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Miquel Cotto's Farewell Tour Upstaged By a Rising Star In Sadam Ali

Miquel Cotto's Farewell Tour Upstaged By a Rising Star In Sadam Ali

The biggest win of his career by far, Ali earned the WBO world super welterweight title by playing spoiler and has certainly opened up great opportunities for himself going forward.

But the Puerto Rican, who won world titles in four weight categories, could not handle the quickness of 29-year-old Ali. "I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family".

Exacerbating Cotto's dilemma was the injury to his left bicep, an apparent tear he incurred in the seventh round, effectively rendering him a one-armed fighter the rest of the way.

"I worked hard for it", said Ali, who won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113.

"I am feeling good with the performance", the always classy Cotto, as dignified in disappointment as he always had been gracious in victory, said in reaffirming his intention to enter retirement and enjoy the remainder of his life with his lovely wife Melissa and the couple's two children. I don't want to make excuses. Miguel made the MSG his second home with many of his world title fights at the venue.

"Thank you for supporting me at every opportunity", Cotto told his fans. Ali wobbled Cotto in the 2nd with a stunning straight right but seconds later went down via a slip to kill any momentum he may have had. "They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted to". Ali turned in strong rounds in the ninth, 10th and 11th, looking more aggressive and fresher than Cotto. "I knew I had to do something or he would have dug in", Ali said. Or maybe Ali did the right thing, preferring to dominate the fight and not get greedy against a hard-hitting veteran?

It was Cotto's 10th fight at the famed Manhattan arena.

While Cotto double- and triple-jabbed to get inside, Ali stood his ground and fired back, catching Cotto with surprisingly clean punches during the early rounds. Sure, he lost a handful of other bouts, but they were against such prime competition as Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. With Ali widely viewed as a designated victim, that might have contributed to Cotto's farewell fight playing to more empty seats than he has been accustomed to in a city that has more residents of Puerto Rican descent than San Juan.

But Vargas, 27, also landed dozens of body blows and rarely allowed the 30-year-old Negrete inside.

The former four-division champion came back to buzz Ali in the sixth round, and won the seventh and eighth rounds on all three scorecards. Yet, it was Vargas who looked the worse when they left the ring. Ali beat him and took his WBO junior middleweight belt.

"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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