Victory for Ali over Cotto was a case of second time lucky in world title fights after previously challenging for world honours at welterweight.
Cotto had won four titles in four different weight categories, but struggled against the quick hands of 29-year-old Ali. You know, because 'he's on his way out, he's old.' They're gonna say, 'Oh, he didn't look as good as he usually would.' I'm expecting that, but that's not gonna bother me.
This was not the way Miguel Cotto's legendary career was supposed to end.
Taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden, for what will be the 10th time Cotto has fought there, the Puerto Rican superstar has been reflecting on his glorious career and promised one last big performance before hanging up the gloves.
Judges scored the fight 115-113, 115-113, 116-112 in favour of 29-year-old Ali, who is from NY.
"I am going to be a warrior and do my best for the benefit of my family, as always", he said. I don't want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. Miguel made the MSG his second home with many of his world title fights at the venue. I want to thank God and also thank Team Cotto. Ali turned in strong rounds in the ninth, 10th and 11th, looking more aggressive and fresher than Cotto.
Ali's hand speed proved troublesome for Cotto.
Sadam Ali, the new WBA title holder, had this to say about his illustrious opponent. Sure, Ali was in a competitive fight with a legend of the sport, but Ali fought like the clear ring general pretty much all night long thanks to his impressive mobility, fresher legs, and inventive, more fluid punching.
In the sixth, Ali got knocked back by a Cotto right to the jaw.
Cotto had received a thunderous ovation when he entered the ring, and they were chanting his name as he left, proud but defeated.
"We are getting a chance at that, and we'll see how good he really is". "I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown". Sadam Ali didn't read that particular script however, claiming an tight unanimous points verdict after the fight went the championship distance.
Unless Cotto yields to some unforeseen urge to withdraw his pledge to stay retired, his legacy shall forever remain beyond reproach or cause for sympathetic tsk-tsks. The Mexican champion improved to 31-0, while Negrete, of Colombia, lost for the first time in 18 bouts. He fought gamely, trying his best to apply pressure and bore his way in with compact power shots, and did make this a competitive farewell encounter, even rocking Ali with a straight right in the 6th.
"It's taken me five years to get here, and I'm cherishing this moment for me and for Puerto Rico", said Acosta.
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