Saturday, 02 December 2017 18:12

Cotto vs Ali odds: Leonard vs Norris all over again?

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Tonight, four division world champion and boxing legend Miguel Cotto's 17-year professional fight career will come to an end after he faces Brooklynite and former Olympian Sadam Ali

Cotto vs Ali will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the WBO Super Welterweight title will be at-stake.

For over a year, Cotto has insisted that his December 2017 bout would be his last, and he hasn't budged.

As for possible opponents, the list was long. We've heard rumors of Miguel possibly facing Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, David Lemieux, Gennady Golovkin, and Canelo Alvarez in a rematch. But in the end, Team Cotto settled on New Yorker Sadam Ali. And Ali, despite being a solid, crafty, young fighter, is a sizeable underdog against the Puerto Rican star tonight.

Cotto vs Ali odds
Miguel is roughly a 1/10 favorite while Sadam faces 81/10 odds. Hence, a successful $100 bet on Cotto would yield roughly $10 while the same winning bet on Ali would generate $810.

The betting line is quite liberal considering Cotto is an old 34 and Ali is a fresh 29 years old and has won 25 of 26 bouts.That stated, Cotto looked brilliant in his most recent bout against Yoshihiro Kamegai in August and is always immaculately prepared for his assignments.

But fighters in their mid 30s who have a lot of battle scars, like Cotto, have been known to get old overnight. The odds tell us it won't happen to Miguel tonight but Ali is the type of opponent who could surprise the legend.

Remember Leonard vs Norris?
Let's harken back to 1991 when a near 35-year-old Sugar Ray Leonard faced a young, tough 23 year old Terry Norris.

It was supposed to be another win for the SugarMan. He was the star and the betting line 12 to 5 favorite. But the bout wasn't even competitive as Sugar Ray looked nothing like the captivating fighter who had once taken the world by storm.

It was domination from start to finish as Ray was thoroughly beaten - and beaten up - over 12 sad rounds. 

In fact, the Sugar Man, who had been floored in Rounds 2 and 7, took such a battering in Round 10 some believed the bout should have been stopped in or after that round.

Norris floors Leonard - Round 7

Terry, who would go on to win by the scores of 120-104, 116-110 and 119-103, would become a star and subsequently enter the Hall of Fame two decades later.


Cotto vs Ali
Saturday, December 2
Madison Square Garden
New York City

Broadcast: HBO
Betting favorite: Cotto
Broadcast: HBO; 10pm ET/PT

Title: WBO Super Welterweight


And yes, Leonard vs Norris also took place in Madison Square Garden. And yes, also at-stake was a super welterweight title.

Will we see de ja vu tonight?

Unlike Ray who hadn't fought in 14 months, Cotto was in the ring just four months ago, so we should expect his timing, conditioning and accuracy to be on-point. Also, although Sadam Ali is good, he's no Terry Norris...

Is he?

Will Cotto use Ali for his farewell party or will Sadam, like Terry Norris against Leonard, use this fight as an "opportunity" to catapult his career?

We'll find out tonight.

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.