Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto, a six-time world champion over four different weight divisions, will fight for the final time on December 2 in New York against hometown foe Sadam Ali, promoters announced Wednesday.
Cotto, 41-5 with 33 knockouts, will defend his World Boxing Organization light middleweight crown at Madison Square Garden against Ali, a 2008 US Olympian based in Brooklyn who is 25-1 with 14 knockouts.
It will be the 10th fight at the famed Manhattan arena for Cotto, who has owned world titles at super lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight.
"We commend what Oscar and Miguel Cotto Promotions are doing. This fight is an inflection point for the sport. We have a legend leaving the sport. Miguel began with HBO in 2003. This will be his 24th appearance on our network. This is a historic run. We're excited to see this last fight with us. On the other side, we have a young, hungry fighter in Sadam Ali who is looking to be a world champion and moving up a weight class. He deserves recognition for stepping up and taking this fight," said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President at HBO Sports.
Cotto has defeated a host of stars since his 2001 pro debut, including Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga.
After losing to Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in November 2015, Cotto was idle for 21 months before an undisputed decision victory in August at Los Angeles over Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai to win the WBO crown he will defend against Ali.
"I want to take this moment to welcome Miguel back to the Garden. This is his home. We are truly thrilled to host his last fight. We want to welcome him back for his tenth and final fight. I also want to welcome Sadam Ali back to the Garden. He has fought here several times, and even won the Golden Gloves here," said Joel Fischer, Executive VP at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto’s only loss at the Garden came to American Austin Trout in 2012. His other defeats came at the hands of Mexico’s Margarito, American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao.