Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Ali dethrones Cotto, seizes WBO 154lb title

Ali dethrones Cotto, seizes WBO 154lb title

Miguel Cotto, who began boxing as an 11-year-old to lose weight, said farewell on Saturday night, closing out a glorious 17-year career, but not how most expected.

Post fight Miguel Cotto would go on to say that he picked up a bicep injury in round seven of the contest, but reaffirmed that this would be his last fight and looks forward to spending more time at home with his family.

Cotto's career ends with 41 wins and six defeats.

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.

After four brilliant rounds, Ali curiously took his foot off the gas, allowing Cotto to climb back into the fight.

Cotto said he hurt his left biceps in the seventh round, per the HBO broadcast.

"I am proud to call MSG my second home".

"Thank you for supporting me at every opportunity", Cotto told his fans.

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As early as the second round Ali hurt and visibly staggered Cotto with a right hook, forcing Cotto to retreat. They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. The 10th round brought out another of Ali's finest rounds as he shocked Cotto with a lunging left hook that backed him up and continued to apply an assault with no response from Cotto.

"Good things happen to good people", Ali said, meaning himself, but he could have been speaking about Cotto, a fighter he has long admired, as well.

Sadam Ali, the new WBA title holder, had this to say about his illustrious opponent. The 3rd brought back and forth action from both fighters leading to intelligent exchanges and a more dominant Cotto round.

The rapturous welcome he received upon entering the ring was repeated as he departed in defeat. "I've learned a lot since my last fight for a world title against Tanaka, and this fight proves that I learned and fixed all I needed to win a world championship".

"I've been fighting since I was eight years old, and I've been in big arenas".

Cotto's trainer, the great Freddie Roach, believes his fighter would have been up for such a challenge against either man but is now ready to deal with what is in front of him. The Mexican champion improved to 31-0, while Negrete, of Colombia, lost for the first time in 18 bouts. Yet, it was Vargas who looked the worse when they left the ring. Ali, who was rated No. 9 by the WBO, is not renowned for his punching power, and his chin has been suspect ever since he was stopped in nine rounds in his previous shot at a world title, against Jessie Vargas on March 5, 2016, in Washington, D.C., with the vacant WBO welterweight belt on the line.

"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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