On Saturday night, December 2, 2017, one of the very best boxers of his era will enter the squared circle for the last time.
Although he has, at times, come up short against truly elite talent, Miguel Cotto’s 41-5 professional record speaks for itself. 33 of those victories have come by way of knockout and he owns notable wins over the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosely and Antonio Margarito.
Currently, the Puerto Rican holds the WBO Light Middleweight title. In addition to that, he’s held six world championships in four different weight classes.
In his next fight, which will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and be broadcast live on HBO, Cotto will take on Sadam Ali, a man many, including this writer, feel he’ll beat rather handily.
That’s not to take anything away from Ali, however. The 29-year-old is a former Olympian and a legitimate Welterweight challenger, possessing an impressive professional record of 25-1 with 14 knockouts.
As far as his skills go, Ali uses great head movement and has quick hand speed. In addition to that, his athleticism has helped steer him towards success. It’s important to note, however, that he hasn’t necessarily faced the toughest of competition.
And when he did, he was simply dominated and finished by Jessie Vargas in March 2016. Since then, he’s bounced back with three consecutive victories over the likes of Saul Corral, Jorge Silva and Johan Perez, but I’m just not sure he’ll be able to compete with a fighter the caliber of Cotto.
Despite the fact that he’s 37 years of age, Cotto has proven that he still has some gas left in the tank. He’s won three of his last four bouts and is coming off of a thrashing of Yoshihiro Yamaguchi in which he repeatedly battered his opponent with a barrage of power shots.
Also, the only loss in that stretch came against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, one of the top boxers in the sport, and he competed with the Mexican for 12 full rounds, although it was relatively one-sided.
At this stage of his career, Cotto’s chin has still proven to be durable. His left hook is still a useful weapon, and he’s shown that he still has the ability to successfully throw effective combinations.
At the end of the day, I simply feel as if Cotto is on another level when being compared to Ali. I’m not sure we’ll see a finish, but I expect Cotto to score a clear cut victory and ride into the sunset with his hand raised.