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Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win

04 December 2017

He went on to win six world titles - most recently a vacant 154-pound belt on August 26 against Yoshihiro Kamegai that Cotto was defending for the first time on Saturday - in four weight divisions: junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight.

Cotto, who won six titles in four different weight classes in his career, didn't make excuses for the outcome. But Ali really came on strong in the second half of the fight, after Cotto said he hurt his left biceps in the seventh round. Even had Cotto managed to win a controversial decision (two judges had Ali winning by 115-113, the third by 116-112) or get a consolation draw, it was plain to see that this was not the vintage model who five years hence will be a first-ballot inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

"I am going to be a warrior and do my best for the benefit of my family, as always", he said. I am proud to call Madison Square Garden my second home. "But this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I took the challenge against a legend", Ali said. "I want to thank Team Cotto, they could have taken an easier fight if they wanted to".

"I have the humility to say that I made my share of mistakes", Vargas said, "but I feel that Negrete fought very dirty and was not a very good boxer".

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Cotto suffered a torn left biceps just after the midway mark of the 12-round bout, but Ali hurt him twice before Cotto was injured. I know how great I am and, moving forward, I know I'm gonna prove more.

Sadam Ali, the new WBA title holder, had this to say about his illustrious opponent.

It was Cotto's 10th fight at the famed Manhattan arena. Cotto controlled the pace in the fifth round and then landed a crisp straight right hand in the sixth that sent Ali stumbling into the ropes.

The Garden had a familiar ring for Cotto. The thing is, Cotto is not the fighter he once was. "I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown".

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The 27-year-old from Puerto Rico was back fighting for the first time since his first loss.

Unless Cotto yields to some unforeseen urge to withdraw his pledge to stay retired, his legacy shall forever remain beyond reproach or cause for sympathetic tsk-tsks. Ali beat him and took his WBO junior middleweight belt. Frugal with his money and mindful of his health and well-being, he steps away far better off than many champions who only considered the present and were never mindful of the potential pitfalls of the future were they to linger too long in an unforgiving game. Sadam Ali didn't read that particular script however, claiming an tight unanimous points verdict after the fight went the championship distance.

29-year-old Ali is unconcerned about having to move up to super-welterweight for the fight having regularly operated at welterweight and is ready to crash the Cotto party as he looks to make a name for himself.

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The Tyler Rotary Club's Christmas parade kicks off at 6 p.m. followed by the 34th annual Christmas tree lighting celebration. Decatur's "Christmas in Toyland" parade will roll through downtown's Second Avenue and Bank Street on Monday at 6 p.m.

Ali spoils Cotto's farewell battle with resolution win