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Cotto loses his final fight to Ali

Saturday HBO said goodbye to Puerto Rican junior middleweight Miguel Cotto who lost a close but fair decision to New York’s Sadam Ali who made the very most of an event that had nothing to do with him.

Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto goes out a warrior, but not a winner, after dropping a unanimous 12-round decision Saturday to Sadam Ali in a world title fight he vowed would be his last.

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After a back-and-forth battle that saw both fighters hurt, Ali got the nod from all three judges by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112. Ali rocked Cotto with a right in the second, but the Puerto Rican veteran held on and gained the upper hand in the middle rounds, doing damage with his left hook and catching Ali with a punishing right to the head.

“I had him hurt here and there,” Ali said. “But I didn’t want to get over myself and get caught with a shot. He has tremendous power.”

Cotto continued to apply pressure in the seventh, but said that “something happened” to his left biceps in the round.

It was Cotto’s 10th fight at the famed Manhattan arena. His only prior defeat there was to American Austin Trout in 2012.

The rapturous welcome he received upon entering the ring was repeated as he departed in defeat.

“Thank you for supporting me at every opportunity,” Cotto told his fans. “I’m so glad to call Madison Square Garden my home.”

In his 17-year pro career, Cotto defeated a host of marquee fighters, including Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga. He was also beaten once by Margarito, while his other defeats came at the hands of American Floyd Mayweather, Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

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Categories: Sports