Miguel Cotto vs Sadam Ali: Why we got hereWritten by Joseph Herron
On December 2, 2017, four division world champion and boxing icon Miguel Cotto's 17 year professional fight career won't go out with a bang, but with a whimper, as he tangles with Brooklynite and former Olympian Sadam Ali at the world renowned Madison Square Garden.
The news comes as a bit of a letdown to most devoted boxing fans who were hoping to see the famed Puerto Rican native take on hard-punching Canadian David Lemieux. Although Ali is a crafty, young fighter with a lot of promise, and should be able to sell a good amount of tickets in his native "hamlet", the scheduled twelve round scrap for Cotto's Junior Middleweight trinket leaves much to be desired to those who are inspired by seemingly outdated concepts like bravery, courage, and audacity...the three primary factors that commonly draw fans to the sport.
This is a business decision, and nothing more.
So are fight fans who remain begrudgingly loyal to the now fringe American pastime justified in feeling disgruntled or sore about the decision to face Ali in what appears to be the almost 37 year old's curtain call?
Not at all.
The badass from Caguas has built his first ballot Hall of Fame legacy by taking on the biggest names in boxing and not turning down assignments while competing under the guidance of HOF promoter Bob Arum and HOF matchmaker Bruce Trampler.
Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Shane Mosley, Canelo Alvarez, Maravilla Martinez, Zab Super Judah, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, etc...Cotto's resume is a virtual who's who among mainstream recognizable fighters over the last 10 years and reads better than any active combatant outside of the semi-retired Manny Pacquiao.
December 2 will be recognized as a well deserved victory-lap for the Caguas warrior and should be observed as such; especially when one considers how truly dangerous the sweet science can be, as well as the great action and entertainment Cotto has provided every blood-thirsty boxing observer over the past two decades.
Fight fans would be wise to examine once Heavyweight hopeful Magomed Abdusalamov's last professional outing, which coincidentally took place at the famed Mecca of Boxing almost four years ago, before choosing to cast aspersions towards one of boxing's favorite fighters. The courageous, Russian southpaw was battered into retirement by Cuban national Mike Perez on November 2, 2013, in what was supposed to be Mago's coming out party on HBO Boxing. Unfortunately for Mago and his promoter, New York native Lou DiBella, everything went terribly wrong on that fateful evening.
Although the gallant Heavyweight tragically reached the final bell of the scheduled ten round affair, Abdusalamov was subsequently placed into an induced coma to try and reduce swelling of his brain caused by all of the punishment he took over the course of ten grueling rounds of action...all in the name of sports entertainment and a meager $40K purse. The now 36 year old warrior consequently suffered multiple strokes and was hospitalized for more than 10 months, including in-patient rehabilitation.
Last month, the gentle giant was finally awarded $22 million from the state of New York for all of the residual damage he received that night at MSG, but is forced to live with permanent paralysis and severe brain damage.
So every fight fan who elects to criticize this "business" decision of Miguel Cotto should ask themselves, "what more does the future Hall of Famer have to prove within the sport of boxing?"
Absolutely nothing to anyone.
Real fans of the fighter and the sport will enjoy seeing an all-action warrior like Junito go out on his terms come December 2, while the fickle and perpetually whiny assortment can always choose not to tune in.