Miguel Cotto Is Running Late For His Retirement Party

By Jason Gonzalez

Prior to the commencement of 2017, 37-year-old Miguel Cotto [41-5, (33)] of Caguas, Puerto Rico promised to call it quits at the year’s conclusion. To Cotto’s credit, he has kept his word. But whenever big money is involved, everything is subject to change. As it stands now, Cotto’s swan song is scheduled for December 2, against Sadam Ali [25-1, (14)] of Brooklyn at Madison Square Garden.

In the past, Cotto’s head trainer Freddie Roach was quoted as saying, “We are going out with a bang,” regarding on who his pupil’s final opponent would be. Names like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia, Jesse Vargas, and David Lemieux were all mentioned as possible dance partners for Cotto. Hindsight is always 20/20, and in retrospect Team Cotto was simply bluffing. The Cotto-Ali contest has been condemned universally by the boxing media alike, and rightfully so.

A 2008 Olympian, the 147 pound Ali, now 29, is moving up one weight class to face the bigger and heavily favored Cotto for the WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, a six time world champion, and Puerto Rico’s first four division conqueror, last saw action this past August. This was Cotto’s first fight in nearly 2 years, since dropping a 12 round decision to Alvarez. Cotto would win an easy unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Kamegai, in which he hit the Japanese punching bag with everything except the kitchen sink.

The writing was clearly on the wall, it was evident that the time for Cotto to retire was shortly thereafter.

Cotto’s ring accomplishments make him a lock for the hall-of-fame. However, most recently his attitude at the negotiating table has prompted those involved, to label him as being either “difficult” or a “diva”. It’s ironic to hear of a man that once welcomed all challenges and fought all comers; to now turn down opponents at will, while asking for astronomical purses in return.

Some of Cotto’s biggest advocates will tell you that he earned the right to do so, and should continue to whenever it comes to his career, especially at this stage of the game. It isn’t uncommon for a fighter of Cotto’s stature to bid a farewell fight against an opponent deemed as being unworthy. This is fine, depending on your perspective.

However, the fact still remains that a victory over Ali doesn’t do anything to up Cotto’s profile. He just goes out on top. But Cotto could have rode off into the sunset after the Kamegai fight. So what purpose does a scrap with Ali actually serve?

As far as boxing is concerned, nothing. But in terms of social and political activism, it could potentially mean a lot to everyone involved. The Cotto-Ali bout will provide the Puerto Rican people with a temporary reprieve from the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Maria on the small island.

In an effort to show support and solidarity, Latinos worldwide will stand with Puerto Rico, which means tuning in and rooting for Cotto.

This will be Cotto’s 10 th time fighting at the world’s most famous arena. It will also mark his 24th appearance on the HBO network

Comment: Gonzalez, Jason jg51593n@pace.edu


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