By Manuel Perez: Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) will be fighting Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) on December 2 instead of facing Antonio Margarito in a rematch. There was speculation that Margarito might have done enough recently with his win over Carson Jones to earn a third fight against Cotto. Margarito has campaigned hard for the fight, but has come up empty.
I think I speak for a lot of boxing fans when I say Antonio Margarito would have been a far better choice for Cotto to fight on December 2 instead of Sadam Ali. There’s unfinished business between Cotto and Margarito after the second fight they had in 2011. If not for Margarito’s eye swelling up, I think he would have beaten Cotto again. Cotto didn’t prove that he was better than Margarito.
Cotto-Ali fight is now a rock solid done deal for December 2, on HBO World Championship Boxing from Madison Square Garden in New York.
“What can you say about Miguel Cotto that hasn’t already been said during his two decades in boxing?,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “He is a first-ballot hall of famer; a true legend in Puerto Rico, New York and beyond; and a true credit to the sport of boxing. Just like he [Cotto] was given a shot for his world championship, he is now doing the same for Sadam Ali. Who will come out on top? Tune in December 2 to find out.”
Golden Boy attempted to get James Kirkland, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Errol Spence Jr. for the fight with Cotto, but they were unable to do so. It seems that Golden Boy was mainly trying to get welterweights to take the fight with Cotto for some reason. Kirkland is a junior middleweight, and Mikey Garcia a lightweight. Sadam Ali is a welterweight.
This is Cotto’s going away present to the boxing fans with him fighting Ali. It could have been a better fighter, but Golden Boy couldn’t get the other guys to agree to the fight. Middleweight David Lemieux wanted the fight with Cotto, but Golden Boy went in another direction instead in picking Sadam Ali. It was a good decision. At least by picking Ali, Cotto will have a good chance of winning.
If he fought Lemieux, it would be potentially an ugly outcome for Cotto. He would have to spoil to keep from getting hit. When I say spoil, I mean that Cotto would have to move a lot, hold, and shove Lemieux to keep from getting caught by him. Even if Cotto somehow beat Lemieux, he would take heavy criticism from boxing fans. The fans that tune in to watch boxing on HBO want to see compelling fights. Cotto would likely be in the fight or flight mode against Lemieux, and that wouldn’t be a good look for the 36-year-old Puerto Rican star.
“It’s amazing having Miguel Cotto back at The Garden for one last time to finish a brilliant career,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Cotto Promotions. “Memorable fights and a legacy were built in that building. December 2 will be remarkable for Miguel Cotto.”