottey, Zab Judah, Ricardo Mayorga, DeMarcus Corley and many others. However, Saturday’s fight could be a one-sided affair in favor of Cotto, as Ali has never faced anyone with punching power comparable to the champion’s.
Ali was knocked out by Jessie Vargas in the ninth round for the vacant WBO welterweight title last March. Vargas, who wasn’t known for having overwhelming knockout power, made it look easy against Ali. Meanwhile, Cotto brings more than enough power to make it a short night for Ali.
Regardless of the opponent, Cotto’s legacy is secure. Many names were rumored to be Cotto’s desired final fight, such as Gennady Golovkin, David Lemieux or a rematch with Alvarez. Despite not getting a marquee name or a highly-ranked fighter, Cotto will still face a man who’s hungry for a big win against a big name.
A win against a legend would ultimately avenge Ali’s bad and only loss, which has haunted him for the past year. Ali will need to be more aggressive and lay it all on the line if he wants a victory against a more skilled and dynamic fighter.
On Saturday, the legend will undoubtedly give it his all one last time for the fans in Madison Square Garden and across the world.